To the Merits, At Last: Judge Peck Recusal is Denied

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Thought Leadership Team


Ediscovery case law enthusiasts, gather ‘round – thanks to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Da Silva Moore recusal “sideshow” is finally dead in the water.

As first reported earlier today by the friendly folks at IT-Lex, on April 10, 2013 in an order of notable brevity, Judge Jane A. Restani denied the petitioners’ request for th recusal of Judge Andrew J. Peck, stating simply that: “Petitioners have not ‘clearly and indisputably demonstrate[d] that [Magistrate Judge Peck] abused [his] discretion’ in denying their district court recusal motion… or that the district court erred in overruling their objection to that decision."

At last, the ediscovery community is free of this distracting drama. Cue the music!

Da Silva Moore's Affect on Ediscovery

The recusal motions that clouded Da Silva Moore created nothing but distraction. Judges, lawyers and providers in the legal ediscovery industry are just as connected as the clients we serve. In ediscovery's constant state of change, it's important to remember that ideas precede growth – that leaving room for objective, non-confidential commentary and brainstorming in publications and at conferences is not only appropriate, but imperative for the development of standards, best practices and new technology innovations. Hopefully this short and succinct opinion from the Second Circuit is a clear call that our community's focus should lie in progressing substantive ediscovery law and practices, not discord and frivolity.

Personally, I look forward to the future of ediscovery jurisprudence from Judge Peck. Like my Kindergarten teacher or childhood dentist, I never want to see him retire. A true trailblazer, in 1995, Judge Peck issued one of the first cases to order the discovery of electronic data (Anti-Monopoly, Inc. v. Hasbro, Inc.), and in 2012 he paved the way for cutting-edge machine learning technology to be used in legal document review through the Da Silva Moore case. What’s next? I can’t wait to discuss more about it with Judge Peck, Ralph Losey, and everyone else in this exceptional legal technology community.