Discovering Our Latest eData Deskbook

December 16, 2021

The award-winning Morgan Lewis eData team recently issued the fourth edition of its eData Deskbook, a comprehensive and practical discovery and information governance resource. The 2021 Deskbook features matter-of-fact guidance for all lawyers and discovery managers responsible for litigation and information governance and includes tips and best practices for addressing some of the most challenging aspects of managing complex discovery across all stages of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

Here, Deskbook author and founder of the firm’s pioneer eData practice, Tess Blair, discusses the latest iteration of the go-to guide.

What important developments have occurred since the publication of the third edition of the eData Deskbook that make the 2021 update essential reading for legal practitioners?

From a privacy perspective, mainly the passage and implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act, in addition to the creation of a host of other data privacy regimes and regulations across the world, including state-specific laws in the United States.

The newest edition of the eData Deskbook includes a standalone chapter on data privacy and protection. Why was it important to dedicate a full chapter to privacy considerations and recommendations in the 2021 update?

Increased connectivity has driven a proliferation of international data that is now subject to an array of data protection and privacy laws. Defining privacy rights in relation to this proliferated data has often lagged behind need. For example, the US has had limited federal data protection laws, and individual states are only recently transitioning to add data privacy rights. This change has followed the passage of the GDPR, which includes both data protection and data privacy requirements on a comprehensive level. While individual countries typically regulate these issues, there are also multilateral organizations that impose private standards.

The variations in each of these regulatory regimes poses an evolving problem for legal practitioners negotiating the obligation to protect data privacy rights while complying with the demands of discovery and disclosure in litigation. The updated Deskbook pulls all of these regulations, and their implications, into one place for readers, from the effects of Schrems II on cross-border transfers to the federal and US state business and labor laws aimed at protecting privacy.

We often hear that the more things change, the more they stay the same. What makes the eData Deskbook a perennial resource for legal practitioners?

That’s mostly true in terms of the case law we highlight in this latest iteration of our Deskbook. To put it simply, it’s technology and the connectedness it enables that has changed and continues to change, which subsequently affect the legal issues at play—what they are and how we can address them.

Request a copy of the 2021 eData Deskbook.