You are here

A. General

The Court's goal for discovery of electronically stored information ("ESI") is to facilitate fair, open, proportional discovery of the facts underlying a dispute so that it is resolved on the merits and not by gamesmanship. This requires cooperation among counsel. The discovery of ESI stands on equal footing with the discovery of paper documents. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence provide a framework for conducting cost-effective discovery of ESI, but they cannot be effective unless attorneys become familiar with their applicability and use them where appropriate. The early discussion and resolution of discovery issues is an important factor in reducing overall case length and the cost of litigation. Attorneys must take the time to educate themselves about ESI and because attorneys often lack the technical knowledge to fully understand ESI, they should consult their clients' information technology departments and vendors regarding ESI issues. The Sedona Principles and the Sedona Cooperation Proclamation published by the Sedona Conference are an excellent source of information on the duties of clients and counsel and best practices for addressing the discovery of ESI.