Released June 2009
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "eDiscovery Plain & Simple" will be used to purchase technology aids for classrooms at schools for visually impaired and physically challenged children. "Large keyboards, zoom text software, and closed circuit televisions could enhance the education and lives of so many children and we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these precious children." stated co-authors Allison Brecher and Shawnna Childress.
We communicate, collaborate, and socialize on a local and global basis more than ever and corporate America generates massive quantities of electronic information. These advances in communications technologies have changed the way companies transact business and the way litigation is conducted. Litigation no longer involves several boxes full of documents; it involves several rooms full of documents.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure changed in December 2006 to reflect the unique challenges presented by electronic communications. Among other revisions, parties to litigation exchange information about their computer systems and electronically stored information and do so in a way that is both transparent and persuasive. As any attorney delving into electronic discovery will quickly realize, being a litigation attorney today really requires learning an entirely new language. In the midst of litigation, practitioners, often accustomed to dealing only with paper documents, have to learn that new language quickly.
Yet, the stakes have never been higher. The landmark decision of Zubulake v. UBS Warburg started what has become an almost regular occurrence - - sanctions, sometimes severe, for failing to preserve relevant electronically stored information. Even an inadvertent failure to keep such data could end the litigation.
There are many publications, some of which have been written by these authors, discussing this evolving area of the law. E-Discovery Plain and Simple is the only book that explains - -through the most basic terminology and visuals -- how computers, servers and peripherals operate and store data in a way that is designed for attorneys with little, if any, technical background. Our book offers strategies and practical suggestions to make discovery reasonable and cost efficient for all parties. In short, we offer a “plain English crash course” in Information Technology so that legal principles can be applied to the day-to-day business needs of clients.
E-Discovery Plain and Simple discusses Information Technology through the different viewpoints of two national experts in this field. Allison Brecher was one of the first corporate attorneys in the United States to manage electronic discovery. As the Director of Information Management and Strategy at Marsh & McLennan Companies, a publicly traded Fortune 200 company, Ms. Brecher manages all electronic discovery for litigation and other matters involving MMC’s more than 50,000 employees in over 100 countries. Shawnna Childress, an Associate Director of Navigant Consulting, brings more than a decade of expertise in Information Technology as a consultant to numerous companies. Ms. Childress is also the co-founder of Women in eDiscovery, a national network of female attorneys, consultants, and technology professionals with more than 3,500 members in more than 25 chapters worldwide. Ms. Brecher and Ms. Childress were also selected to membership on the Advisory Board of the Georgetown University Law Center E-Discovery Institute, a leading academic organization devoted to continuing legal education and policymaking in electronic discovery.
Allison L. Brecher is a Senior Litigation Counsel and Director of Information Management & Strategy of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a global financial services company based in New York. Allison coordinates and oversees the search and collection of electronic records when requested of the company’s more than 50,000 employees in over 100 countries in the context of litigation, subpoenas, government investigations, internal audits, and similar matters. She was recently selected to become a member of the Advisory Board of the Georgetown University Law Center’s E-Discovery Institute. She frequently writes and speaks about emerging issues relating to this growing area of law. Before and during law school, Allison worked as a field reporter/producer at several television stations. Allison graduated from Union College (B.A. cum laude with high honors 1993) and DePaul University College of Law (J.D. 1996), where she was a member of a law journal, received several American Jurisprudence awards, and served as a legal writing teaching assistant.
Shawnna Childress is the
Co-Founder and Worldwide Executive Director of Women in eDiscovery, a non-profit worldwide organization with over 4,000 members, that brings together businesswomen interested in technology related to the legal industry and provides opportunities for them to help themselves and other businesswomen grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition. She is also an Associate Director at Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Ms. Childress has more than 15 years of experience in the legal services industry. At Navigant Consulting, Ms. Childress’ main area of expertise is in the area of Electronic Discovery, Litigation Readiness and Data Analysis with a focus on strategic consulting, identification, preservation, collection, extraction, review, and production of electronic records in support of all phases of litigations, investigations, and litigation preparedness initiatives. Ms. Childress assists Corporations and their Outside Counsel with putting the right team into place to assist with their data and systems and the laws that regulate them to decrease the cost and risk associated with eDiscovery and Information Management.
"Attorneys who delay or resist learning about technology and
e-discovery will quickly find themselves unable to compete in the market handling complex litigation.."
Partner, Jackson Lewis