State Supreme Court Justices To Discuss Electronic Discovery Monday

An educational session on E-Discovery issues with serious responsibilities and consequences for attorneys and their clients arising from a duty to preserve and the rights of others to demand electronically stored items is scheduled in a lunch hour session at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville on Monday.

Supreme Court Justices Deborah Chimes and John Curran will present the topic of E-Discovery in New York Courts, a technique available to individuals, small businesses and corporations involved in legal disputes to gain information from opposing parties.

Lori Thierfeldt, secretary to Robert H. Jackson Inn of Court, said electronic discovery relates to obtaining electronically stored information such as Internet documents, emails, voice mails and internet chats that could be considered important in lawsuits or legal claims.

Electronic discovery has been used successfully in New York courtrooms in actions by and against individuals and corporations, criminal law defense and prosecution, contract disputes, employer-employee disputes, divorce and custody proceedings and commercial cases.

According to e-discovery experts, the tool has been utilized to prove adultery, unfitness as a parent, dissipation of marital assets, breach of contract, harassment, hostile work environment, violation of fiduciary duties, lack or extent of personal injuries in worker’s compensation and negligence cases, disputes between neighbors, fraud and misrepresentation, and identity theft.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Joseph Gerace, co-president, with Arthur N. Bailey of the Inn of Court, in an email to attorneys wrote: “In my 50-plus years of practice and as a Supreme Court Justice, I cannot recall when a single procedure has the potential of impacting a law practice and its clients – individual, small businesses or corporate – or that presents a greater risk of serious (sometimes case ending or career threatening) sanctions for attorneys and clients involved in civil, domestic and criminal cases than an E-Discovery demand in a New York court.”

Because of the importance of the topic, a pupilage group of attorneys of the Inn of Court asked Judge Chimes to chair the session. She will introduce Judge Curran, Supreme Court Justice, who has made several presentations at the New York State Judicial Institute to alert and prepare judges and court attorneys on E-Discovery issues in civil and criminal cases.

The group consists of attorneys Arthur N. Bailey, Lori Thierfeldt, Charles DeAngelo, Daryl Brautigam, Andrew Brautigam, Mary Schiller, Patrick Slagle, Joseph Calemeri, Robert Liebers and Jeffrey G. Passafaro.