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Gilded Age Electronic Discovery

Attorneys have been using technology to send business communications for far longer than computers and emails have been around. The Martindale Directory of 1900 contains a record of how lawyers of the Gilded Age used the technology of the day to efficiently send messages about business transactions. At the beginning of the directory is a list of cipher codes used in telegrams. Presumably, these codes allowed lawyers and their clients to communicate with a measure of confidentiality and for a cheaper per letter/word cost.

If a client sent a telegram to an attorney using the word, 'GYMNAST' the message would be, 'Have we power to arrest the party named below on the facts as stated to you?' The code HEDONIC was a direction by an attorney meaning, "Send at once full name of each member of your firm, or if you are corporation, give name of State in which you were incorporated. This we need in matter of your claim against . . .". '

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