eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Trends: Changes in Store for The Sedona Conference


One of the most influential organizations in eDiscovery is The Sedona Conference® (TSC), a Arizona-based non-profit, non-partisan law and policy think tank that has made numerous contributions to the industry since it was founded in 1997.  Some of the most recent contributions have been documented in this blog, including a commentary on proportionality released last year and database principles released earlier this year.

A couple of weeks ago, TSC announced that its Board of Directors “has adopted a new collaborative management structure designed to align the organization’s administration with its historical mission of dialogue and consensus building” and said that founder and former executive director Richard Braman is now its full-time chairman.  There will now be four Director-level positions, as follows:

  • Business Operations: Dustin McKissen is the new director of business operations, and previously was deputy CEO of the National Association for Information Destruction,
  • Conferences and Content: Howard Bergman joins as director of conferences and content, but will continue serving as counsel in residence at the University of Minnesota Law School,
  • Judicial Outreach: John Rabieg, previously appointed as executive director on Jan. 31, will move to become director of judicial outreach,
  • Judicial Education: Kenneth Withers, a member of Sedona since 2006 as director of judicial education and content, will narrow his focus to just the education component.

These four Director-level positions will now manage the affairs of TSC in a collaborative manner, reporting to an Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.  They will be formally announced at a Sept. 24 dinner in Washington, D.C.

As noted on their press release of August 29: “’The Sedona Conference’s success, right from the very start, has been based on creating intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking dialogue and content through collaboration by judges, lawyers, experts and academics,’ said Craig Weinlein, a member of The Sedona Conference® Board of Directors and a partner at Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas. ‘Because of our growth in staff, activities, and influence, now are the right time to bring that dialogue-based, consensus building process to our business operations, in order to best maintain the quality of The Sedona Conference’s unique and highly successful efforts.’”

TSC now has nine Working Groups and presents ten to twelve conferences each year, focusing on “tipping point” issues in the areas of complex litigation, antitrust and intellectual property rights.  It will be interesting to see what impact the new management structure will have on the activities of the group.

So, what do you think?  Do you think this is a good move for TSC?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.