An e-discovery procedure seeks, locates, secures, and investigates digital data for gathering evidence in civil or criminal proceedings. Earlier the attorneys used to store case details in the form of hard copies, but in the present time they are increasingly using digital records as they are nearly indestructible. For the firms dealing with volatile financial situations and litigations often, maintaining digital records and keeping them safe via software is a better option.
E-discovery services enables attorneys to extract digital data and cull them to prepare strong evidence. The e-discovery legal process starts even before filing a lawsuit with the court and continues till the digital evidence submission. Following are the six steps involved in the electronic discovery reference model (EDRM):
Information governance to guide e-discovery process
Information governance involves a multidisciplinary system that works on a set of policies and procedure, towards preserving electronically stored information (ESI) for any future legal, regulatory, environmental or operational requirements. A good information governance eliminates ESI without business value, stores relevant information, and ensures proper management.
Data identification and search parameters
Attorneys from both the sides find valuable data relevant to the case and take them under legal possession. They estimate the scope of discovery and negotiate with the opposing counsel/auditor to do away with non-evidence ESI.
Securing and sharing ESI with legal counsels
Forensic experts secure ESI comprising data, such as text, metadata, emails, chats, documents, accounts, websites, and blogs, and transfer them to legal counsel.
Indexing, analyzing and converting info into secure formats
Legal counsels index the data for better processing and eliminating duplication, and then convert it to PDF or TIFF format to prevent tampering. In contrast to the traditional data which need manual processing, the ESI allows rapid identification. The attorneys extract vital information from data based on keywords and chronology.
Finally, they review the information to estimate its relevance and advantage. Based on the individuals’ communication, the counsels generate a pattern.
Adhering to policy during production process
Counsels exchange the generated information with the opposing counsel to make sure that the policies and guidelines are strictly followed in the production process.