Differences of opinion aside, ISO delegations from dozens of countries Wednesday are voting on whether to make Hibbard's new committee official. That appears to be a formality. Only five affirmative votes are required for a project to advance from its consideration stage into formalization. In addition to support from the American delegation where anyone can participate and officially comment via an established committee called INCITS delegations from Italy, Japan, South Africa, and the U.K. already indicated their support, Hibbard explained. Assuming the ballot passes, Hibbard said he and U.K.-based forensic scientist Angus Marshall will be appointed as project managers, probably by late May. A draft report would be due in July and comments would be requested by August.
Hibbard, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said he welcomes EDRM and Sedona Conference participation in the project. Hibbard and Losey shared a panel discussion in January at the American Bar Association E-Discovery and Information Governance National Institute, in Tampa, Fla., where they were joined by Jason R. Baron, director of litigation at the U.S. National Archives. Baron in June 2012 proposed the formation of a similar quality control standard but without the process aspects. His project, unrelated to Hibbard's, does not yet have formal support from any standards body. Baron, in an interview at LegalTech New York this month, said he personally supports the ISO 9001 aspect of Hibbard's plan and he hopes to form his own committee by this spring.
"I'd like to think that the e-discovery industry is maturing enough in terms of its capability maturity model, especially in the vendor space, to allow for the development of standards that govern what we do," Baron said. "There was a lively discussion [in Tampa] about whether we are ready for that kind of standard. While I moderated a panel, I am more strongly aligned at this moment with a more modest proposal in the 9001 space," he said.
Hibbard and Baron share a common goal. "My dream remains that, to lower the cost of litigation, we have judges who are willing to bring parties together," Baron said. "What about, 'Hey guys, why don't you cooperate by picking from a small group ... who you know have fulfilled the requirements of an audit,'" he said. "It's a path forward for eliminating the risk of ancillary litigation over discovery."