In my last post, I explained that under Illinois discovery rules, electronically-stored information is required to be produced in paper form. Specifically, Rule 214 states that "all retrievable information in computer storage" shall be produced "in printed form."
While this takes some of the uncertainty out of the rules--clearly, they apply to electronically-stored information--it creates other problems. Consider this paragraph from the federal Manual for Complex Litigation (4th):
The sheer volume of such data, when compared with conventional paper documentation, can be staggering. A floppy disk, with 1.44 megabytes, is the equivalent of 720 typewritten pages of plain text. A CD-ROM, with 650 megabytes, can hold up to 325,000 typewritten pages. One gigabyte is the equivalent of 500,000 typewritten pages. Large corporate computer networks create backup data measured in terabytes, or 1,000,000 megabytes: each terabyte represents the equivalent of 500 billion typewritten pages of plain text.
While the Illinois rules are somewhat unique when it comes to electronic discovery, the requirement that electronically-stored information should be produced in paper form, without more, creates more problems than it solves.
The federal rules are similarly outdated when it comes to electronic discovery. In the federal system, however, there will soon be new amendments to the rules that specifically address electronic discovery. These amendments will be the topic of my next post.