The Complete Guide to Understanding the eDiscovery Process

By: Ken Baldesi, Vice President, Client Services

Blame it on the internet: email and other communication technologies make it too easy to create and store digital information. The problem is that this has led to an explosion of data—and not just your personal documents stored in a single location. There’s also the stuff you post online (sometimes called “the cloud”), which can be found by anyone who knows how to look for it; there are voice mails, texts, phone logs, videos—all out there somewhere. But what do you do when you need all those digital communications? That’s where eDiscovery comes in.

What is eDiscovery and How Does it Work?

eDiscovery is the process of finding, collecting, and managing electronic data to prepare it for use in a legal proceeding. The first step is to identify what information needs to be collected. This can include emails and documents to social media posts and phone logs.

The eDiscovery process generally follows the EDRM model, which includes:

  • Collection: how the data is collected and where it’s stored
  • Identification: how to separate what’s relevant from what isn’t
  • Processing: finding, organizing, and producing relevant information in a form that humans or machines can interpret; may include converting files into different formats (such as the PDF), extracting the data, redacting private information, etc.
  • Review: using technology to determine which information is relevant and needs to be turned over during the discovery process, also known as “document review” or “legal hold.”
  • Production: preparing electronic documents for handing over during litigation or arbitration

In general, the eDiscovery process is highly technical and requires a vast amount of specialized knowledge.

Why is eDiscovery Important?

eDiscovery matters because it’s a tool for fighting fraud and the principal method for collecting digital evidence in real-life legal situations. But more than that, it also has massive implications for our privacy. The fact that we can now be subject to electronic surveillance at any time, by anyone, has led to a fundamental change in the way we think about our personal information.

Technology is also making it easier for lawyers to do their jobs. For example, review teams can now use predictive coding software to quickly identify relevant documents. This technology can review and tag documents at a rate of up to 250 pages per hour, which is much faster than a human can do.

How is eDiscovery Changing?

The process is constantly evolving as technology changes. In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of big data, cloud computing, and social media. Top eDiscovery vendors need to stay up-to-date on these new technologies and how they can be used in a legal setting.

The other big trend is the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the eDiscovery process. AI can help with tasks such as identifying relevant documents, data extraction, and redaction.

What are the Advantages of Using an eDiscovery Vendor?

Vendors can provide several advantages:

Experience: eDiscovery is complex and requires the proper knowledge and expertise. Outsourcing this process allows your business to focus on its core competencies while still protecting your interests in the process.

Costs: Working with a vendor can reduce costs by as much as 90 percent.

Efficiency: eDiscovery vendors have the experience and expertise to quickly get the data ready for use in legal proceedings.

Security: When you work with an eDiscovery vendor, you can be assured that your data will be handled securely and in accordance with the latest security protocols.

How Legal Professionals Can Use AI and eDiscovery to Increase Productivity

The eDiscovery process is vital for any legal proceeding, but it can be time-consuming and expensive. That’s why more and more legal professionals are turning to AI and eDiscovery to increase productivity.

With the help of AI, legal professionals can quickly and easily review large volumes of data. This can help them identify relevant information more rapidly and reduce time and money spent on eDiscovery.

In addition, AI can help legal professionals automate certain tasks, such as data culling and tagging. This can help save even more time and improve the accuracy of the process.

Overall, AI can help legal professionals increase both productivity and accuracy, in turn helping to cut costs and ensure that the information they need is always available in a timely manner.

About Innovative Driven

Innovative Driven provides services tailored to meet the needs of each client. The company offers clients both on-site and cloud-based solutions so they can choose the solution that best fits their circumstances. In addition, its team of professionals has all been certified as ESI Specialists, which means they’ve achieved a high level of knowledge and competence in the eDiscovery process. 

For more information on how Innovative Driven can assist with your eDiscovery needs, please contact us today.

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