Craig Ball: Not So Fine Principle Nine

Extract from Craig Ball’s article “Not So Fine Principle Nine”

For the second class meeting of my law school courses on E-Discovery and Digital Evidence, I require my students read the fourteen Sedona Conference Principles from the latest edition of “Best Practices, Recommendations & Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production.” The Sedona principles are the bedrock of that group’s work on ESI and, notwithstanding my misgivings that the Principles have tilted toward blocking discovery more than guiding it, there’s much to commend in each of the three versions of the Principles released over the last twenty years.  They enjoy a constitutional durability in the eDiscovery community.

When my students read the Principles, I revisit them and each time, something jumps out at me. This semester, it’s the musty language of Principle 9:

Principle 9: Absent a showing of special need and relevance, a responding party should not be required to preserve, review, or produce deleted, shadowed, fragmented, or residual electronically stored information.

The Sedona Principles, Third Edition: Best Practices, Recommendations & Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production, 19 SEDONA CONF. J. (2018)

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