It can be a data management nightmare out there at times. In fact, it is a data jungle chock full of tigers, thick forests, and heavy rain! Advanced Discovery is poised to help you tame the jungle and come out in the clear.
ESI: a tiger with different stripes.
Litigators and their clients have always dealt with discovery of documents. The evolution of discoverable electronically stored information (ESI) has posed significant opportunities and challenges for attorneys, their clients, technical advisers and the courts. Once we came to understand the widening scope and discoverable sources of ESI, we found that our clients are still dealing with the same challenges but in a different and often seemingly unmanageable form. Advanced Discovery expertly and collaboratively addresses data handling with our clients, driving solutions for at issue data identification and location, forensic collection, culling and processing. Learning your data’s “stripes” early on saves overall time and expense in any phase of discovery.
When we hear hoof beats.
We consider the zebra. Occam’s razor is a principle that states “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” This principle has inspired numerous expressions including, “when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” In medicine, this makes perfect sense. When dealing with ESI, however, a more applicable restatement of this expression is “when you hear hoof beats, you may have horses, zebras or both; corral them accordingly.”
While the best outcome for one project may be to apply a simplistic solution, another may require multiple solutions that divide the project into more manageable subparts. It is possible for myriad solutions to solve your data issues equally yet bear no relation to each other, because the only common elements are the data set and your end goal.
Deciding whether you have horses, zebras or both, and which handling is best for your data set, can be daunting. Advanced Discovery manages each project employing this modified principle, considering the nature of the data set in question and guiding the solution (or combination of solutions) that most simply and successfully achieves your overall goal, while minimizing cost and client resources.
How many leaves are in a rain forest?
Data size can be impossible to estimate with complete accuracy. For example, one gigabyte of data can print enough paper to fill 25 banker’s boxes. One terabyte is equal to approximately 1024 gigabytes, and the terabyte is the new upper range of “normal” data size. Determining what targeted data is likely to contain is not always intuitive, either. The forensic image of a hard drive can contain system and program files, duplicate files, unused drive space and deleted files, none of which may be applicable to your case.
To control the cost of processing and limit review to more at issue data, we work with clients to develop a culling strategy. The many options for culling data include: GREP (Global Regular Expression and Print) searching using EnCASE, removal of exact duplicate files prior to extraction and custodian, domain or date filtering. Further, employing methodologies such as de-NIST-ing (eliminating known system files from the National Software Reference Library List) and data categorization (based on file type, grouping documents for review priority based on their likelihood of containing useful information) defensibly reduces your data set to a more controlled and at issue body of information to be reviewed.
We defy the idiom “can’t see the forest for its trees,” identifying the various species, counting the number of leaves on each and helping clients determine which are pertinent. The defensible processes Advanced Discovery employs, with our clients’ invaluable case knowledge, ultimately results in a more cohesive data set for review.
Lurking at the watering hole.
After searching, filtering, removing un-useful files and performing other preprocessing data categorization methods, we are ready to drill down further. Upon processing, there are unseen sources of potentially valuable information that may be very relevant to your case and must be preserved, often searched and then accurately communicated to the body of records being reviewed. This information is called “metadata,” which is essentially data about data. Metadata, which is not always visibly displayed in an electronic file, must be carefully considered when determining which collection, culling and searching methodologies to employ and when crafting a work flow for review.
The predator is spoliation and evading it successfully requires not only a thorough understanding of data overall, but the experience to know what potential pitfalls may exist for any given data set. Advanced Discovery has the tools, methodologies and experience to ensure the proper handling of the data that is at issue in your case.
It is a jungle out there, let us be your guides.
You have the best understanding of your case, the custodians and the issues. We have the best understanding of locating at issue data, the variable sources that should be considered and how to best manage your electronic discovery process from case assessment to trial. Bringing in our team of seasoned professionals as early on as possible is the ideal, however, even if litigation is well underway Advanced Discovery is poised to take action; guiding you in engineering defensible and repeatable processes for the duration of your case.