The Untold Story of My Quest for Justice
Authored by Laura A. Zubulake
During the years 2002 through 2005, I made a series of decisions that not only altered my life, but also inspired historic changes to the practice of law and influenced the way in which organizations manage information. I became the plaintiff to a litigation that has become one of the most written-about federal cases in history. The voice of the plaintiff, particularly the plaintiff in a litigation with far-reaching consequences, is rarely heard. Zubulake's e-Discovery: The Untold Story of my Quest for Justice is my story.
In one of the most difficult professional decisions I would ever make, I filed employment-related claims against my former employer, a multi-billion-dollar Wall Street firm. My case ("Zubulake") came to be about much more than the allegations. It was a classic David versus Goliath story: a multi-year dispute pitting an individual against a financial giant. Culminating at trial, the confrontation was unusual on Wall Street where management seldom airs internal matters in public. Resulting in a notable verdict, it was one of, if not the largest jury awards in the United States for a single plaintiff in an employment discrimination suit. Establishing the foundation for standards and seminal in the evolution of discovery, Zubulake became renowned. Years I spent searching for electronic evidence that I was led to believe did not exist resulted in the issuance of landmark legal opinions. Known as the Zubulake opinions, they established precedents in the area of electronic discovery ("e-discovery"). Considered the first definitive case in the United States concerning a range of e-discovery issues, it influenced the 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
E-discovery has grown into a multi-billion-dollar business and is one of the fastest-growing legal specialties. E-discovery has changed the way in which an organization creates, manages, preserves, uses, and disposes of electronically stored information. It concerns management's ability to achieve corporate goals and to control the exponentially-increasing costs and risks associated with the growth of digital information.
Zubulake's e-Discovery explores the factual underpinnings that caused the establishment of legal and professional precedents. It is an analysis of the strategies I considered and the decisions I made about what happened to me and the resulting judicial rulings that changed the discovery phase of litigation. Zubulake's e-Discovery is written from the plaintiff's perspective - my perspective. I am a businessperson, not an attorney. The version of events and opinions expressed are portrayed by me from facts and circumstances as I perceived them. The purpose of my book is to educate and inform readers and provide them with a general overview of the topics discussed. It is my hope and intention that by exploring my failures and successes, and understanding the risks I assumed, the reader may learn from my mistakes and benefit from my experiences.
To become familiar with e-discovery requires, at a minimum, a reading of the Zubulake opinions. To appreciate e-discovery requires knowledge of how those opinions came to be. Zubulake's e-Discovery: The Untold Story of my Quest for Justice explains what really happened and how I did what I did. It is a story about perseverance, vindication, accountability, and justice.
Jul 17 2012
0985064005 / 9780985064006
Laura Zubulake is a member of the Board of Governors of OLP.
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