Rule 26(f) requires a meet and confer early in the discovery process.
Parties are now expected to have early and meaningful discussions of “any issues relating to preserving discoverable information” and to develop a proposed discovery plan that takes into account “disclosure or discovery” of electronically stored information including, but not limited to, both the form of production and the method of handling claims of privilege after production. (The Sedona Principles Addressing Electronic Document Production)
This requirement steps into the realm of records management processes , the cost of preservation, production and relevance. Technical issues are another component to consider. What do your existing technology solutions do, what is lacking? The meet and confer requirement also allows parties to discuss the necessary search and production parameters.
The overarching goal is to preserve the data necessary to the litigation matter at hand and to keep costs reasonable in the production of the that data. If companies work to establish records and information management protocols that can respond to the meet and confer requirements, they have the edge.
The collaborations necessary, the understanding of the duty to preserve and the ability to efficiently and accurately define search and production parameters give companies the advantage of knowing what they have, how to get it and who can produce it effectively and efficiently.
To find out more about how Information Management practices can give you an edge sign up for our 21st Century Business Litigation Event.