E-Discovery Reference Guide

What is eDiscovery. Overview and introduction for legal professionals

Written by Knowledge Team, posted on April 10, 2019.

Why eDiscovery matters and how to use EDRM for evidence gathering. Process, Rules and Terms to be familiar with, when working on large volume of ESI

E-Discovery

Electronic discovery or e-discovery is the process of collecting, preparing, reviewing, exchanging and distributing electronically stored information (ESI) for legal requirements. Providing e-discovery service is becoming necessary for law firms which want to maintain a competitive edge on the global stage and to explore new opportunities made possible by legal technology. Information from emails, spreadsheets, social media posts and other digital sources can help attorneys build a better case when it is effectively reviewed and refined. Refining e-discovery is heightening the standard for attorney handling the ESI. E-discovery experts working in law firms provides advantage to clients looking to enhance data storage, complying with governance and reducing risk.

Electronic Discovery Reference Model or EDRM

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model or EDRM is a framework for an effective recovery and discovery of digital data during the legal process, including criminal evidence discovery. It is designed mainly to serve as guidance for gathering and assimilating relevant electronic legal data. EDRM represents a conceptual view of the e-discovery process and one may choose to carry out the desired steps in any order to successfully discover useful data. Each phase represents a core stage of the e-discovery process.

EDRM Stages

Electronic Discovery Reference Model or EDRM
  • Identifying – Locating desired sources of information and identifying ESI.
  • Preserving – Making sure that the information identified is protected against inappropriate alteration or destruction and is preserved in the identified format. To ensure the e-discovery process is efficient, make a reasonable effort to preserve ESI.
  • Collecting – Extraction of potentially relevant ESI and gathering it for later use in the e-discovery process such as processing or reviewing.
  • Processing – Working on the information and reducing its volume as desired and converting it, if necessary to more suitable forms for review and analysis.
  • Review and Analysis – Involves the assessment, review and analysis of collected documents to determine which ones are relevant to the case and redacting contents marked as privileged or containing protected information.
  • Production - The output of the review - the set of documents deemed to be relevant to the case, must be produced to the other side as the final piece.
  • Presentation - Presenting ESI at hearings or depositions to elicit further information or to validate existing facts.

Benefits from E-Discovery

  • E-discovery helps to combine the law practices with technology and blend it rightly. A strong e-discovery process collaborates firm's legal and IT teams to find a common language, with governance implemented to address compliance requirements.
  • When E-discovery is structured correctly from the start, it allows to expand the growth of the firm.
  • For firms seeking to light a fire of innovation among multiple practice groups, e-discovery platforms enable to leverage the investments made in technology to expand their services and differentiate themselves in the market.
  • Possibility of finding evidence backed by technology decreases the time and cost associated with case.
  • Hidden metadata associated with contents obtained by e-discovery can be critical for litigation.
  • Helps to meet fluctuating demands that differ from case to case and that which law firms generally find it difficult to manage as having E-Discovery experts can unlock evidence with high success rates.
  • E-discovery replaces simple, manual, or repetitive tasks—all of which are expensive for attorneys and clients.
  • E-discovery can be a knowledge management solution and law firms can take advantage of the knowledge sharing by subject matter experts.
  • Creates more opportunities to provide better client services and getting new clients on board. Clients can see the service as an added advantage when compared to competition.
  • Electronic Discovery provides auto redaction features for contents shared with opposing counsels. Redactions are a pivotal part of the review process, since litigators need to ensure that shared documents don’t contain privileged information. It takes time to manually redact information and some may be missed.

Maximizing Your Law Firm's Success With E-Discovery

E-discovery is an emerging technology and by harnessing the power of e-discovery, law firms can become leaders in innovation, as they get to reap more benefits from their e-discovery investment. With the right support, e-discovery can become a simple task for identifying contents pertinant to the case and by recognizing the importance of e-discovery and adopting strategies that help streamline the process, attorneys and law firms can stay ahead in the curve.
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