Special Discovery Master for a Day: An eDiscovery Writing Challenge
The Bencher—March/April 2019
By Richard K. Herrmann, Esquire
This issue, we offer something different—a friendly competition. Have you ever read an opinion that simply missed the mark or thought you could do better? Here is your opportunity. Courts are appointing special discovery masters in eDiscovery disputes daily.
We offer you the opportunity to give it a go competitively. Using the provided fact pattern, you are challenged to select an interesting discovery dispute, decide it, and complete the opinion. Your opinion should be submitted by email to The Bencher on or before May 31, 2019. Three winners will be selected.
Below is a brief summary of facts in the draft opinion with the entire draft available on our website.
As the Special Discovery Master, you are assigned the task of completing this opinion. Select the eDiscovery issue in dispute, lay it out, and decide it by completing the draft opinion. Please retain the language and style of the draft and do not change the layout or the typeface or type size. The complete opinion may not exceed 10 pages.
Brief Summary of the facts in Grimes v. Psycho Systems, Inc., et al. U.S. District Court for the
3rd Celestial District Case Number 3414
May 1, 2026
The matter relates to an epidemic caused by a man-made virus, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world.
The defendant, Psycho Systems, Inc., is a developer of computer software, designed to modify and control human behavior. That defendant distributed its products in three separate and distinct markets: (1) education; (2) medical; and (3) consumer. The average American spends 7.2 hours a day in front of a computer or television screen. The screen has become an input device into the mind. Psycho Systems designed its products to use the screen as a means to subconsciously communicate with, educate and train the mind.”
Defendant Psycho Systems successfully developed and marketed a series of software programs commonly used in the medical field by psychiatrists and psychologists. These include Psycho Feedback™, Psycho Relaxation™ and Psycho Sublimation™.
Psycho Sublimation™ was the most sophisticated of the medical software. It is sold only to licensed psychiatrists trained in psychotherapy. The purpose of the product is mind control and behavior modification. The program provides the professional with the tools to design a Behavior Modification Plan (BMP) tailored to the dysfunction of the patient. BMP templates contain the structure for a plan of subliminal messaging, which involves transmitting text, pictorial, or electrical suggestions to the subconscious.
The contribution that Psycho Sublimation™ made to the medical profession was so great, on November 2, 2020, the defendant American Psychiatric Association declared Psycho Sublimation™ to be the “greatest advance of the Millennium”.
The American Psychiatric Association’s award had an incredible impact on the sale of Defendant Psycho Systems’ consumer products. Demand soared, particularly for the “Smoke Free” and “Pounds Free” products. By 2021, “Smoke Free” and “Pounds Free” were available in more than a dozen languages. The world was clearly trimmer and healthier because of Defendant Psycho Systems. Obesity had been conquered and the tobacco companies were driven to extinction. Defendant Psycho Systems enjoyed much success.
On February 26, 2022, the epidemic, upon which this litigation is based, began—all over the world, and it continued for weeks. People were killing themselves. The suicides were all the same—death by carbon monoxide asphyxiation. The epidemic did not discriminate. All ages, colors, and creeds were affected. Most of the deaths occurred as single incidents, although many couples and family suicides were reported. In all cases, the victims had cars and garages. As of March 12, 2022, more than 150,000 lives were lost in the United States alone. All of the deaths were apparent suicides; all of the deaths occurred in closed garages and were caused by carbon monoxide asphyxiation. In all cases, no suicide notes were left.
Scans of the computers and digital TVs determined that all contained the same pirated version of Defendant Psycho Systems’ Pounds Free™ software.
The entire draft may be found on this website. Good Luck!