Richard N. Lettieri is an attorney whose practice is limited to the evolving law related to electronic evidence and e-discovery. In this capacity, he advises counsel and their clients on the current law and procedures required to resolve ESI issues early, or address them later in litigation, if necessary.
Mr. Lettieri has been retained by both large and small firms representing both plaintiff and defense counsel, in complex and routine cases involving ESI. Most recently, with the creation of E-Discovery Practices among the AMLAW 1000 largest law firms, Mr. Lettieri has been retained by mid-to-small firms by plaintiff counsel, primarily in labor, employment, and personal injury cases to help "level the ESI playing field" and close the ESI "skill gap" that has emerged between the large firms and the mid-to-small firms. He also continues to be sought by jurists and counsel as an E-Discovery Special Master.
Mr. Lettieri spent seventeen years in a series of technical, consultative and management positions at IBM. While there, as an attorney, he worked with the Litigation Support Organization, then managed a group that shared IBM litigation support solutions and experience with large corporate clients.
During this time Mr. Lettieri published a book for the American Bar Association, "The Corporate Counsel’s Guide to In-House Legal Systems". The book became a roadmap for the development and use of corporate legal systems and established Mr. Lettieri as a legal systems thought-leader, earning for him a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Bar Association in 1991.
Mr. Lettieri left IBM in 1992 to accept a position as a director-level legal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he advised in-house counsel on the use of process improvement techniques to reengineer legal processes. His implementation of lawsuit preventative training, and metrics that he developed for measuring the effectiveness of outside counsel, were two of the innovative approaches that appeared in a series of articles that were published in the Pennsylvania Lawyer in the mid-90’s.
With the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley, Mr. Lettieri worked as a Vice President at ELT, Inc. a division of the Littler law firm, to help corporations use e-learning systems to train corporate employees on legal matters critical to performing their jobs, which led to a measurable reduction in the legal claims made against corporate clients.
In 2004, responding to the challenges caused by the explosion of email and other forms of electronic evidence, Mr. Lettieri returned to litigation. Using his legal and technical knowledge and experience gained over the previous two and a half decades, he began to help lawyers and their clients address electronic evidence and e-discovery issues in litigation, as a Legal Consultant with Kroll Ontrack, the recognized leader in the field.
As an attorney admitted to the bar since 1983, Rick has provided legal advice in complex litigation for over two decades, and has provided electronic evidence and e-discovery legal advice since 2004. In 2009, he founded Lettieri Law Firm, LLC.
Here is a short list of representative legal matters in which Mr. Lettieri has provided legal advice to legal teams in complex litigation matters:
- Appointed by the Court as an E-Discovery Special Master in U.S. Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, in a multi-million dollar, class-action employment/labor suit against a Fortune 500 corporation, Mr. Lettieri mediated an agreement for a complex search protocol between the parties at minimal cost to the parties and minimal delay to the court.
- Joining a corporate defense litigation team after the Rule 26(f) Report to the Court had already been filed, Mr. Lettieri quickly assessed the e-discovery shortcomings of his client, suggested immediate corrective action, and made additional recommendations to strengthen and improve the preservation, collection and production of documents to opposing counsel, helping the client successfully fulfill their e-discovery obligations at minimum cost and exposure.
- Conducted multiple 30(b)(6) depositions of information technology (IT) personnel to pinpoint the location of potentially relevant data to ensure proper preservation, collection and production.
- Negotiated and drafted the ESI Search Protocol (ESI Document Requests) in an employment law case with counsel from an AMLAW 200 firm, to outline the preservation, collection, filtering, processing, review and production protocols and timeframes.
- Successfully argued for the need to produce documents in native format to include metadata in a personal injury matter, when opposing counsel at the Rule 26(f) “meet & confer” outlined their intent to withhold metadata by downgrading the format of documents kept in the normal course of business.
- Assisted counsel in negotiating, then preparing a well-crafted Rule 26(f) report to advise the court on those e-discovery issues agreed by the parties and those requiring the aid of the court to resolve in an IP dispute for a major manufacturing firm.
- Helped corporate counsel successfully draft and execute an improved litigation hold and collection procedures designed to help a large electronics manufacturer overcome claims of evidence spoliation in a major IP litigation.
- Working with outside counsel, assembled a team of computer forensic experts to investigate the circumstances surrounding the departure of a key executive from a major manufacturer. The results of the computer forensic investigation were critical in supporting the legal claim that trade secrets had been misappropriated.
- While assisting counsel in preparation for 30(b)(6) depositions, created a list of detailed questions that helped counsel uncover potentially relevant evidence that had been overlooked in an employment matter for a large financial institution.
- On multiple occasions, advised an attorney and his/her client throughout the Rule 26(f) “meet and confer” process from pre-conference discussions with the attorney, the client’s IT staff, and opposing counsel; through the Rule 26(f) meeting to include discussions and negotiations with opposing counsel to determine all critical ESI issues. Then, finalized the section of the report to the court involving ESI issues.
- Successfully defended claims of an inappropriate keyword search approach in a major products liability litigation. This effort involved a thorough evaluation of multiple search methodologies and the selection of the most appropriate; careful selection of qualified IT and legal search personnel; selection of a means to evaluate the effectiveness of each keyword search; and an evaluation of linguistic, statistical and information retrieval experts to join the legal team to ensure optimum recall and precision of relevant documents.
A.B. Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.
M.A. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa.
J.D. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Mr. Lettieri served as a U.S. Army Officer with the Sixth Armored Cavalry and the First Battalion, 73rd Armor, 2nd Infantry Division, earning the Army Commendation Medal for his service in the Republic of South Korea.