Duke Law acquires e-discovery standards organization EDRM

August 24, 2016Duke Law News

Illustration of computer with scales of justice, cloud computing, and technology icons

Duke Law School has acquired EDRM, the leading standards organization for the e-discovery market.

The move will provide resources to expand the involvement of Duke Law’s Center for Judicial Studies in electronic discovery and information governance in support of its mission to promote better understanding of the judicial process and generate ideas for improving the administration of justice. Founded in 2005, EDRM provides resources to improve e-discovery and information governance, including standards, best practices, tools, guides, and test data sets.

“This agreement sets the stage for an expansion of EDRM’s efforts in industry education and standards,” said Dean David F. Levi. “E-discovery is a major component of today’s litigation practice, and EDRM provides valuable resources to educate not only experienced practitioners, but also law students and new lawyers about practical discovery problems they will encounter.

“This acquisition is also an important step in Duke’s continued efforts to bring together the judiciary, legal practitioners, educators, and government organizations to advance the understanding of the judicial process and improve the complex processes in the administration of justice.”

Duke Law’s Center for Judicial Studies works to advance the study of the judiciary through interdisciplinary scholarship and cooperative thinking from multiple perspectives. By bringing together judges, researchers, teachers, and theorists, the center fosters an interdisciplinary exploration of the judicial process in order to help both judges and scholars better understand the judicial process and to generate ideas for how it might be improved.

Since its founding in 2011, the center has taken a national leadership role in addressing problems caused by e-discovery. It has hosted conferences on e-discovery, covered the topic in its quarterly journal, Judicature, and last year published Guidelines and Practices Implementing the Discovery Proportionality Amendments. With the ABA Litigation Section, the center held roadshows in 17 cities, engaging more than 2,500 lawyers and judges in a national conversation about the amendments.

Said George Socha, co-founder of EDRM: “We are proud of the significant impact EDRM has made on education and practices in electronic discovery and information governance since 2005. The achievements of EDRM are a direct result of the hard work of many legal and technology practitioners whose efforts and expertise have improved e-discovery and information governance practices and ultimately the judicial process.

“We are excited that this arrangement will provide the growing EDRM community – working groups, sponsors, providers and legal professionals – a connection with a greatly admired and respected organization. I am personally excited about the opportunity to work with the Center for Judicial Studies staff at Duke.”

Socha will remain with EDRM after the acquisition. EDRM co-founder Gelbmann plans to work with Duke Law for the transition of EDRM programs and will retire later this year.

Said Levi: “We are fortunate that Tom Hnatowski, former chief of the Magistrate Judges Division of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, agreed to join the Center for Judicial Studies to manage day-to-day operations running EDRM. Tom brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to the improvement of the administration of justice with his many years working with U.S. magistrate judges, the front-line judicial officers who handle discovery issues on a daily basis.”