Taking on the Challenges
In many ways our world is growing smaller with the growth of technology. Expanding public access to information creates many new challenges for legal professionals. The Sedona Conference® and EDRM were formed to bring together legal and electronic discovery industry leaders to address challenges such as this. These entities bring together the experience and expertise of those most often at the cutting edge, so that the whole might benefit in the new pathways created of thought and practice: bench, bar and vendor community alike.
The Sedona Conference®
The Sedona Conference® enables those well versed in evolving laws and court decisions to meet and have true dialogue in an effort to move the laws that impact discovery forward in a well reasoned and effective way. Sedona work groups compile publications that invite continuing discussion of the matters at hand. The Sedona Principles were authored to address electronic document production and continue to be a work in progress. From the many Sedona publications can be drawn forward-looking principles, guidelines and best practices.
The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a collaborative effort by e-discovery experts, attorneys, vendors and corporate end users. Since its inception in 2005, more than 125 organizations, and countless individuals, have worked together to develop model industry standards to improve the electronic discovery process for everyone involved. EDRM continues to evolve through its many projects, which are managed by working groups. Each group sets goals and timelines for deliverables that will impact the model’s framework. The model attempts to offer a common, flexible and definable framework for the development, selection, evaluation and use of electronic discovery products and services. The first iteration of the model was placed in the public domain in May 2006, which continues to be a work in progress.
What Each of These Offers
Access to at issue and useful electronically stored information (ESI) drives the need for defining e-discovery. Litigants communicate electronically and without borders; through email dialogue, completing online forms, following and posting social network commentary, etc. Within this plethora of global communications, third parties are becoming increasingly involved when litigation makes their data at issue. Anyone involved in litigation should educate themselves on the subject of electronic discovery to empower themselves with questions to ask and anticipate what will be expected of them. The Sedona Conference® publications are a great source for background, history, court decisions and litigator take-aways. Often addressed are the importance of diligence in data storage, what types of documents are likely to be at issue and how long electronically stored information should be kept. EDRM offers guidelines, definitions and frameworks for each task at hand, as defined in the model; including tools or services that may be utilized to mitigate risk and control costs.
But, Which is More Important?
The answer is both, in differing ways. Where The Sedona Conference® tends to focus its efforts on the impact of ESI in the law, EDRM tends to focus its efforts on the management of ESI in practice. One does not exclude the other and certainly the goals and work product of each are crucial to effectively managing the evolving discovery process. At Advanced Discovery, we follow the work of The Sedona Conference and actively support EDRM through individual involvement, because we know how important each is to our clients and to our industry as a whole. Utilizing effective e-discovery management processes, in addition to the tools and platforms we offer, ensures your ESI will be handled in a cost effective, timely and defensible manner.