Snakes and Ladders

By | 1st August 2013


As this post is the 300th posted by me since we started the Smart E-Discovery blog, I thought all my kind readers had earned a light hearted piece.

From time to time, I have used the image of the children’s game of Snakes and Ladders to illustrate the old way of carrying out litigation. To refresh your memories, refer to A dance to the music of time and Cooperation does not mean Collaboration

Armed with the White Book and preferably fortified by a discussion with one of the formidable managing clerks, whose knowledge of the rules and the intricacies of procedure was unrivalled in law firms of that time, litigators merrily played the game of snakes and ladders with their cases. You played the rules to win. Sometimes you did and up the ladder you went, and sometimes you did not, and down the snake you came!

Always this was carried out without any prior discussion, let alone consultation, with the lawyers for the other parties, who may well have been disconcerted as a result, and often they were! After all, that was the game!

We all know that things are different today and that consultation and conferences are the order of the day, where cards are placed on the table and the courts order the way forward in order to achieve the overriding objective of proportionality and “the best way forward.”

But before I leave Snakes and Ladders and because it neatly fits in with the current way of doing things, I thought I would share with you a cartoon by Tom Fishburne called E-Discovery Chutes and Ladders (the US version of my game demonstrating once more that we and the US are divided by a common language), published in the blog of ESI Attorneys LLC. (For the rule 26(f) conference, read the CMC in England and Wales).

eDiscovery Chutes & Ladders:  A Comedy

As my US friends will say, enjoy! And, if you have been, thanks for reading!!