ESI Guidelines for the Bankruptcy Case: The ABA’s Electronic Discovery in Bankruptcy Working Group Issues Interim Report

Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were updated in 2006 specifically to deal with electronically stored information (“ESI”), Bankruptcy Courts and Bankruptcy practitioners have had little bankruptcy-specific guidelines for managing ESI and electronic discovery issues. As a result, the ABA commissioned the Electronic Discovery (ESI) in Bankruptcy Working Group “to study and prepare guidelines or a best practices report on the scope and timing of a party’s obligation to preserve [ESI] in bankruptcy cases.” On March 15, 2012, the Working Group published their interim report on ESI in bankruptcy cases in an effort to invite and stimulate comments from a wider audience regarding how ESI issues should be handled in (i) large Chapter 11 cases; (ii) middle market and smaller Chapter 11 cases; and (iii) Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.