Simply put, in the very near future, knowledge of e-discovery will be essential for an attorney to provide competent representation. In fact, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) have already been made to recognize e-discovery as a vital procedure for civil lawsuits. As a result, attorneys should begin to learn best practices to help them plan for the time and costs associated with the e-discovery process.
Educate and Learn the Process
The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a way of looking at a standardized eDiscovery workflow. The EDRM is a framework that outlines standards for the recovery and discovery and of digital data. It is designed to serve as guidance for gathering and assimilating electronic data during the legal process, including criminal evidence discovery.
The right-hand side of the EDRM is really where the attorneys come into play; in the processing, review and analysis stages. This is when attorneys decide how relevant any given piece of data is to the legal matter at hand.
Be Aware of Your Data Collection Options
Being that ESI can take many forms and can come from varying sources, the forensic technologies used to collect the data can be overwhelming. Figure out which process works best for you (and your bottom line). Whichever tools you use, ensure that the data is collected comprehensively, with attention paid to its authenticity and the preservation of the chain of custody.
Track Every Step of the Process
Create a system that documents every step of your collection process and use it for every case.
- Define key players
- Seek agreement with opposing counsel
- Get advice from a forensic collection expert
- Avoid altering metadata at collection
- Backup collected data
- Maintain the Chain of Custody
Why is it Important?
- Spoliation (metadata in specific)
- Conflict of interest avoidance
- Tampering avoidance
- Over Collecting Data (costly)
- Under Collecting Data (missing evidence)
Communicate with All Parties
In an industry where the gap of understanding between technologists and clients can be intimidating as well as dangerous, communication is key.
- Avoid cost of processing non-relevant data
- Access critical information sooner
- Make informed settlement decisions
- Use technology, not man power to cull data
Plan for eDiscovery
Understanding and planning for Electronic Discovery will reduce risk and cost.
- Avoid the cost and hassle of printing electronic documents
- Create a defensible plan
- Collect relevant data the right way
- Use technology to reduce the amount of data
- Cooperation between parties saves money
TERIS offers adaptable support at varying levels according to client needs, from extensive data storage to complex case review and analysis and computer forensics. If you would like more information about how TERIS can assist you, please contact us!