February 06, 2004
ABA Task Force Offers E-Discovery Standards Draft
Today's ABA Journal eReport provides an update on the ABA's efforts to assist in developing standards for electronic discovery. The ABA Litigation Sectionís Task Force on Electronic Discovery has proposed amendments to the ABA Civil Discovery Standards addressing electronic discovery, and is taking comments on these draft amendments.
According to the eReport article, "[t]he draft was designed to address three primary issues: allocating the cost of electronic discovery, altering or destroying evidence, and handling privileged information. Standards exist for such issues in the paper world, but there are new issues associated with electronic evidence."
The task force has proposed five standards, which are summarized in the article. The thrust behind this effort is that technology changes faster than the ability of the system to update the rules accordingly (which is also the subject of one of the proposed standards regarding storage medium). For attorneys looking to get their feet wet in ED, the proposed standards offer a nice checklist of the types of data involved, cost-sharing issues, and more. For more experienced cyber-litigators, it's helpful to see which way the wind is blowing as the profession attempts to address these issues. These proposed standards may indeed assist in forming the basis of Electronic Discovery Best Practices.