Download this Rule 26(f) Conference Checklist to walk through all the questions you need to consider to prepare for the Meet and Confer. With proper planning, you can ensure that ediscovery is a smooth process.
Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that parties meet early in a litigation to negotiate an ediscovery plan that will reduce costs and burdens for each side. In 2009, the Sedona Conference issued its own proclamation encouraging such cooperation.
Still, many lawyers enter ediscovery without a detailed understanding of their client’s ESI or a specific execution plan in mind. That’s a mistake that often proves to be costly.
Meet and Confer Planning
Taking the time to create a detailed plan in preparation for a 26(f) Meet and Confer is one of the most impactful things you can do to save your clients time and money. It makes ediscovery more efficient, helps reduce discovery disputes, and – most importantly – gets parties to the litigation’s most relevant information faster.
There are plenty of measures you can take to prepare for these conferences, but most of them fall under three basic goal buckets:
- Understand – and plan to be open and honest about – client data and data-systems.
- Create frameworks for handling disagreements.
- Understand and evaluate opportunities for cost savings.
Here is a brief excerpt from our Rule 26(f) Conference Checklist that we compiled as a resource for lawyers beginning the 26(f) process:
Meet and Confer Checklist
1. Define relevant custodians (i.e. who has access to discoverable information)
2. Determine what types of discoverable information are available in:
- Local computers/hard drives
- Cloud storage and remote servers
- Billing, purchasing, and/or invoicing software
- Social media, websites, and/or mobile devices
3. Investigate and understand your client’s IT structure:
- Email set-up (Outlook, Gmail, Office 365, etc)
- Be aware of any data retention policy that is in place
Click here to download the complete checklist, along with everything you need to set comprehensive ground rules for ediscovery. It will help you reduce costs and risk during the ediscovery Meet and Confer process.
This bundled PDF includes the following documents:
✔ Rule 26(f) Conference Checklist
Use this step-by-step guide to track your preparedness for negotiating a smooth ediscovery process.
✔ Common Production Specifications
Get familiar with the file formats and data fields you may request or be asked to produce.
★ Want to learn more?
Don’t miss our ESI protocol checklist, the first post in our checklist series. And stay tuned for our next ediscovery checklist on data collection.