SOURCE: Exterro, Inc.

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January 25, 2017 10:00 ET

Third Annual Exterro Survey of Federal Judges Shows Improvements in E-Discovery Competency But Cooperation and Proportionality Lacking

New report features survey results from 22 Federal Judges and expert advice for legal teams to improve their current e-discovery practices

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - January 25, 2017) - Exterro® Inc., the preferred provider of software specifically designed for in-house legal and IT teams at Global 2000 and AmLaw 200 organizations, today announced the results of the Third Annual Federal Judges Survey: E-Discovery Advice for Becoming a Better Attorney. Twenty-two (22) Federal Judges completed this year's survey, conducted by Exterro, answering 25 questions about the state of e-discovery. In addition to data from each question, the published report includes expert commentary from retired federal judges and industry thought-leaders.

"As we release this third annual federal judges survey, it's gratifying to note that e-discovery proficiency has come a long way in just the past three years. Competency on both sides of the bench is viewed as improving, and the new FRCP rules are providing more clarity to practitioners at all levels. As we look forward to 2017, however, it is clear the judges still see cooperation as crucial to success. In order to achieve this, legal teams must become more knowledgeable about the data they have by employing a consistent, predictable, defensible, and orchestrated e-discovery process," said Bill Piwonka, CMO at Exterro.

Key Takeaways of the Survey Results Include:

  • E-Discovery Competency: Legal teams are becoming more competent compared to past years, but there is still much room for improvement. When asked to rate their confidence in the following statement, "The typical attorney possesses the subject matter knowledge (legal and technical) required to effectively counsel clients on e-discovery matters," 64% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed, and none agreed or strongly agreed. However, 77% of respondents said that e-discovery competency was slightly better today as compared to a year ago with no one saying it was worse than last year.
  • Areas for Improvement: Cooperation and leveraging proportionality are key areas in which judges think attorneys can improve their e-discovery practice. 77% of judges surveyed said that 'Applying the principles of cooperation and proportionality' is the area that offers the greatest potential for improvement among counsel. In addition, 77% of respondents also said that no or poor cooperation between the parties was the most frequent cause of e-discovery problems.
  • New FRCP Rules -- 1 year later: The new FRPC Rules implemented on December 1, 2015 are making a positive impact in the court room. 82% of the judges surveyed believe that the new FRCP rules have helped solve many current e-discovery problems, with 59% of them choosing Rule(26)(b)(1) as having the biggest effect on e-discovery practices.

"Exterro has again, for the third time, gifted the e-discovery community with quantitative and qualitative feedback directly from the bench. It is clear that the judges are lightyears ahead of the bar. As Judge Facciola so aptly put it, 'They are facing a bench that knows what it is doing and appreciates how the technology can render the discovery process cheaper and more efficient.' The Judges Survey is a blueprint to do exactly that," said Mary Mack, Executive Director of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)

Hon. Frank Mass (Ret.) United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York said, "Once again, Exterro has done an excellent job of identifying significant issues in the e-discovery space and shedding light on judges' and litigants' views of them. Exterro's longitudinal survey confirms that the field of e-discovery continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and that judges and lawyers alike need to work hard to remain current regarding best practices."

For full survey results, analysis and commentary, download the report here.

About Exterro

Exterro®, Inc. is the preferred provider of software specifically designed for in-house legal and IT teams at Global 2000 and AmLaw 200 organizations. Founded with the simple vision that applying the concepts of process optimization and data science to the way companies respond to litigation would drive more successful outcomes at a lower cost, Exterro has been positioned as a Leader in the last three years of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for E-Discovery Software. Built on an open architecture platform, Exterro's e-discovery and information governance software integrates with existing IT, HR and legal systems to deliver complete visibility into all critical data required for managing information assets more efficiently.

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