The Sedona Conference released the 2014 edition of its Database Principles this week for public comment. Databases are a unique entity in the world of e-discovery because, unlike more common emails and documents (unstructured data), databases contain structured data, and usually massive amounts of it.
The principles clearly set out how databases differ from more traditional information, including an easy to understand example about storing an invoice in a database.
Due to their unique structure, preserving, collecting and producing information from databases requires more planning and a different approach than is needed with emails and documents. In a ruling last year that we blogged about in January (see Databases – Not the e-Discovery Nightmare Everyone Assumes), the B.C. Court helped to define the way information from databases can be assembled and produced. In that case, the Court found that producing a subset of database information using a query was not lawyer work product and should be considered to be in the normal course of business.
The Sedona Conference continues to produce well researched and helpful guides and principles related to e-discovery. This newest set of principles should be on every lawyer’s electronic bookshelf.