The Sedona Conference®, a nonprofit research and educational think tank dedicated to the advanced study of law, has released a final, pre-publication version of its much-anticipated The Sedona Principles, Third Edition: Best Practices, Recommendations and Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production. The Sedona Principles are the preeminent reference publication for e-discovery lawyers and practitioners alike. In addition to addressing the 2015 changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this latest version of The Sedona Principles includes a fresh focus on information governance and the mitigating effect it can have on the challenges organizations face today from the ever-changing electronic data landscape.
The Third Edition of The Sedona Principles acknowledges in Comment 1.b to Principle 1 that “The discoverability and proliferation of ESI has increased the importance of effective information governance programs.” The comment goes on to note that:
There is often a direct correlation between an organization’s IG program and the ease with which it can search for, identify, and produce information. A well-executed IG program can improve efficiency at all levels in an organization by assuring the right information is readily available to the people who need it when they need it. IG programs are also the keystone of information security and privacy.
In other words, the benefits that can be expected to be derived from a strong information governance program are likely to improve e-discovery outcomes for organizations as well. At its core, information governance is about understanding and properly managing information. The better an organization understands its information, the better and faster it can manage e-discovery obligations.
Most organizations are seeing their information volumes double every two years (or sooner). Despite the per unit costs of e-discovery steadily dropping over the years, the increasing volume of electronic data is leading to steady or rising e-discovery costs for organizations that fail to remediate their data on a regular basis. With electronic data sources expanding from the advent of the Internet of Things and the proliferation of corporate and personal devices, organizations more so than ever must practice information governance to meet their legal, regulatory and business obligations. The Sedona Principles Third Edition helpfully recognizes this new legal reality more explicitly than ever.
A number of Drinker Biddle lawyers have been active participants in The Sedona Conference’s various working groups over the years, including Bennett B. Borden and Jason R. Baron who participated on the editorial drafting team of The Sedona Conference Commentary on Information Governance (2013).