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My sister-in-law was showing off her new iPhone when she said, “Hey, Siri, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” “Don’t you have anything better to do?” replied Siri, much to our surprise and amusement.  Apple’s Siri, and similar smart device digital assistants, such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa, are so apparently smart and willing to talk, that one could almost imagine them being called as a witness in a…
“Bad timing” is often used to explain failure or why bad things happen. In the case of Marysville, California resident Joseph Nevis, bad timing likely led in part to the Christmas Eve amputation of both legs by an Amtrak train. Bad timing because local police determined that Joseph was “too drunk for jail” and deposited him at Rideout Memorial Hospital at 1:26 a.m. Bad timing in that a doctor examined him for less than a…
The Hague Convention’s role in cross-border ediscovery got a boost in the U.S. recently as a federal judge deemed that Hague Convention procedures hold equal footing with discovery rules in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It remains unclear how this may ultimately affect three American companies—Whirlpool, Arconic, and Celotex—facing liability for their alleged role in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London (that killed 72 people), but is certainly interesting from an ediscovery…
Access to information requests became a sticky proposition for public health authorities in Canada in the latter part of the 2010s. Not only were they required to consider a sometimes conflicting tangle of personal privacy and freedom of information legislation, but those same authorities also had to come to terms with how to properly record, retain, protect, access, and share massive amounts of electronically stored information. It was in this context that two decisions…
The Electronic Document Rules Working Group was established in 2016 by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada. The purpose of the group, as set out in their 2017 Report, was to “to develop harmonized rules governing the production of documents in civil and administrative proceedings.” In other words, they were trying to bring ediscovery rules in various provinces into line with one another. The Canadian Approach: “Ad hoc” and “Reactive” The Working Group identified…
In R. v. Piaskowski et al, 2007 MBQB 68, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench was confronted with an extraordinary argument. Federal prosecutors provided electronic disclosure to counsel for several co-accused in a complex, international drug investigation. Upon seeing the massive amounts of disclosure, defense counsel balked. Counsel for several of the accused made applications to court to require the Crown to produce paper disclosure of every document contained in the electronic disclosure. As…
“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both.” – James Madison, 1832 Discovery is the key legal mechanism for compelling corporations, or private individuals, to hand over information. Sometimes we aren’t seeing  information from private actors, but from the Government and other public bodies, like schools and universities. This is where Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation comes in.…
20 years ago, we weren’t sharing Tiger King memes on TikTok – that’s what group emails were for. In 2002 (when ediscovery processes were just a dream) there was a flurry of memes (even if we didn’t use that term), relating to the paper-shredding activities of auditors Arthur Andersen LLP during the Enron scandal. One joke riffing on a popular series of cell phone commercials stated:  The Arthur Andersen partner was on his cell…
Anyone in the U.S. involved with ediscovery issues in the European Union likely keeps a close eye on the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in May 2018. Designed to standardize privacy regulations relating to how electronic information is maintained, processed, used, or transferred, the regulation continues to evolve while U.S. ediscovery practitioners are still trying to figure out its inherent impediments with regards to cross-border ediscovery. Not only…
Attorney-client privilege (sometimes called  ‘lawyer-client’ or ‘legal professional’ privilege) can be applied in a range of different scenarios to protect disclosure of information. Recently New Zealand’s Attorney-General refused to release its legal advice, relating to the Government’s COVID-19 response, to a powerful parliamentary committee, asserting legal professional privilege. In this article I look at the impact that attorney-client privilege can have on discovery proceedings, drawing on an influential 2013 decision of Australia’s highest court.  What…