Sedona Conference Announces Publication and Webinar

Kenneth J. Withers, Deputy Executive Director of the Sedona Conference is pleased to share this announcement of interest to NASJE members and court personnel around the country.

The Sedona Conference is pleased to announce the publication of The Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation: Resources for the Judiciary, Third Edition (“Judicial Resources”). This publication, available free for individual download, provides state and federal trial judges with a comprehensive but easy-to-follow guide to eDiscovery case management. Readers may obtain their free copy of the Judicial Resources at the The Sedona Conference website.

In addition, The Sedona Conference will sponsor a 90-minute webinar on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. In this webinar, a panel of judges who participated in updating the Judicial Resources will discuss some of the thinking that went into compiling this set of judicial case management strategies and walk us through the unique format of the Judicial Resources, touching on:

  • identifying the points in the litigation process where judicial involvement is required or would be helpful;
  • anticipating the issues that may give rise to disputes between the parties, and suggesting strategies for avoiding them or resolving them fairly and expeditiously;
  • identifying and analyzing the factors judges are required to consider when making decisions regarding proportionality, cost and burden, or the reasonableness of a discovery request or response, and assigning the appropriate burdens of coming forward or of proof between the parties; and
  • recognizing the exceptional circumstances under which a party might be sanctioned for the loss of discoverable ESI, the failure to produce requested ESI, or other discovery-related misconduct.

Registration for this webinar is free to all judges and court staff. Attendees who have already have a Sedona Conference username and password may register for free at thesedonaconference.org. Those who do not yet have a username and password should email info@sedonaconference.org from their court or government email address to obtain a “coupon code,” reducing the registration fee to $0.

This is the first revision of the Judicial Resources since 2014 and reflects amendments to state and federal eDiscovery rules, developments in case law, and advances in technology. This edition appears at a particularly important time, as almost all day-to-day business and personal activities are taking place online, generating an unprecedented volume and variety of electronically stored information (ESI) that may be subject to discovery in later litigation. The Judicial Resources is structured around 20 stages of civil litigation when judicial management is most appropriate or desirable. For each stage, the Judicial Resources:

  • identifies key issues that a judge is likely to face at each stage of litigation;
  • suggests strategies for case management or dispute resolution that encourage the parties, when possible, to reach a cooperative resolution at each stage;
  • provides exemplar court decisions or orders; and
  • recommends further readings on the issues presented at each stage that have been published by The Sedona Conference or are peer-reviewed.

The Judicial Resources is the product of a two-year effort to assemble case law and materials that bear on case management and incorporates the advice and significant contributions of our Judicial Review Panel: Hon. Helen C. Adams (S.D. Iowa), Hon. J. Michelle Childs (D.S.C.), Hon. Timothy S. Driscoll (N.Y. Sup. Ct.), Hon. Xavier Rodriguez (W.D. Tex.), and Hon. Elizabeth M. Schwabedissen (Fla. 11th Jud. Cir.).

The Judicial Resources may be downloaded and posted on any secure “judges and court staff only” web site for further distribution. In addition, the editorial team for the Judicial Resources, as well as several other experienced state and federal judges, have volunteered to serve as faculty for state or local judicial education programs on eDiscovery and related civil litigation matters.