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E-Discovery: Understanding The Process

The process of discovery has always been a complex and challenging process in litigation. Compiling relevant documents, taking and defending depositions, and responding to written interrogatories all must be completed with zealous advocacy for the client while balancing concepts of cooperation and proportionality. With most of the documents now in electronic format, attorneys have transitioned from compiling paper to sifting through Terabytes of electronically stored information (ESI).  This is where Precision Discovery enters the picture with our eDiscovery services.

In the most basic terms, eDiscovery is the process of identifying, preserving, collecting, searching, reviewing ESI for the purpose of using the data for evidence in a criminal case, civil case, or government investigation.  Often, this type of evidence now includes any type of electronic material, such as emails, texts, chats, voicemail, office files, databases, and even social media.

Both raw data as well as metadata — that is, data that describes the raw data — will be included during the collection of this electronic information. Metadata can often times be as relevant as the data itself. For example, the timestamps showing when files were created, modified or transferred can be crucially important to a case or investigation.

At Precision Discovery, our team of discovery consultants, attorneys, and experienced forensic examiners provide an end-to-end discovery solution tailored to your specific needs. Our multi-step e-discovery process begins with identifying all potentially relevant electronically stored information. This includes the discovery of data stored on devices such as laptop computers, mobile devices, servers and even cloud-based systems. Our expert forensic examiners can often uncover information that people have deliberately tried to conceal or destroy. This may seem like a colossal task, but we can help you through this process using the most efficient and cost-effective methods available.

Once we have located all of this electronic information, the next step in the e-discovery process will be preserve any data deemed potentially relevant. At this point, Precision consults with clients and attorneys to tailor the scale and size of the preservation to be proportional to the case. When the data is preserved, it ensures that the data cannot be modified or destroyed. All of the data will be collected and tracked in Vision and DataTracker, a proprietary data management tool, keeping the data secure and managed in great detail.

Processing and review come next. While a large number of files may be collected — it could literally be millions of files or documents — only a small subset is typically relevant to the matter at hand. The key, therefore, is to identify the relevant ones. With large data sets, manual review is costly and inefficient. And so here technology-assisted review (TAR) and data analytics solutions are indispensable. Off-the-shelf solutions can often do the job, but many times custom software is required — yet another capability Precision Discovery offers. Precision also offers managed review that uses intelligent workflows to leverage technology and reviewer management.

After review and analysis are complete, we can move on to production — preparing you for the presentation of these e-discovery materials. This includes preparing this electronically stored information for use at depositions, at hearings and, of course, at trial. At Precision Discovery, we are not simply e-discovery experts; we also act as consultants, ensuring that you are prepared for all phases of discovery and litigation preparedness.

Of course, locating, preserving, collecting, processing and reviewing this information are important steps, but for our clients that need our e-discovery services, it’s just as critical to ensure that from the outset the processes that are used are legally defensible. This is also part of our services, and our team of forensic examiners not only can help you gather your discovery materials, these individuals are qualified to testify and defend clients in court as well as during depositions.

Our mission at Precision Discovery is to help you see discovery not as a costly challenge but as an opportunity to gain an advantage. It’s an approach that sets you up for success not only for the matter at hand, but for all matters to come.

Corporate clients are often faced with multiple legal matters, where the same data are implicated in different cases or investigations. The traditional approach treats each as a separate matter, and so the process of collecting, processing, reviewing and producing documents is inefficient and unnecessarily expensive.

Instead, we take a more proactive approach that’s designed to get you out of costly, reactive cycles and to allow you to be more strategic in your discovery efforts.

We always start by assessing your entire discovery environment, including information systems and policies, with your current litigation requirements as the foundation and yardstick for every evaluation.

We then develop strategies for data retention, collection, preservation, processing and review — based not on your current processes or available technologies, but solely on your strategic objectives and desired results. Only then do we respond with exactly the right set of tools and technologies and organizational structures to deliver on that promise.

 

Kinny Chan_Headshot_thumb

Kinny Chan, VP, Consulting Services
@kinnychan

Kinny Chan is the lead eDiscovery Consultant for Precision Discovery. He enjoys taking complex challenges and explaining them in simple and understandable terms. He is inspired by the intersection between technology, business and the law.

 

 

 

 

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