PREFACE

These Resources are the product of a collaborative effort initiated by Working Group 1 of The Sedona Conference® in September of 2008, with the active participation of state and federal judges. Early drafts of the Resources were presented at annual and midyear meetings of Working Group 1. Comments were also received at programs sponsored by a variety of courts and judicial education organizations, including the Federal Judicial Center, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the American College of Business Court Judges, and the New York State Judicial Institute.

The editors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Working Group 1 members that led to the initial draft of the Resources, including Craig Ball, Bobbi Basile, Theresa Beaumont, Debra Bernard, Judge John Carroll (ret.), Cecilia R. Dickson, Judge Herbert Dixon, Paul Doyle, Laura Ellsworth, Sean Gallagher, Sherry Harris, Theodore Hirt, Jerami Kemnitz, David Kessler, Shannon Kirk, Michael Leonard, Judge James D. Lovett, Vivian Polak, Judge James Rosenbaum, John Rosenthal, Ira Rothken, Judge Ben Tennille, and Judge David Waxse.

In drafting this publication, the drafting team had the following vision, mission, and goal in mind:

Vision

The Sedona Conference® Cooperation Proclamation provides the overall vision for the Resources – the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of legal disputes on the merits facilitated by cooperative, collaborative, and transparent discovery, electronic or conventional.

Mission

The Resources are intended to assemble and promote a variety of proven judicial management tools to help parties develop and execute appropriate, cost-effective, cooperative discovery plans; avoid unnecessary discovery disputes; and resolve discovery disputes that may arise in a fair and expeditious manner.

Goal

The Resources will be posted on an interactive website for judges to view, comment on, and contribute to over time. The Resources:

  • Articulate a clear judicial philosophy of case management and discovery dispute resolution

  • Identify the stages of civil litigation when judicial involvement is most appropriate or desirable

  • Identify the issues that a judge is likely to face at each stage

  • Suggest strategies for case management or dispute resolution that encourage the parties, whenever possible, to reach a cooperative solution at each stage

  • Recommend further reading on the issues presented at each stage

The Resources are not intended to be authoritative. Rather, the Resources identify issues that federal and state judges may confront in the management of civil actions that involve electronic information and suggest strategies. The Resources also provide, in some instances, sample forms of orders that illustrate approaches taken by specific judges to those issues in specific actions. Moreover, the Resources include non-exhaustive references to written materials that judges may wish to consult. With the exception of The Sedona Conference® Working Group Series publications, no referenced forms, or other materials are endorsed by the Resource’s authors, editors, or contributors. Moreover, judges should exercise caution in the incorporation of any provisions of the referenced orders. Each action calls for individualized assessment of facts and law, and independent resolution of the issues presented.

The Resources were revised in the summer of 2012 to add additional sections and include more case citations. Moreover, a stand-alone document (the Addendum) has been created to include references to various articles authored by attorneys and have not been subject to peer review.

It is intended that these Resources will become an interactive, online forum for state and federal judges to exchange ideas on active case management, particularly for cases involving complex discovery-related issues. Throughout this publication you will find invitations to add links to valuable background information, illustrative court opinions, sample orders, etc. Please send all such contributions to Senior Editors Kenneth J. Withers, [email protected] and Ron Hedges, [email protected]

Richard G. Braman
Board Chair
The Sedona Conference®
October 2012