The Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program issued its Report on Phase One in May 2010, which is available here [Appendix, Report]. The Phase One Report sets forth the results of the survey conducted by the Survey Subcommittee of those who participated in Phase One of the Program.
The Phase One Survey [Appendix, Report], was conducted in February and March 2010 to assess the initial effectiveness of the Principles and gather feedback and information from the lawyers and judges participating in Phase One of the Pilot Program. The Subcommittee received tremendous assistance and support from the Institute for Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver (IAALS), which led the development of the Phase One survey questionnaire and assisted with analysis of the survey results. The FJC administered the survey and provided vital input during the survey questionnaire development process. Given the nature and brief length of the first phase of the Pilot Program, the Phase One Survey was designed to be an evaluation and information-gathering tool, administered through a self-report questionnaire, in order to obtain perceptions of the procedures from the participants in the Program and assess satisfaction with the Principles and processes surrounding the Principles.
To this end, the Survey subcommittee ultimately designed two survey questionnaires for Program participants -- one for attorneys and one for judges. Copies of the survey questionnaires are attached here [Judge Questionnaire, Attorney Questionnaire]. Beginning on February 16, 2010, the Phase One Survey questionnaires were sent by email to the lead counsel listed for each party in the ninety-three (93) cases in the Pilot Program, as well as the thirteen (13) judges of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois who implemented the Principles in those cases. A total of two hundred eighty-five (285) lead attorneys received an email with a link to the Survey; the Survey instructions requested that only one counsel per party respond for each case, and, accordingly, that either the lead attorney or the lawyer on the team with the most knowledge of the ediscovery in the case complete the Survey. Survey questionnaire responses were collected until March 7, 2010. All thirteen (13) judges responded. One hundred and twenty-six (126) attorneys, slightly more than forty-four percent (44%), also responded to questionnaires. The completed questionnaires were then sent by the FJC to the IAALS in Denver for processing and analysis. The results of the Phase One survey were published with the Phase One Report [Appendix, Report] in May 2010.
As the goal of the Seventh Circuit Electronic Pilot Program is service to the public, to the judiciary, to the bar and to the litigants, feedback is important to the Committee. The Committee expects to conduct a survey after each major initiative the Committee undertakes. Surveys are conducted in cooperation with the Federal Judicial Center in Washington DC, which is the educational arm of the United States Courts. In August of 2010, the Survey SubCommittee worked with the FJC to develop and administer a baseline survey of ECF users in the district courts of the Seventh Circuit.. The baseline survey was completed by over 6,000 attorneys and will be utilized and published in connection with the comprehensive survey planned for the end of Phase II in 2012.
For information concerning the activities of the Survey Subcommittee, please contact either of its Co-Chairs.
Thomas M. Staunton
Miller Shakman & Beem
180 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601
SNR Denton US LLP
233 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606