Effective May 1, 2008, Iowa’s Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to address an increasingly important issue in litigation: Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”). To date (post written 1.20.11), however, Iowa’s appellate courts have yet to opine on the many issues generated by ESI.
While Iowa’s appellate courts have not yet processed ESI issues (it’s only a matter of time), several courts across the Nation have tackled the issues. Most recently, on January 18, 2011, in an effort to curb future ESI problems, the Delaware Court of Chancery (a court dedicated to addressing business disputes in Delaware) issued a set of “Guidelines” relating to the “Preservation of Electronically Stored Information.” The Delaware Court of Chancery’s guidelines are a must read for litigants appearing before that Court as well as for anyone looking to become more familiar with the ever-expanding and increasingly important role of ESI. Click here for a complete copy of the “Guidelines.”
It is important to note that the guidelines are not “rules” and they do not address all aspects of ESI. They do, however, provide a great starting point for learning more about ESI. To read more about ESI, a delicate form of proof, click here.
Finally, you may be wondering which Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure contain references to ESI. As of January 20, 2011, the following non-exclusive list of Iowa Rules contain specific ESI language: 1.503(1); 1.504(2); 1.507(1); 1.509(3); 1.512(1)-(2); 1.517(6); 1.602(2); 1.1701(1),(3)-(6). To the extent you have access to any unreported / trial court orders from Iowa relating to ESI and would like to share them for an open discussion, please contact me at mckinney @ brownwinick.com or in the comments below. Thank you.
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