JUDGE RONALD J. HEDGES is Counsel at Nixon Peabody LLC and served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey from 1986 to 2007. He is a member of the Advisory Board of The Sedona Conference as well as various Sedona Working Groups. Mr. Hedges is also on the Advisory Boards of the Georgetown University Law Center E-Discovery and Corporate Counsel Institutes.
The world is digitized. This development has significantly impacted the discovery of electronically stored information across judicial dispute resolution fora.
In 2002, a Sedona Conference working group met in Sedona, Arizona, to discuss electronic discovery and ultimately developed fourteen principles (the Sedona Principles) that memorialize a set of “best practices” for handling electronic document production. In the United States, the Sedona Principles preceded amendments of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to address electronically stored information or “ESI,” which became effective on December 1, 2006 (the Amendments). At about the same time, England undertook a review of the Sedona Principles that culminated in the Cresswell Report, which was largely incorporated into the English Civil Procedural Rules Part 31 in October 2005 (CPR 31).
Review of the reform efforts embodied in the Amendments, the Sedona Principles, and CPR 31 illuminates the ways in which arbitral or other nonjudicial dispute resolution fora might deal with electronic discovery issues. It is helpful to compare and contrast the manner in which the Amendments, the Sedona Principles, and CPR 31 have addressed the unique issues posed by electronic discovery.