by Peter S. Vogel
Michael Geigerman was the Moderator for a half seminar at the Washington University School of Law regarding complexities created by eDiscovery and Social Media on October 29, 2010. Mr. Geigerman is a full-time Mediator in St. Louis, the Managing Director of United States Arbitration & Mediation Midwest, Inc. (USA&M Midwest Inc.), and is an Adjunct Professor at the Washington University School of Law where he runs the ABA Negotiation and Mediation Competitions. USA&M Midwest Inc. and the Washington University Law Dispute Resolution Program regularly present the Missouri Best Practices Seminars, and the proceeds from the Seminars are all donated to charities.
eDiscovery: Ethical Considerations, ADR and Social Media
I was honored to speak at this Seminar and my speech included a discussion regarding how Social Media is creating an ocean of electronic evidence which impacts all litigation. As a consequence, Mediators and Arbitrators must be aware of eDiscovery in every case, and also be alert to how Social Media affects the litigants. Obviously Social Media communications impacts ethical considerations for lawyers and neutrals alike, and being thoughtful about what we say in emails and post on Facebook or LinkedIn is essential in today’s environment. Also I included a discussion about the use of Mediation Conferences directed at managing eDiscovery called eMediation for which I credit my good friend Allison Skinner, who is a full time neutral and continues to teach eDiscovery at the University of Alabama School of Law as an Adjunct Professor. Finally, I discussed my experiences as a Special Master in eDiscovery disputes for more than 20 years.
eDiscovery Panel Discussion
Following my remarks about Social Media and eDiscovery I was the Moderator of a distinguished panel including US District Judge E. Richard Webber, Eric Holland, and Kevin Fritz who responded to the audience and discussed ADR issues concerning eDiscovery, Social Media, and Special Masters. Since this Seminar was a sell-out with standing room only, you can image there was a lively and candid discussion about Rule 26(f) conferences, eDiscovery, ADR, and specific active cases in metropolitan St. Louis.
Mandatory Mediation Conferences in Missouri
In 2009 Mr. Geigerman was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to the Commission on ADR and the Seminar included a panel discussion about revisions to ADR Rule 17 which would make Mediation Conferences mandatory in Missouri. Mr. Geigerman led a discussion by a panel of ADR Commission members including Professor Karen Tokarz (Washington University School of Law), Richard Sher, and Maurice Graham. Generally the Commission members and the audience were very enthused by the prospect of making Mediation Conference mandatory for disputes over $25,000.
Peter S. Vogel is a trial partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP where he is Chair of the Electronic Discovery Group and Co-Chair of the Technology Industry Team. Before practicing law he worked as a computer programmer, received a Masters in Computer Science, and taught graduate courses in information systems. For 12 years he served as the founding Chair of the Texas Supreme Court on Judicial Information Technology which is responsible for helping automate the Texas court system and putting Internet on the desktops of all 3,200 judges. Peter has taught courses on the Law of eCommerce at the SMU Dedman School of Law since 2000. Many of Peter’s topics are discussed on his blog www.vogelitlawblog.com.