Working Group 1 Virtual Town Hall: Privacy as a Factor for Rule 26 Proportionality

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Online (Zoom)

Time: 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT

With continuing advances in technology and the universal and frequent use of smartphones and social media, there has been a significant increase in the amount of personal data that is created and stored. This era of Big Data brings with it concerns about personal privacy and the need to implement safeguards to increase consumers’ privacy and control over their personal data. This is especially true in litigation and, more specifically, in the discovery process where requests for the production of documents often implicate personal privacy issues. 

At this Town Hall discussion, Working Group 1 of The Sedona Conference will bring together professionals from varied backgrounds and experience to discuss how privacy may be a factor in discovery, including:

  • The case for safeguarding privacy in a highly digital age where social media usage and mobile apps are everywhere;
  • Whether privacy is a proper factor in the Rule 26(b) proportionality analysis;
  • Whether a party’s ability to obtain a protective order under Rule 26(c) impacts the proportionality analysis under Rule 26(b);
  • How privacy considerations impact proportionality at different stages of the discovery process;
  • Whether privacy considerations should be weighed differently in cases where a party requests direct access to search and image a personal device or computer; and
  • Concern that attorneys for responding parties may unilaterally decide to not preserve or produce relevant information on the basis of asserted privacy considerations.

The Town Hall will begin with an overview discussion of this topic among our dialogue leaders. The audience will then have an opportunity to discuss and brainstorm, both collectively and in smaller breakout sessions. Takeaways and action items will be noted and shared with all to inform the ongoing mission of WG1 and guide its future publication projects.

Participation is free to all current Working Group Series members, but advance registration is required. Registrants will receive a Zoom invitation and instructions two days before the event.

Dialogue Leaders

Sidley Austin LLP

Washington, DC, USA

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

New York, NY, USA

Motley Rice LLC

Providence, RI, USA

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas

Houston, TX, USA