Law Technology News this morning has an interesting article about a new committee being planned to create defensible standards for processes and audits during electronic data discovery, the lack of which, experts says, currently represents a significant hole in e-discovery methods.
Those standards, proposed in Chicago on June 14 at the Seventh Circuit's Electronic Discovery Committee Workshop on Computer-Assisted Review, would be administered via an organization approved by the American National Standards Institute, and, at minimum, provide guidance to attorneys as to how to perform discovery of electronic information. With state courts accepting the as-yet unwritten standards, they could be incorporated into procedure so attorneys could file a compliance document indicating that methods used or proposed meet the standard instead of having to justify individual processes and/or products used to manage electronically stored information in a case.
"Leading the development of that committee," the article said, "is Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration. Baron said the group would base its work on ISO 9001 -- an internationally accepted quality metric that began use in 1987, and envisioned having the workgroup accomplish two principal things: First, to raise consciousness on the subject of what constitutes ISO 9001 best practices as applied in the e-discovery space, and second, to build out a specific e-discovery code of practice standard that could be subject to auditing under an ISO 9001 rubric." [Prepared written text for Jason R. Baron‘s opening keynote talk for the Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Workshop on Computer-Assisted Review ]
"The group would base its work on the Sedona Conference document, Best Practices Commentary on Achieving Quality in E-Discovery, which Baron co-edited in 2009, and would probably take at least a year to produce a new standard. Individuals could participate from existing groups such as the ABA's e-discovery committee and Sedona, and from data management trade groups such as ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) and AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management).
"Ideally," Baron told Law.com, "the practice would be noticed by the judiciary, and hopefully narrow ancillary disputes over what constitutes best practices, especially with respect to the use of new software-assisted methods and other technologies of utility in e-discovery."