Working Group 1 Virtual Town Hall on Rule 26(f)

Date: 
Thursday, July 11, 2024 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Online (Zoom)

Time: 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT (adjust the start time accordingly, based on your time zone).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) mandates that the parties, among other things, discuss "any issues about disclosure, discovery, or preservation of electronically stored information, including the form or forms in which it should be produced.” The Advisory Committee notes to the Rule’s 2006 amendment provide examples for discussion, including topics for discovery, the time period for which discovery will be sought, the identity of various ESI sources, whether a party maintains that any information is not reasonably accessible, and the form of production. Rule 37(f) provides for sanctions for failure to participate in good faith in developing and submitting a proposed discovery plan as required by Rule 26(f). Sedona Principle 3 further supports the goal and intent of Rule 26(f): “As soon as practicable, parties should confer and seek to reach agreement regarding the preservation and production of electronically stored information.”

 This Town Hall will bring together a panel of legal professionals from varied perspectives for a discussion on the following questions as they relate to 26(f):

  • How are parties complying with Rule 26(f) when it comes to discussing any issues regarding any issues about disclosure, discovery, or preservation of ESI, including the form or forms in which it should be produced;
  • What level of specificity is expected during a 26(f) discussion with regard to disclosure, discovery, or preservation of ESI;
  • Whether parties are discussing ESI sources, custodians, and temporal periods during 26(f) conferences as recommended by the Committee notes and Sedona Principle 3; 
  • Whether counsel are appropriately familiarizing themselves with their client’s information systems prior to the Rule 26(f) conference as recommended in the Committee notes;
  • Whether jurisdictions with Local Rules or court guidelines that specifically address Rule 26(f) discussions make those discussions more meaningful; 
  • Whether courts are using Rule 37(f) to ensure meaningful Rule 26(f) discussions about ESI; and 
  • Should Rule 26(f) be amended to provide more detail regarding what should be discussed at a 26(f) conference as it relates to ESI.

The Town Hall will begin with an overview discussion among our dialogue leaders. Participants will then have an opportunity to discuss and brainstorm on the topic both collectively and in smaller breakout sessions. Takeaways and action items will be noted and shared with all to inform the ongoing mission of WG1 and guide its future publication projects.

Participation is free to all current Working Group Series members, but advance registration is required. Registrants will receive a Zoom invitation and instructions two days before the event.

Panelists

Tousley Brain Stephens

Seattle, WA, USA

US District Court - Northern District of California

San Francisco, CA USA

Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Washington, DC, USA

Google

Denver, CO, USA

EEOC

Washington, DC, USA