Guidelines for State Trial Courts Regarding Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information
In August 2006, the Conference of Chief Justices approved the Guidelines for State Trial Courts Regarding Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information as a reference tool for state trial court judges faced by a dispute over e-discovery.
These Guidelines are intended to help in identifying the issues and determining the decision- making factors to be applied in the circumstances presented in a specific case. They should not be treated as model rules or universally applicable standards. They have been crafted only to offer guidance to those faced with addressing the practical problems that the digital age has created. The Conference of Chief Justices recognizes that the Guidelines will become part of the continuing dialogue concerning how best to ensure the fair, efficient, and effective administration of justice as technology changes. They should be considered along with the other resources such as the newly revised provisions on discovery in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the most recent edition of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery. Although the Guidelines acknowledge the benefits of uniformity and are largely consistent with the revised Federal Rules, they also recognize that the final determination of what procedural and evidentiary rules should govern questions in state court proceedings (such as when inadvertent disclosures waive the attorney-client privilege) are the responsibility of each state, based upon its legal tradition, experience, and process.