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ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2


ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2

 The second part of "10 Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery" deals with the technology and software tools involved in the e-discovery process. Having the right tools and technology is crucial in managing a large amount of electronically stored information (ESI) effectively and efficiently.

ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2
ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2

It is important to understand and choose the appropriate technology and software for each stage of the e-discovery process, including data collection, preservation, processing, review, and production. Without proper technology and software in place, the e-discovery process can become overwhelming and costly. Therefore, it is essential to consider the technical requirements carefully and invest in the right tools to achieve success in the e-discovery process.

knowledge and skills to effectively manage and navigate this new landscape of electronic data and legal requirements.

The September/October 2007 issue of The Information Management Journal highlights the importance of staying abreast of these changes and offers practical insights and strategies for effectively managing ESI in compliance with new FRCP regulations.Understanding of managing electronic discovery is important.

The modified Rule 37(f) includes explanations and protections for making regular changes to electronic documents, such as during backup activities.

Information on how to handle data that cannot be easily accessed [Modified Rule 26(b)(2)(B)]

One way to handle the accidental creation of confidential information is by following Amended Rule 26(b)(5).

The duty to preserve ESI and the conference that takes place before a trial are addressed in the revised rule 26(f).

The rules related to electronic file production requests have been amended, specifically Rules 33(d), 34, 26(f)(3), and 34(b)(iii).

the best approach to plan, manage, organize, store, and retrieve ESI, and there are various perspectives on this matter. Some of the choices available are quite expensive due to the substantial financial and time investments involved. Additionally, the continual advancements in technology further complicate the issue.The difference between computer forensics and electronic discovery is quite significant and can be found in the sidebar titled "Computer Forensics vs. Electronic Discovery."

ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2
ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2

Making the Right Choices

To effectively handle e-discovery in compliance with the changed FRCP, organizations need to make important choices that will impact how they gather and manage electronically stored information.

Processing Choices

In order to effectively handle the abundance of information found in even the most modest collections, it is essential to implement management techniques that regulate both time and expenses. To accomplish this, it is important to address the following inquiries:

1. Who are the key people?

Identification of individuals who hold significance in a particular case is vital. These crucial individuals comprise not just top-level management but also assistants and other support staff from diverse departments such as technology, accounting, sales and marketing, operations, and human resources.

2. Where are the files located?

to identify all possible electronic evidence locations, which encompass personal computers at home and other locations frequently visited by the key person, such as their partner's home. Additionally, it is necessary to consider mobile devices like cell phones, PDAs, Blackberries, and any other digital gadget that may contain useful evidence.It is important to acknowledge that MP3 players, like iPods, have the capability to store documents and important files.

3. How can the collection be culled?

quantity of gathered files by narrowing down the selection to a specific time period or by selecting files that contain specific keywords or phrases. This method can be applied at any stage of the forensic collection process. Additionally, filtering files that are already known can also help in decreasing the total number of files collected.The set of files has been reduced by eliminating the typical program files that are present on all computers, like the Microsoft Windows' logo file.

What is the appropriate method for managing files that are secured with passwords or encryption?

Until the encryption is deciphered, encrypted files cannot be accessed. It is possible to find files with the same or similar names that do not require passwords or encryption in certain cases. The location of the files may indicate the importance of decryption.

Decrypting may take a considerable amount of time.The initial approach to obtaining a password can be as easy as requesting it directly. If this approach is unsuccessful, then resorting to a subpoena may be necessary to achieve the desired result.

ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2
ten Critical Decisions for Successful E-discovery Part 2

What is the proper way to deal with documents that are either exact or very similar duplicates?

encounter duplicate files as electronic file collections often have copies of the same files. It is possible for more than one person to possess identical emails and attachments or key documents that were saved on their hard drives. When dealing with electronic collections, it is necessary to be mindful of this possibility.Determine the precise copies of files and decrease the amount of documents that need examination.

The process of discovering exact copies typically takes place when identifying and extracting metadata from files. Removing duplicates from the collection will only cause a minor delay in processing.

The process of standard de-duplication involves the identification and removal of files that are identical in every way. Any modifications made to a document, even if they are related to formatting, such as a different font size, result in the file no longer being an exact duplicate and can therefore not be identified and removed during the deduplication process.

In order to have a clear understanding of the deduping process, it is essential for both parties involved in a case to come to an agreement. While some electronic discovery systems permanently remove duplicate files from a collection, the forensic tools utilized by law enforcement typically do not eliminate duplicates but instead identify them for further examination. future use.

It is crucial to talk about this definition in the pre-trial meeting to guarantee that all parties are on the same page, therefore, avoiding any inconsistency in the quantity of documents each side possesses in the future.

refers to a substantial part of any collection, consisting of items that closely resemble each other. These may be files that have undergone significant changes or just include a part of the primary document. In certain cases, due to the vast number of files, it becomes necessary to recognize and examine near duplicates as a cluster.Compared to the traditional method of linear review, there is a significant reduction in both the time and cost required for reviewing.

different. However, using these methods can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, and it can also lead to missed near-duplicates if the software used is not advanced enough. Nonetheless, applying such techniques can ultimately result in a more accurate and efficient review process. both privileged and non-privileged.

6. What form should the collection take?

According to the recent regulations, the parties involved are required to discuss and agree upon the preferred method of receiving electronic evidence. If no agreement is reached, the evidence will be provided in its original or a format that is practical to utilize.

The legal team can choose how they want to receive electronic evidence, such as in native file format, converted to TIFF or PDF, or a different format. The decision is typically based on what review system the team uses for litigation.

unique identifier for tracking and organizing purposes. On the other hand, converted files with associated metadata and full text enable Bates labeling, but may not accurately capture the original formatting or layout of the document. These systems are designed to manage both files in their original format and files that have been converted, regardless of whether they have accompanying metadata and complete text. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. When using native files that have had metadata extracted, it preserves the original file precisely, but they cannot be labeled using the Bates method, which is a way to identify documents uniquely for the purpose of tracking and organizing them. However, converted files with complete text and associated metadata can be labeled with Bates labels, but may not perfectly replicate the original document's formatting or layout.As they go through processing, items are assigned a distinct code that is exclusive to them and may unintentionally be altered.

Transforming original documents into TIFF or PDF format is a time-intensive and costly activity involved in digital exploration. Due to the possibility of 60 to 80 percent of the files being non-relevant or unnecessary, the efforts and expenses invested in the conversion process might prove to be fruitless.

The ideal solution is to get the files in their original format, review them to check their usefulness and select only the ones that can be easily converted into image format or are widely used.

ways to manage heaps of electronic files for legal purposes. Hence, it is crucial to prepare in advance, plan and organize the retrieval of relevant documents, and effectively manage the budget of both time and money.

This is especially important since each case would require a distinct approach, implying that there are no fool-proof ways to deal with such a vast quantity of electronic files.A group that comprehends the options and their consequences will be equipped to decide wisely, leading to favorable results for both the case and the company. This is the solution to the aforementioned queries.


The recent focus of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the production of electronically saved data means that the e-discovery team needs to comprehend the options available for gathering and managing this information, as well as their possible outcomes.


computer forensics, electronic discovery, litigation support, document imaging, document scanning, form processing