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by Vault Law Editors | June 10, 2010

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In its investigation of the 2008 financial meltdown, the Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) subpoenaed Goldman Sachs for details on sales of CDOs, names of clients, and a list of documents the firm provided to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Sure enough, the FCIC found itself on the receiving end of one of BigLitigation’s signature moves: the passive-aggressive, insanely over-inclusive document dump. In this case: 2.5 .

Phil Angelides, chairman of the FCIC, furiously mixed metaphors in decrying the tactic: “We did not ask them to pull up a dump truck to our offices to dump a bunch of rubbish” … [T]his has been a very deliberate effort over time to run out the clock … We should not be forced to play, 'Where's Waldo?' on behalf of the American people.”

Figurative dump trucks aside, surely the “documents” are overwhelmingly in the form of “Electronically Stored Information” (ESI).  Meaning, unless the FCIC can force Goldman to winnow down the documents, the FCIC will find itself in the brave new world of large-scale e-discovery, the forensic search among ESI.

Some recommended reading on e-discovery:

•     An interesting take from Akermann partner Ralph Losey: The Trials and Tribble-ations of the Data Deluge. (Yes, nerds, he compares data to tribbles.)

•     E-Discovery: A Litigator’s Perspective

•     Electronic Discovery 101 - From ESI to the EDRM (slideshow)

-posted by brian

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