Enabling Information Cooperation in eDiscovery

Last fall, reacting to what they termed “an unprecedented crisis” in the litigation arena, the Sedona Conference issued their Cooperation Proclamation (SCP) stating that: “The costs associated with adversarial conduct in pre-trial discovery have become a serious burden to the American judicial system. This burden rises significantly in discovery of electronically stored information (”ESI”). In addition to rising monetary costs, courts have seen escalating motion practice, overreaching, obstruction, and extensive, but unproductive discovery disputes – in some cases precluding adjudication on the merits altogether – when parties treat the discovery process in an adversarial manner. Neither law nor logic compels these outcomes.” 

Paragraph 2 of the SCP states:  “With this Proclamation, The Sedona Conference® launches a national drive to promote open and forthright information sharing, dialogue (internal and external), training, and the development of practical tools to facilitate cooperative, collaborative, transparent discovery.  This Proclamation challenges the bar to achieve these goals and refocus litigation toward the substantive resolution of legal disputes.”  

It seems to me we need more discussion about those “practical tools” which will then push the ability to cooperate.  In our discussions on the docNative Paradigm, there has been a tendency to focus on e-discovery technology more than the actual discovery process. But the process itself is under scrutiny from the judges who must deal with it and they are offering some interesting observations about what they want. 

I’ll be discussing those observations, and more, with Chuck Kellner, the  Vice President of eDiscovery Consulting at Anacomp, in a webinar on June 23, just on the eve of LegalTech West in Los Angeles. You can register for the webinar on the Anacomp web site or come by and see us in the exhibit hall at LegalTech.  We’d love to hear your comments on this ongoing issue.

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