Navigating Electronic Discovery in Connecticut's State and Federal Courts
Lawyers seeking guidance on electronic discovery will find a significant current disparity between Connecticut's state and federal courts. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended in 2006 specifically to address e-discovery, and the federal reporters are replete with opinions on nearly every facet of the topic. By contrast, the Connecticut Practice Book does not yet specifically address e-discovery, and the case law is relatively anemic. But not for long. The Rules Committee of the Superior Court has proposed a series of important amendments to the Practice Book that should bring it in closer alignment with federal practice, and the number of state court opinions is likely to increase with the need to construe these rules in an ever-expanding universe of electronically stored information (ESI). This article discusses several key questions about the discovery of ESI in Connecticut, and highlights some key differences and similarities between applicable federal and state court rules and decisions.
1. On January 24, 2011, the Rules Committee unanimously voted to submit to public hearing proposed revisions to Practice Book §§ 13-1, 13-2, 13-5, 13-9, and 13-14, and a new § 13-33. See Minutes ¶ 3 (Jan. 14, 2011). The public hearing was held on May 31, 2011. See Conn. L.J. (Apr. 26, 2011). As of the date that this article was submitted for publication, the proposed amendments were awaiting final review and approval by the Rules Committee.
2. For further guidance on e-discovery, practitioners can consult materials published by The Sedona Conference (available at http://www.thesedonaconference.org), a forum dedicated to developing principles and best practice recommendations that have been influential on this topic. See, e.g., Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors LLC, 09CV268, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92603, at **14-17 (D. Conn. Sept. 7, 2010) (citing Sedona Conference).