Continuing Judicial eDiscovery Education

The Sedona Conference published the third edition of its eDiscovery guidelines for judges. The recently published guide is titled “The Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation: Resources for the Judiciary.”

The Sedona Conference is considered the eDiscovery standards setting organization. Their first guide was published in 2008 with the last update occurring in 2014. The purpose of these publications is to provide federal and state court judges with easy-to-reference guides regarding eDiscovery case management.

Originally spearheaded by senior editors, Ronald Hedges and Kenneth Withers have been passionate about continuing judicial education. Now numerous editors, student interns from Georgetown University Law Center, and judicial advisers also contribute. In addition to his role at The Sedona Conference, Hedges is senior counsel at Dentons, He was also previously the U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey from 1986-2007. Withers is currently the deputy executive director of The Sedona Conference.

With the rise of discovery from social media, artificial intelligence, and third-party apps, the current state of judges’ eDiscovery knowledge ranges from novice to expert. Many younger judges have practical experience with these newer forms of discovery while older judges are less familiar. Also, state courts have fewer judicial training resources and educational opportunities for judges. However, there are also some states like North Carolina, New York, and Delaware that are making advancements with how they handle sophisticated eDiscovery issues.

For judges that are not as well-versed in eDiscovery matters, the judicial resources provided by The Sedona Conference address any questions they may have when handling a civil action. It is a “one-stop shop” for judges to reference when facing issues with ESI throughout the life of a case.

Hedges and Withers believe it is vital for judges in all courts (state, federal, administrative) to receive the same level of eDiscovery education. They are currently working with several state judicial agencies to develop training programs based on The Sedona Conference’s judicial resources. With the world of technology changing, it is more important than ever for continuing judicial eDiscovery education.


Click here to download The Sedona Conference’s publication.

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