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Uniform Rules Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information Approved and Recommended for Enactment

Posted in RESOURCES

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has approved its Uniform Rules Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information and recommended them for enactment in all the states.

The NCCUSL describes the Uniform Rules as follows:

The Uniform Rules Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information provides states with up-to-date rules for the discovery of electronic documents in civil cases.  The Uniform Rules provide procedures for parties in a civil case to jointly follow relating to a number of issues, including the preservation of the electronic information; the form in which the information will be produced; and the period of time in which the information must be produced.  The Uniform Rules limit the sanctions which may be imposed on a party for failure to provide electronic information that has been lost as the result of routine operation of an electronic information system, only if the system was operated in good faith.  The Uniform Rules address the unique difficulties in accessing some electronic information by providing certain restrictions on its discovery.  For instance, a party may object to discovery of electronically stored information on the grounds that the information is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or expense.  However, the court may order discovery of such information if it is shown that the likely benefit of the proposed discovery outweighs the likely burden or expense, and may allocate between the parties the expense of conducting the discovery.

A version of the Uniform Rules without comments is available here.