E-Discovery is now on the horizon in Florida, with yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling adopting amendments to seven civil procedural rules. The full text of the ruling can be found here. In a nutshell, the ruling inserts the concept of electronic discovery into the Florida Rules by:
- Amending Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.200 (Pretrial Procedure) to allow the trial court to consider various e-discovery issues during a pretrial conference, and Rule 1.201 to require the parties to address the possibility of an electronic information preservation and production stipulation;
- Amending Rule 1.280, Rules of Civil Procedure, to expressly authorize discovery of electronically stored information, with some specific limitations in subdivision (d) of that rule;
- Amending Rule 1.340, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and 1.350 as well, to permit a demand for electronically stored information in its ordinary or other reasonably usable form;
- Amending Rule 1.380 to prohibit sanctions against a party for failing to provide lost discovery which was lost due to routine operation;
- Amending Rule 1.410 (Subpoena)to permit a subpoena for electronically stored information and an objection to same.
Of additional note seems to be the frequent use of the acronym “ESI” for “electronically stored information.” I have a feeling this one will be around for a while.
The amendments take hold on September 1, 2012 at 12:02 a.m., one minute after the effective date of the new e-service rules.