Photo: William Warby, Flickr Creative Commons
Legal eDiscovery has been around for over 10 years, but many in the legal field still don’t fully understand the eDiscovery process or how to properly handle ESI (Electronically Stored Information). Why is it important to understand legal eDiscovery?
- Most importantly, FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) and state court rules require counsel to pay attention to protocols
- Legal eDiscovery is quickly eclipsing traditional discovery in both volume and importance
- If opposition challenges your eDiscovery protocols your evidence could not be admitted to the courtroom
- If clients aren’t happy with your eDiscovery processes they will seek new counsel
- Inefficient protocols can lead to exorbitant, and sometimes unnecessary, eDiscovery costs
- You risk data spoliation and possible sanctions
What is Legal eDiscovery and What Does it Entail?
Electronic discovery refers to discovery in legal proceedings where the information sought is in electronic format. The differentiation between electronic and paper information was established because ESI has intangible form, volume, transience and persistence. It is also usually accompanied by metadata (such as time and date stamps) that paper documents lack. Legal eDiscovery consists of three basic steps, with each step playing an important role in the outcome of your case.
Step One: Collection
When litigation is anticipated or a litigation hold has been put in place, all relevant ESI must be identified, collected and preserved. You must make sure all the rules about this process are being followed otherwise you risk spoliation of data, especially metadata. If you review original, client-source ESI on your own applications without first securing a forensic copy, important data will be overwritten. It doesn’t matter if you have mountains of data or a single USB drive, the collection protocols remain the same.
Step Two: Processing
This is easily the most important step of legal eDiscovery and the most overlooked. Precise’s project managers use EDT’s end-to-end platform to streamline workflows for rapid ingestion and production of ESI, thereby lowering your total cost of discovery. If you ignore or skimp on this step, you could miss out on quickly identifying case strategy, not to mention drastically increasing your costs during review. Precises’ expertise helps us quickly eliminate irrelevant data, saving you both time and money.
Step Three: Review
Many legal teams wait until this step to reach out for legal eDiscovery help. However, now instead of having small, relevant subsets of data, legal teams are forced to send along all information for review. That is why review is often the most expensive and time-consuming phase of litigation. By working with a legal eDiscovery team from the beginning, you can reduce over all costs and streamline your case preparation.
Precise: the Legal eDiscovery Experts
Don’t let substandard legal eDiscovery practices cost you time and money. Call Precise at 866-277-324 to put our expertise to work for you.