Catholic University Law Review


Little is known about discovery costs in civil litigation, particularly in regard to preservation—the duty to preserve relevant information when litigation is reasonably anticipated. This article is one of the first to present and analyze empirical evidence on the nature and costs of preservation and discovery. Using this data, the author proposes three new metaphors for civil litigation: the discovery sombrero, the preservation iceberg, and the long tail of litigation costs. These metaphors help demonstrate the sometimes surprising ways that the Erie doctrine, the role of technology in litigation, and the Federal Rules’ commitment to transsubstantivity interact with current challenges for the law governing preservation and discovery.