On January 21, 2010, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear public comment regarding proposed amendments to the state rules of civil procedure to include specific provisions regarding discovery of electronically stored information. According to the Court's Order, the hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the State Capitol in Madison.
Although this will be the first public hearing before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, it will not be the first time members of the public have had the opportunity to comment on the proposed rules.
Prior to filing the petition to amend the rules, the Wisconsin Judicial Council sent the proposed amendments to more than 20 organizations and individuals within the business and legal communities, including every section of the State Bar, several associations of trial and family lawyers, the state chief judges, e-discovery consulting firms, the Deans of Marquette and UW-Madison Law Schools, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and others. Less than a handful of those solicited responded, each offering minimal, but positive remarks.
Given the limited feedback the Judicial Council received, it appears unlikely that the public hearing will include any heated debates. However, for those interested in e-discovery in Wisconsin, January 21, 2010 appears to be the time to speak or forever hold your peace.