On August 2, the Uniform Law Commission (UCL) approved The Uniform Rules Relating to Discovery of Electronically Stored Information at its 116th Annual Meeting in Pasadena, California. Its primary purpose is “to provide states with up-to-date rules for the discovery of electronic documents in civil cases.”

In its press release, Rex Blackburn, chair of the committee that drafted the new rules, commented: “With the emergence of electronic technology, the extent to which information is stored electronically has vastly increased, and will continue to do so. These new uniform rules should provide states with the necessary guidance governing discovery of electronically stored information.”

The uniform rules conform “as closely as possible to comparable provisions in the Federal Rules.” They provide procedures for preservation of electronic information and the form in which the information will be produced. They limit the sanctions that may be imposed on a party for failure to provide information lost as a result of the routine, good faith operation of an electronic information system. And they make many of these procedures applicable to non-parties under subpoena.

The Press Release Announcing the New Uniform Rules can be read here:

http://www.nccusl.org/nccusl/DesktopModules/NewsDisplay.aspx?ItemID=188

The New Uniform Rules, as approved, can be read here:

http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/archives/ulc/udoera/2007am_final.htm