An Interview with Judge Paul Grimm, Chief United States Magistrate Judge, 1 of 3

Judge Grimm has been a pretty vocal supporter of new technology trends that help shift the focus from spending extensive amounts of time and money reviewing documents to using tools to make the process more efficient. This ultimately allows legal teams to focus more on the actual heart of the matter, rather than on document review.  I'm greatly looking forward to reading installments 2 and 3 of this series.  Some excerpts are below, but you can find the full article here. "Judge Paul Grimm, Chief United States Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is a thought leader and at the forefront of knowledge in the field of electronic discovery. Judge Grimm has authored multiple case opinions that have become the basis for rule changes to the rules of civil procedure. He continues to be an expert in the field and he graciously took some time to talk to Discovery Brain about his knowledge and experience."

"...I looked into some of the issues associated with a fundamentally important area in the modern practice of civil litigation which is that discovery must be approached on a cooperative basis. That doesn’t mean that you give up meritorious argument or not have disputes, but it just means you argue over the things that are important. You cooperate on the things that are mutually beneficial to your clients. For example, look at keyword searching. If I give you just a list of keywords and tell you to go search them and you don’t have any input on that, then what’s likely to happen is you’re going to run a search that will have poor recall and precision rates that won’t produce helpful information, which will lead to disputes and further expenses. It’s much better that we cooperatively design a search methodology. It lowers costs, gets the materials produced faster and avoids motions where people run out of money. The need to cooperate is inherent in the rules of civil litigation. Those that advocate a confrontational approach to discovery for the sake of confrontation really do not understand what’s involved in the adversary system. That was emphasized in Mancia v. Mayflower Textile Services Co. decision. Thereafter my most recent discussed decision was the Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe Inc. case dealing with the duty to preserve."

"Part of the entire evolution, I have become interested in the fact that in 2009 a series of attorney questionnaires from a variety of sources said federal litigation is too expensive and that in turn has led to my concern with how we can manage litigation so that it is proportional to what’s at issue in a case. This means you get the right amount of discovery so that the parties have fair discovery and nothing is hidden or lost, but you don’t waste money. In no system does it make sense that you spend $5M to resolve a case that’s worth $1M. With the volume of digital evidence out there and the number of people who have the same evidence in different locations, parties spend enormous amounts of money trying to figure out what you have before they can then even talk about settlement or trial. So the real challenge for the profession and for the courts is to make it so that we don’t become so expensive that people can’t afford to come here."