I am often asked by clients and subscribers to the blog, What is E-discovery? And so, this week’s post is intended to respond to that question.
E-discovery is the abbreviated term for electronic discovery and refers to the process in which electronic data (as compared to paper or object information) is sought, located, secured, reviewed and produced for use as evidence in a civil or criminal lawsuit. Although the “E-discovery” nomenclature is far more common, one may also see this concept referred to as EDD, electronic discovery. It is important to understand that all types of electronic data can serve as evidence including, for example, text, images, calendar files, databases, spreadsheets, audio files, animation, Web sites, e-mails, voicemails and computer programs. It is important to understand E-discovery and the various sources of data so that we, as attorneys, can efficiently process the information and construct legal arguments and defenses using this data and documents. The explosion in the amount of data being generated and how this impacts the legal process is something no one is immune from. Indeed, E-discovery is here to stay. It is a process that Fortune 500 companies, “Ma and Pa” shops, and individual parties to lawsuits will be required to participate in. And so, litigators and clients must better understand data, how it is stored, how it can be searched, how it can be reviewed, and how technology can be applied to the process to promote cost effective ways to conduct document discovery and wade through the large volumes of data. It is my hope that this blog – historical posts and those to come – will help provide subscribers with the information necessary to achieve this goal.