Tips for navigating discovery

I had the pleasure of moderating a Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Education Committee panel presentation Thursday night. Our topic: “Navigating Discovery as a Young Lawyer.” It was a great panel, if I do say so myself. The organizers of the event did a great job of picking panelists —Magistrate Judge Charles Day and attorneys Kathleen Howard Meredith, Michelle Lipkowitz and Lisa Hall Johnson. And we had a great turnout. The panelists were full of great tips on how to get a case started on the right foot. Some of the ones that I wrote down included: Take the time to outline all of the claims and defenses in the case at the beginning of the case, before starting to delve into discovery. Again, before starting discovery, take the time to get to know the client, how the client does business, where and how the client generates and stores documents and who the key people are (both in terms of the facts of the case and in terms of the client’s operations and document management systems). Visit your client’s place of business, if possible. Bring and use a translator — have someone who speaks the client’s language (or your IT contact’s language) with you at the beginning of the case. Get documents organized from the very start. Most panelists recommended keeping documents in both electronic and paper format, Bates labeling meticulously and making sure your electronic copy of documents is OCR’d. In addition to the sample documents that we passed out, panelists noted some helpful resources:

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