close
  • Nov 03, 2010Margaret Raymond-Flood Speaks on Electronic Discovery


    November 3, 2010

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A.
    721 Route 202-206
    P.O. Box 5933
    Bridgewater, NJ 08807-5933
    Contact: Edward C. Miller, Jr.
    Chief Marketing Officer
    (908) 722-0700 x4224

    Margaret Raymond-Flood Speaks on Electronic Discovery

    Bridgewater, NJ (November 3, 2010) – Margaret Raymond-Flood, a Member of the Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A. and a Co-Chair of the firm’s Response to Electronic Discovery and Information (“REDI”) Group, was one of the speakers at a program entitled “Nuts and Bolts of E-Discovery” hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE). The program was held on Friday, September 24, 2010, at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, and, again, on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at The Westin Mount Laurel, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.

    This program, designed for litigators, new lawyers, general practitioners, paralegals and support staff, covered the requirements any member of a litigating team, including both lawyers and paralegals, must be aware of when dealing with e-discovery issues. The panel discussed amendments to the federal and state court rules addressing e-discovery now in effect and their impact on the management and retrieval of electronically stored information. Some of the e-discovery issues the panel addressed included understanding terms of e-discovery, recent cases and trends, privilege issues, proportionality, and cost-shifting.

    Raymond-Flood, a resident of Ringoes, devotes her practice to general litigation with an emphasis on complex commercial matters. As Co-Chair to the REDI Group, she contributes her extensive knowledge of litigation to the interdisciplinary team, helping clients with the identification, preservation, collection, review, and production of massive amounts of electronically stored information required by new federal and state court rules. She has appeared in the federal and state courts of New Jersey, as well as the federal courts of other jurisdictions. She also has considerable experience in the defense of products liability, professional liability claims and insurance claims.

    Raymond-Flood has extensive litigation experience including pretrial procedure, motion practice, and taking and defending depositions of corporate representatives, employees and expert witnesses throughout the country. She has tried several complex matters on both the state and federal levels, and she has used state-of-the-art technology as part of her trial preparation and presentation.

    Raymond-Flood also has unique experience handling cy pres matters where she asks the Court with help interpreting the terms of a will or gift, when carrying out the terms literally would be impracticable or illegal. At the same time, she works to ensure that the general intent of the donor is observed as closely as possible.

    Raymond-Flood is a member of the Somerset County Bar Association, New Jersey Defense Association and Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. She is also on the Board of Trustees for the Hunterdon County YMCA. She is a member of the Meritas Litigation Section Steering Committee, which serves hundreds of members from all over the United States and the world. She served as a coach of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Mock Trial Team for five years. In addition, she has participated as a speaker in seminars dealing with a variety of insurance-related topics and trial presentation.

    Raymond-Flood earned her J.D. in 1991 and her B.A., magna cum laude, in 1988 from Seton Hall University. After graduating law school, Raymond-Flood served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Neil H. Shuster, Presiding Judge of the Mercer County Civil Division in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

    The New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education was created in 1962 to help lawyers and judges increase their general professional competence, keep abreast of developments in the law, and become more proficient in selected areas of practice. A non-profit, completely self-supporting organization, NJICLE is a joint venture of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, and Seton Hall University. NJICLE presents more than 300 seminars each year throughout the State, publishes a wide variety of materials, and administers the Skills and Methods Course on behalf of the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Institute’s lecturers, authors, and advisors are the very best New Jersey attorneys, from both the bench and bar, representing every field of specialization and every type of practice. Their generous contribution of time, talent, and energy makes NJICLE’s high quality programs and publications possible.

    Back To Top

    Posted in: Electronic Discovery ("E-Discovery"), Margaret Raymond-Flood, News |

  • Nov 27, 2007Norris McLaughlin, P.A. Attorney Teaches Course at the 2007 Judicial College

    Latest News

    November 28, 2007

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1018
    Somerville, NJ 08876-1018
    Contact: Edward C. Miller, Jr.
    Chief Marketing Officer
    (908) 722-0700, X-4224

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A.
    Attorneys Teach Course at the
    2007 Judicial College

    SOMERVILLE, NJ – Margaret Raymond-Flood of the Response to Electronic Discovery and Information (“REDI”) Group of the Somerville law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented Electronically Stored Information: Where Technology Meets the LawIf it Hasn’t Been in Your Court Room Yet, It WILL! at the afternoon session of the New Jersey Judicial College on Tuesday, November 20, 2007. They presented along with the Honorable Vincent J. Grasso, A.J.S.C., the Honorable Carol E. Higbee, P.J.Cv., Robert Kleeger, Director of The Intelligence Group, and Stephen L. Stewart, Principal of ESI Strategies, LLC.

    The presentation gave the judges a basic understanding of the technology involved, the expectations and obligations imposed by the amended e-discovery court rules, how to manage and balance e-discovery issues that will inevitably arise in their courtroom no matter what types of cases they typically handle, and the legal and practical ramifications their rulings will have on litigants. The three-hour, interactive, multi-disciplinary seminar was designed specifically for state court judges.

    The Judicial College is part of the Judicial Education Program, which primary goals are to refine the formal training activities for new judges and experienced judges with new assignments, to strengthen and expand continuing education programs for all judges, to develop programs which address the distinct educational needs of judges who work in highly specialized areas of law, and to provide training opportunities which improve public access to and knowledge of the judicial system. The Judicial College provides judges with a wide range of academic programs to keep abreast of developments in the law and judicial administration.

    Margaret Raymond-Flood devotes her practice to general litigation with an emphasis on intellectual property, environmental and contract cases. Raymond-Flood has extensive litigation experience including pretrial procedure, motion practice, and taking and defending depositions of corporate representatives, employees and expert witnesses throughout the country. She has tried complex matters involving electronic discovery on both the state and federal levels, and she has used state-of-the-art technology as part of her trial preparation and presentation. In addition, she lectures nationally about the use of innovative courtroom technology and electronic discovery. Raymond-Flood is a 1991 graduate of Seton Hall University Law School and a 1988 magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University. She served as Law Clerk to Honorable Neil H. Shuster, Presiding Judge of the Mercer County Civil Division in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Raymond-Flood is admitted to the Bar in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey and the U.S. District Court, District of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Somerset County Bar Association.

    For more information on the REDI Group, including articles and upcoming seminars, please visit the website at nmmlaw.com or contact the REDI Group at .

    Posted in: Criminal, Electronic Discovery ("E-Discovery"), Margaret Raymond-Flood, News |

  • May 31, 2007WHY YOUR BUSINESS MAY BE AT RISK . . .

    By: James J. Shrager, Margaret Raymond-Flood, et al.
    June 2007

    Nearly all of the information now being created and stored by businesses is being created and stored electronically. Paper files and multiple versions of hard copy are becoming a thing of the past. It is no wonder that federal and state commissions have amended court rules to recognize this trend, and included new obligations on lawyers and businesses (no matter how big or small) regarding electronically stored information (“ESI”).

    The impact of these new court rules goes far beyond those lawyers and businesses actively involved in a lawsuit; yet businesses continue to remain unprepared to manage these new ESI obligations. In fact, a recent survey found that only 7% of corporate attorneys consider their companies prepared for these new rules.

    The new electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) rules represent the federal and state courts’ first formal attempt to address real-life problems faced by trial lawyers in dealing with rapidly spawning electronic records. These rule amendments require businesses to: (1) understand their technology and keep track of ESI; (2) suspend any routine ESI deletion policies when a lawsuit is anticipated or risk exposure to severe sanctions, and (3) be aware of the new obligations imposed upon them.

    Here are seven of the most common misconceptions businesses have about ESI and E-discovery obligations:

      1. Since we are not presently involved in a lawsuit, there is no need to concern ourselves with these new rules. The reality is that there need not be an active lawsuit or court order in place for there to be an obligation on a business to preserve ESI. Courts recognize that ESI by its nature is prone to loss because computers are repurposed or taken out of commission, backup tapes are reused and sometimes lost, and massive amounts of e-mails are routinely deleted. Also, it can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive to reconstruct lost evidence after a lawsuit is filed. Businesses are held to a heightened obligation to preserve ESI as soon as a lawsuit is “threatened.” In other words, courts require that businesses begin ESI preservation efforts as soon as they can reasonably anticipate a lawsuit. A business that waits to be sued before it begins to collect and preserve relevant data does so at its own peril and at the risk of significant monetary sanctions.
      2. If we were required to save data every time a lawsuit is threatened, our company would be crippled and we’d lose our business. The reality is that the new rules recognize this problem and provide that a party need only preserve relevant ESI. While there is no duty to preserve, keep, or retain every document in your possession, your business is under a duty to segregate and preserve, in a safe place, what it knows or reasonably should know will likely be requested in a foreseeable lawsuit.
      1. We don’t have to worry about these new rules because our lawyers will address any issues that may arise during litigation. The reality is that waiting to be sued before you focus on these ESI obligations is too late and will be more costly in the long run because you simply cannot implement a plan of action after key evidence has been destroyed. You must understand your technology now and create procedures that demonstrate that you have a plan of action to segregate and preserve potentially relevant ESI if a lawsuit were filed. This plan should also include creating an ESI team (comprised of GC, IT, HR, and/or Risk Managers), and notifying and educating employees on what to do when faced with a potential lawsuit.
      1. Even if we were to lose relevant ESI evidence, the loss was accidental and not intended to destroy harmful information; surely a court would understand. The reality is that even accidental or innocent loss of relevant ESI is sanctionable when it could have reasonably been prevented. Courts have sanctioned companies for “innocent” destruction of ESI where there was no ESI preservation plan in place. Courts have compelled businesses to restore lost data. In one instance, it cost a company $9.75 million to restore its lost data. Fortunately, the rules do allow a “safe harbor” that provides limited protection against sanctions for a business’ inability to provide ESI that has been lost due to routine operations of an ESI system. However, this safe harbor is only available to those who lose data during normal operations which is part of a “routine” procedure and done in “good faith.”
      1. Many of our employees work from home and use their own personal computers; therefore, we don’t have to worry about those computers. The reality is that the new rules widen the scope of ESI to include personal home computers, cell phones, copy machines, fax machines, voice-mail, instant messaging, PDAs, websites, flash drives, etc. As long as your employees are working for you, it does not matter where they are located or what device they are using to generate electronic information related to your business. Plus, ESI covers more that just e-mails. Any drawings, writings, charts, spreadsheets, photos, graphs, sound recordings, images, or any other data compilation stored in any medium on these and future devices are subject to the rules; and your business is expected to keep track of it.
      1. Once data is deleted, it’s gone forever. The reality is that in most circumstances, delete does not mean gone forever. Since every electronic document leaves a “fingerprint” behind, chances are that a computer forensics expert can recover the data. That cost may be imposed upon a party who is not covered by the rules’ safe harbors.
    1. We’re too small of a business to have to worry about these changes. The reality is that if you are a business with a computer or any other device that generates electronic data, you are within reach of the new rules.

    The law on e-discovery is so unexplored that even some judges and lawyers are not prepared for the ramifications. Therefore, the rules place a significant premium on knowledge and preparation. Principles of basic fairness, good case management, an understanding of your data and devices, and professional guidance will likely be the hallmarks in these changing times.

    The last place a business wants to be is in court before a judge unprepared for E-discovery issues, and facing severe sanctions. Even worse, a major concern for businesses is that they face the possibility of being innocent of any wrongdoing but may potentially face significant sanctions for “sloppiness” or “ignorance” for failing to fully understand the E-discovery rules and requirements. Because ESI and E-discovery rules present novel and often difficult technical issues, and because those issues are new to businesses, courts and lawyers, early and continual attention to ESI is essential.

    Posted in: Margaret Raymond-Flood |

  • May 22, 2007Norris McLaughlin, P.A. to Host New Jersey State Bar Association’s First-Ever Webinar

    Latest News

    May 23, 2007

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1018
    Somerville, NJ 08876-1018
    Contact: Edward C. Miller, Jr.
    Chief Marketing Officer
    (908) 722-0700, X-4224

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A. to Host
    New Jersey State Bar Association’s
    First-Ever “Webinar”

    SOMERVILLE, NJ – Norris McLaughlin, P.A. is pleased to announce that on June 6, 2007, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m., three of its members will host the New Jersey State Bar Association’s very-first webinar entitled “E-Discovery Federal and State Rule Amendments: What to Expect and How to Prepare,” on behalf of the Products Liability Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. James Shrager will moderate, and Margaret Raymond-Flood will present the webinar with Magna Legal Services consultant Mark Calzaretta.

    The webinar will address the amendments that federal and state judiciaries have made to include new obligations on attorneys and corporate clients regarding electronically-stored information (commonly known as “E-discovery” or “ESI”). These amendments represent the federal and state judiciaries’ first formal attempt to address real-life problems faced by litigators in dealing with rapidly spawning electronic records, require parties to discuss electronically-stored information before discovery begins, provide parties a “safe harbor” from sanctions for destruction of e-data through routine operations, and preserve a privilege claim for electronic information that is inadvertently disclosed during litigation. The amendments bear a broad culpability standard warranting severe sanctions for businesses and attorneys who fail to properly comply.

    Individuals are encouraged to join representatives from Norris McLaughlin, P.A. and Magna Legal Services right from their desktop on June 6th for this web-based video-feed seminar to discuss the amendments to the federal and state rules, technical computer issues raised by the amendments, and the impact that these amendments will have on litigation practitioners.

    For more information or to register, please contact Denise Beninato at 732-937-7537 or visit www.njsba.com.

    Posted in: Electronic Discovery ("E-Discovery"), Margaret Raymond-Flood, News |

Categories