William P. Butterfield Award for Excellence in eDiscovery Writing

The Sedona Conference and Hausfeld, LLP are pleased to announce the William P. Butterfield Award for Excellence in eDiscovery Writing. The Award will be presented annually to the winner of a writing competition held to recognize and incentivize innovative legal thinking and technical solutions that advance the field of eDiscovery and promote cooperation, collaboration and efficiency in eDiscovery.


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1. Introduction:

William P. Butterfield was an outstanding and accomplished lawyer, who served as an advocate, teacher, and scholar. Bill's passion for problem solving in large cases and creating out-of-the-box solutions led to his pioneering work as a thought-leader and practitioner in the field of eDiscovery. He was a long-time devoted member and past Chair of The Sedona Conference Working Group 1 Steering Committee, toiling tirelessly to advance sensible and innovative eDiscovery solutions that fostered the truth-seeking goals of discovery. Bill had an unwavering commitment to cooperation as the key to preventing disruptive discovery disputes, reducing costs, fostering professionalism and collegiality, and, foremost, uncovering the truth. Though a prolific writer, he is best known as the Editor-in-Chief of The Sedona Conference's manifesto, The Case for Cooperation, 10 Sedona Conf. J. 339 (2009 Supp.), for cooperative, collaborative, and efficient discovery. Bill was also a steadfast proponent of the appropriate use of technology in eDiscovery and was an early advocate of technology assisted review as an effective alternative to dated search methodologies, urging transparency and cooperation to foster its adoption. In this digital age, he was always looking for the next solution - whether procedural, legal or technical - to advance the field of eDiscovery and the practice of law.

To ensure Bill's legacy lives on and his contributions to legal practice are recognized for generations to come, The Sedona Conference and Hausfeld LLP have created the William P. Butterfield Award for Excellence in eDiscovery Writing. The Sedona Conference and Hausfeld LLP intend for this Award to recognize and incentivize innovative legal thinking and technical solutions that advance the principles Bill so strongly embraced.

2. Writing Competition:

This is an annual writing competition open to scholars, legal practitioners and law students, technologists, and others to encourage the advancement of the law and technology of eDiscovery and to promote the principle of cooperation. Papers submitted may present innovative technical or legal solutions or proposals, quantitative or qualitative research, or other topics that advance the field of eDiscovery or promote cooperation in discovery. Papers may be of a theoretical, legal, or technical nature. Papers should not be advocacy pieces expressing or promoting policy or litigation outcome preferences of one or the other side of the "v," nor should they serve as a promotional tool for commercially available products. Instead, papers should focus on research and solutions that promote a balanced, truth seeking approach to discovery, to which Bill was dedicated. Technical pieces (for example, advancing innovative technologies for eDiscovery) should be written in plain language, with an eye toward nontechnical practitioner and judicial audiences. Papers submitted may not have been previously accepted for publication by another journal if the author seeks publication in The Sedona Conference Journal as part of the Award. Entrants submitting previously published papers shall so note with their submission.

3. Selection Process:

Submitted papers will be judged by a balanced panel composed of academics and practitioners in the field of eDiscovery, including representatives of The Sedona Conference and Hausfeld LLP.

4. Award:

The winner of the competition will be recognized in a news release announcing the Award, receive a $10,000 cash award from Hausfeld LLP and, at the option of the winner and The Sedona Conference, have his or her winning paper published in the next volume of The Sedona Conference Journal.

5. Submissions:

The 2019 deadline for submissions is June 1, 2019. The winner will be announced before 2019 year's end. Paper submissions may be emailed to Butterfield_Award@sedonaconference.org on or before the deadline of June 1, 2019.