What eDiscovery Education Looks Like

Friday, January 6, 2017

Every year during its winter intersession, the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, Mississippi, offers a day course called Electronically Stored Information and E-Discovery.  The class is typically attended by a mixture of law students who are taking the course for credit and practicing attorneys who can take the course for 12 hours of CLE credit.  The law students will take a final exam – the practicing attorneys will not.

The course is run by two outstanding legal minds.  Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Jim Rosenblatt is the Course Director, and the lead instructor is former U.S. Magistrate Judge Ron Hedges, who is now a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group at Dentons.  Dean Rosenblatt has a long and distinguished legal career, with over 30 years’ service in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Army), followed by 11 years as Dean at the law school.  Judge Hedges is well known in the eDiscovery world, an expert in this area, and has taught this subject in law schools and for CLE sessions.  After his career on the bench, he has served as a special master, arbitrator, and mediator as well as an educator.

Dean Rosenblatt and Judge Hedges have assembled an impressive mixture of in-person instructors (of which I am proud to be a member), as well as web-based faculty including Ken Withers, Deputy Executive Director of the Sedona Conference, and Judge John Carroll, Professor of Law at Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, AL.  Judge Carroll has the unique distinction of being both a former Federal Magistrate Judge in Alabama and a former law school Dean at Cumberland.

I have attached the course agenda below so you can see the extent to which a good eDiscovery course focuses on both technology and practical applications of the concept.  The faculty for this course is well versed in practical uses of technology and the practical application of those technology skills in working with ESI.  The agenda that Judge Hedges constructed shows a strong focus on those skills, especially on Day 2, with back-to-back panels of, first, US Magistrate Judges and, then, practicing attorneys discussing their real-world experiences with ESI and eDiscovery.

The course will be will be held in the Student Center at the MC Law campus at 151 E. Griffith Street in Jackson, and all materials will be furnished electronically.  If you are interested in attending, you may register at, although I should note that the course is limited to 60 attorneys, and registration will be cut off once that number is reached.  I will, however, report on the educational content late next week.

Electronically Stored Information & Electronic Discovery
Class Schedule as of January 2, 2017

Date Time Subject
Mon, Jan 9
9:00 to 10:00 Introduction to ESI and E-Discovery
·       Introduction to Course
·       Introduction to Terminology
·       Overview of Federal and Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure (RCP)
10:00 to 11:00 Preservation
·       Triggers
·       Scope of Duty to Preserve
·       Effect of 2015 Amendments to Federal RCP
11:00 to 12:00 Cooperation, Proportionality, and Costs
·       What Cooperation Means
·       What Proportionality Means
·       Who Should Bear or Share Costs?
·       Effect of 2015 Amendments to FRCP
12:00 to 1:00 Lunch
1:00 to 2:00 Case Management and the Rule 26(f) Conference
·       What is expected of Attorneys and Clients
·       The Rule 26(f) Discovery Plan
·       The Role of the Judge
2:00 to 3:00 Search and Production
·       What Methodologies Exist?
·       What are the Pros and Cons of Each?
·       Practical Examples
3:00 to 4:00 Spoliation
·       What Spoliation Means
·       What Sanctions Are Available
·       Effect of 2015 Amendments to FRCP
Tues, Jan 10
9:00 to 10:00 Requesting and Producing ESI
·       “Form or Forms”
·       “Native” versus Other Forms
10:00 to 11:00 Admissibility and Trial
·       Authentication
·       Lay versus Expert Testimony
11:00 to 12:00 ESI in the Criminal Context
·       Fourth Amendment Warrant Requirement
·       Fourth Amendment Particularity Requirement
·       Fifth Amendment Privilege Against Self-Incrimination
12:00 to 1:00 Lunch
1:00 to 2:15 United States Magistrate Judges Panel
·       Role of the US District Court Judge
·       Role of the US Magistrate Judges
·       Wrap Up
2:15 to 3:15 Attorneys Panel
·       Use of ESI in Litigation
·       How the Issue Arises
·       Practical Examples of ESI Issues
·       Wrap Up
3:15 to 4:15 Ethical Considerations
·       Preservation of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product
·       What Competence Means
4:15 to 4:25 Final Admin Wrap Up




Guest Author: Tom O’Connor, Senior eDiscovery Consultant, Advanced Discovery

Tom O’Connor is nationally known as a consultant, speaker and writer. In his consulting work, Tom specializes in working with law firms and their corporate clients to manage their electronic discovery needs. As senior eDiscovery consultant for Advanced Discovery, he assists clients in database design, implementation and training. He also addresses specific eDiscovery issues such as retention policies, litigation holds and document exchange protocols. Tom speaks at major legal conferences and writes for both the Advanced Discovery blog and national legal publications.

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