eDiscovery is the collection and review of electronically stored information (or ESI), usually for civil litigation or other legal purposes. The legal rules and regulations surrounding electronic information are continuously evolving with state and federal rules of civil procedure sometimes differing from one another. It’s crucial to utilize an experienced eDiscovery partner to ensure digital information produced for litigation is authentic and complete.
Legal Eagle eDiscovery Services Advantages
eDiscovery is essential to meet discovery requirements under the Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure. Evidence is no longer on printed paper, but stored on mobile devices, databases, social media sites, computers, and in the cloud. It is estimated that 90% of all data was created after 2015 and 306.4 billion emails are sent daily.
Rules and regulations surrounding electronic information are continuously evolving with state and federal rules of civil procedure sometimes differing from one another. It is crucial to utilize an experienced eDiscovery partner to ensure digital information produced for litigation is authentic and complete.
eDiscovery Guide for Litigation
Legal Eagle provides practical guidance to legal teams
in the eDiscovery process by utilizing the system outlined below:
1. DATA COLLECTION
Data collection is the process of identifying and gathering all electronically stored information. Once your data has been securely preserved, it needs to be collected quickly, efficiently, and in a legally defensible manner. In most cases, this includes not only the content of data but also its metadata.
Keys to the successful collection of electronically stored information include:
Establish a steering committee to lead the project
Develop a strategy
Determine a collection method and execute the plan
Document the process and results
Emphasize quality control and validate all data
2. DATA PROCESSING
The processing stage is focused heavily on discernment. You will want to record item level metadata as it existed before processing, segment the information necessary for review, and cull and filter irrelevant data using data reduction best practices.
Significant risks exist when taking on this task yourself, including culling or filtering data that turns out to be relevant later. We recommend working with an experienced eDiscovery provider who can help you to discern which information needs to be processed and which information is unnecessary or needlessly duplicated.
3. EARLY CASE ASSESSMENT (ECA)
While processing ESI can involve significant investment in both time and financial resources, there are ways to reduce eDiscovery costs. Early Case Assessment (ECA) allow legal teams to review data earlier to help determine the estimated cost and risk of the case. This early evaluation is a competitive advantage for legal teams because it will allow for the development of a litigation strategy and discovery plan sooner in the litigation process.
Additionally, legal teams are provided with a window to analyze their data in an ECA tool. This window provides ample time to dissect data without the pressure of monthly hosting charges. Ultimately, less data goes to review which reduces long-term hosting charges.
Each eDiscovery tool has its own advantages. Legal Eagle’s staff is here to guide toward the right tool for the size of data in your case, ultimately saving you money and time.
The Review stage of the eDiscovery is the perfect time for your organization to work together to understand the exact facts of your specific case, develop a review strategy moving forward, and map out which information falls under a “privileged” category.
During the Review phase, the following steps will take place:
Determine and understand the scope of the review
Ensure that best practices are followed
Develop procedures to guide reviewers
Choose an eDiscovery platform or service provider for review
Another advantage of using an eDiscovery platform for review of ESI is Technology Assisted Review (TAR). TAR is the process of having eDiscovery software classify documents based on input from subject matter reviewers to speed up the organization and prioritization of the document collection. The software will tag the total documents based on what it learned from the samples produced by the reviewers.
The newest version of TAR is an active learning process known as TAR 2.0. This process is a form of supervised machine learning that uses search engine and relevance rankings to select documents for review and tagging to predict tags for other documents in the database. The more documents you review, the more accurate the results. This process will continue until relevant documents are no longer found.
5. DATA PRODUCTION
Individuals or organizations often utilize different methods of data preservation, and this can be problematic when you enter the production stage of eDiscovery. While much of your ESI may be in its original, or native, format, you may have other documents (such as emails) that have been printed onto physical paper, then scanned back into your computer as a PDF.
Historically, attorneys have relied heavily on physical paper copies or these Adobe PDF files for production, but this is not always necessary. Native or near-native production (i.e., producing the information in its original format, or in one that is reasonably usable by the courts) can be far more efficient, and less costly, than traditional image format production.
Simply put, the reality of changing technology has provided new challenges for attorneys and other organizations when it comes to data production. Courts have responded with decisions that suggest multiple file-formats are acceptable and commonly used during litigation.