eDiscovery & eEvidence (LAW 5968/6201)

SMU Dedman School of Law

Dallas, Texas

Peter S. Vogel, Adjunct

Fall 2016

(Monday, 9:00 10:40 am)

(101 Florence)

(updated August 4 , 2016)

I. Administrative Materials


Course Description and Objectives

The law affecting the eDiscovery and eEvidence is likely to dramatically change during this semester. Since more than 95% of information is electronic without question every lawsuit has some eDiscovery and eEvidence. This course will prepare students to deal with Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in discovery and trial. Students will learn how the Federal and Texas Rules of Civil Procedures deal with ESI and related Rules of Evidence. We will include working with Information Technology (IT) professionals and General Counsel, records retention policies, litigation hold for ESI, working with ESI consultants, avoiding spoliation of ESI, and ESI admissibility. By the end of the course you will better understand how to participate in discovery of ESI to help clients and the courts.

Syllabus, Text, and Course Materials

There is no casebook, and the Syllabus and links to all materials will be posted on my website http://smu-ediscovery.gardere.com/. Please review this site often as the law will be changing during the semester and I will update with new cases and materials.

Time and Course Requirements

Under the American Bar Association Guidelines each student should spend at least 85 hours in and out of class during the semester for this class. Each student should have completed a civil procedure course, and ideally evidence and constitutional law courses.

Grading and Term Paper

The Term Paper will be 80% of your grade. You are expected to do complete the Term Paper by yourself and comply with the SMU Student Code of Professional Responsibility at all times.

The remaining 20% of your grade will come from your class attendance, course material preparation, classroom participation, and pop quizzes (if any).

The requirements for the Term Paper are as follows:




October 29, 2016

Proposed Term Paper of no more than 1 page outlining the topics to be included.


November 28, 2016

Term Paper of 15 to 20 pages maximum in a law review format.


Class Attendance

Class roll will be taken at each class, and you will not be permitted to turn in a Term Paper with poor class attendance by failing to attend at least 10 classes.

Law School Policies

Disability Accommodations. Students needing academic accommodations for a disability must first be registered with Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) to verify the disability and to establish eligibility for accommodations. Students may call 214-768-1470 or visit www.smu.edu/provost/alec/dass to begin the process. Once registered, students should then provide the letter of accommodation to Assistant Dean Steve Yeager to put accommodations in place in the law school. Accommodations are not retroactive and require advance notice to implement.

Religious Observances. Religiously observant students wishing to be absent on holidays that require missing class should notify their professors in writing at the beginning of the semester, and should discuss with them, in advance, acceptable ways of making up any work missed because of the absence.

Excused Absences for University Extracurricular Activities. Students participating in an officially sanctioned and scheduled University extracurricular activity should be given the opportunity to make up class assignments or other graded assignments missed as a result of their participation. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements with the instructor prior to any missed scheduled examination or other missed assignment for making up the work.

How to Contact Me

Since I do not have an office on campus I encourage you speak to us before or after classes, and if necessary to schedule a time to meet at a mutually convenient time and place. Otherwise you may contact me by phone at 214-999-4422 or by email at pvogel@gardere.com.


I expect the Syllabus to be the main source of material for the course, but when I make assignments to review other cases and materials I expect you to locate these materials on the Internet. You will need to be thoughtful and exercise discretion as to which materials to pay close attention, and what to spend your time reviewing. You may also choose to review related materials, and follow other Internet links that interest you. During classes I will discuss materials from a variety of different perspectives, and I expect each student to be prepared on each assignment.

Although I intend to follow the Syllabus, and will make changes to the Syllabus during the semester as many important cases are likely to be decided during the semester.