The e-discovery world was shocked yesterday by the surprise announcement that the founder of The Sedona Conference, Richard G. Braman, has stepped down as Executive Director. He is replaced by John K. Rabiej, an attorney, scholar and educator. John Rabiej is not that well known in the e-discovery community, but he must be good, or Richard would not have selected him.
Richard Braman, one of the coolest guys in e-discovery and a great jazz man, will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board and Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board. These are big shoes for John Rabiej to fill, and we all wish him good luck.
Here is what Richard had to say about this changing of the guard:
John is the right person at the right time to bring The Sedona Conference to the next level of its mission to move the law forward in a reasoned and just way. We are very fortunate to have him on board as our new Executive Director.
On accepting the position, Mr. Rabiej (who apparently avoids photographs, as this is the biggest one of him I could find) had this to say:
I am honored to continue the important work started by Richard G. Braman, whose vision and persistence created a nationally recognized and well-respected educational institute, which has succeeded in making huge strides in the improvement of the administration of justice. I hope to carry on the tradition of The Sedona Conference providing the bench and bar with helpful and practical guidance and best practices on cutting-edge issues in the law.
I have heard that John Rabiej is well known to most of the top judges in the country. He is apparently a real mover in shaker in that world. He has spent the last 19 years as Chief of the Rules Committees Support Office in Washington, DC. His office staffed the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, and its five Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal, and Evidence Rules. The committees consist of federal judges, state Supreme Court justices, Department of Justice ranking officials, lawyers, and academics appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States. John Rabiej coordinated the work of the rules committees and provided expert advice on rules-related issues to the Judicial Conference, Supreme Court, and the Congress. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on the rulemaking process.
John Rabiej earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1978 and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Georgetown University in 1983. He has published numerous chapters and articles in Moore’s Federal Practice (Third Edition) and Weinstein’s Federal Evidence treatises on issues about electronic discovery, asset forfeiture, and authentication of electronic evidence. His works on rules-related issues have been published in the Federal Litigation Guide, Practical Litigator, and Matthew Bender’s Forms. John Rabiej writes bi-monthly expert commentaries for LEXIS-NEXIS on electronic discovery issues. He was elected to the American Law Institute in May 2004.
Here is an example of an article John wrote on e-discovery: John K. Rabiej On The Reasonableness Standard Governing Discovery Obligations And Preservation Duty. You have to have Lexis to read it.