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Joseph R. Marconi was selected last year by the Illinois Supreme Court as an advisor to its Committee on Discovery Procedures exploring possible reform to the rules regarding the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).  As a result of the work of that Committee, public hearings are now scheduled for commentary on those proposed reforms; Johnson & Bell’s litigation clients are encouraged to review them, and add their voice in support.

As many clients and general counsel have noted, electronically stored information (ESI)—including emails, payroll, databases and financial records—has multiplied the costs of complying with discovery, sometimes elevating those costs above the exposure of the claim. Worse, a company’s obligation to retain, search and provide such information massively increases the risk of discovery sanctions for noncompliance (including evidence and possibly terminating sanctions); and, concomitantly, the chance that confidential or privileged information will be inadvertently disclosed.   The federal court system addressed some of these issues with recent reforms to its rules; however, the states, and particularly Illinois, have lagged behind.

The Supreme Court Rules Committee invites public comments on the proposals. Written comments should be submitted by Friday, March 21, 2014, to jzekich@illinoiscourts.gov or mail to: Committee Secretary, Supreme Court Rules Committee, 222 N. LaSalle Street, 13th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601. To be scheduled to testify at the public hearing, please send an e-mail or written request to the Rules Committee Secretary, as noted above, by no later than Friday, March 28, 2014.

The proposals are available on the Supreme Court website at:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Public_Hearings/Rules/

To obtain hard copies of the proposals by email or U.S. mail, please contact Joe Marconi (marconij@jbltd.com) or his secretary, Tula Kotsiovos (kotsiovost@jbltd.com), c/o Johnson & Bell, Ltd.,  312-372-0770.

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