Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Case Blurb: O’Keefe; Expert Testimony needed to dispute search methodolgy in court

Posted by rjbiii on June 15, 2008

Whether search terms or “keywords” will yield the information sought is a complicated question involving the interplay, at least, of the sciences of computer technology, statistics and linguistics. See George L. Paul & Jason R. Baron, Information Inflation: Can the Legal System Adapt?, 13 RICH. J.L. & TECH. 10 (2007). Indeed, a special project team of the Working Group on Electronic Discovery of the Sedona Conference is studying that subject and their work indicates how difficult this question is. See The Sedona Conference, Best Practices Commentary on the Use of Search and Information Retrieval, 8 THE SEDONA CONF. J. 189 (2008), available at http://www.thesedonaconference.org/content/miscFiles/Best_Practices_Retrieval_Methods_revised_cover_and_preface.pdf. Given this complexity, for lawyers and judges to dare opine that a certain search term or terms would be more likely to produce information than the terms that were used is truly to go where angels fear to tread. This topic is clearly beyond the ken of a layman and requires that any such conclusion be based on evidence that, for example, meets the criteria of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Accordingly, if defendants are going to contend that the search terms used by the government were insufficient, they will have to specifically so contend in a motion to compel and their contention must be based on evidence that meets the requirements of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.

United States v. O’Keefe, 537 F. Supp. 2d 14, 23-4 (D.D.C. 2008 )

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One Response to “Case Blurb: O’Keefe; Expert Testimony needed to dispute search methodolgy in court”

  1. […] It was, however, the one I really wanted to attend. In light of recent cases in Creative Pipe and O’keefe, I expected their to be interesting discussion centered around the subjects of formulating searches […]

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