The Sedona Principles, Third Edition: Essential Reading for eDiscovery Professionals
Think back to discovery in 2003. Those of us practicing back then remember the legions of law firm associates working long days, surrounded by banker’s boxes filled with client documents awaiting review. Discovery and review of what we now call electronically stored information (ESI) was conducted, but it was clear the ESI floodgates were opening and something had to give.
That same year, I was practicing law in Phoenix, AZ, and a new white paper on eDiscovery caught my eye, simply because of the title: The Sedona Principles. Sedona, AZ was known more for its red rock canyons than for a vision of how to conduct eDiscovery. What were these important eDiscovery principles coming out of a resort town?
It turns out that several years prior, a successful attorney and entrepreneur from Minnesota made his way to Sedona. Never one to sit idle, Richard Braman – the visionary founder of what would become The Sedona Conference® – convened a dialogue group that produced, as its first work product, the original Sedona Principles. The group’s goal of “moving the law forward in a reasoned and just way” remains the mission statement of the Conference to this day.
It can’t be overstated how influential The Sedona Principles and many of the Conference’s subsequent publications have been among both judges and practitioners. Zach Warren, editor-in-chief of ALM’s Legaltech News, stated it well: “[o]utside of guiding rules of evidence and procedure, the Sedona Principles are perhaps the most often-cited guidelines for handling [ESI] today.” (Read his feature article here.)
Fast forward to 2017, and the third edition of The Sedona Principles is as welcome as the original edition released 14 years ago. The latest edition continues with 14 principles and revisions and additions throughout, especially in the commentary sections. New material addressing proportionality, cooperation in the eDiscovery process, and emerging technologies brings the Principles nicely up to date.
Grab a copy for yourself here, and take the time to read it. Whether you are preparing for a Rule 26(f) conference with opposing counsel, looking for ways to bolster your eDiscovery arguments before a court, or bringing eDiscovery efficiencies to your clients, you’ll be glad you did.
Christopher M. Schultz serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Level 2 Legal Solutions. In addition to serving as the chief legal officer, Mr. Schultz helps coordinate all aspects of the company’s managed review and corporate compliance projects. He also leads engagement teams assisting clients with a full range of electronic discovery and litigation readiness projects. In addition, Mr. Schultz is available to provide clients with expert testimony and special discovery master services. A dynamic speaker with more than five years of college-level teaching experience, Mr. Schultz is a frequent presenter of continuing legal education and other seminars concerning eDiscovery.
Contact Chris to learn more about how and why Level 2 Legal supports the work of The Sedona Conference® and how this work adds value to the clients we are privileged to serve.