Data (Management) is Not Only a 4 Letter Word in Electronic Discovery

The electronic discovery process poses significant opportunities and challenges for attorneys, their clients, technical advisers and the courts. Understanding the scope of and identifying discoverable sources of electronically stored information (or, ESI) is crucial.
How much data do you have? One gigabyte of data can yield up to 100 thousand pages, which is about 25 bankers’ boxes. The amount of targeted data collected must be narrowed, but determining what targeted data is likely to contain is not always intuitive. For example, email containers often hold more reviewable data than a forensic image of a hard drive; which can include system and program files, unused drive space and deleted files.
Analysis of your targeted data is crucial to identifying a more significant data set for processing and how to best handle the files within that data.
There are numerous options for culling data before processing, including:
• GREP searching using EnCASE,
• pre-extraction de-duplication
• and custodian, domain or date filtering.
Once collected, defensibly reducing your data to a more controlled and at issue body of information includes evaluating the use of:
• The National Software Reference Library List,
• Data Categorization,
• De-duplication of files and email,
• and Near de-duplication of email that has been slightly altered.
Managing the intangible format and sheer volume of ESI can be further complicated by the need to:
• navigate handling of metadata,
• use of technology in further gathering prior to review,
• and designing manageable workflows for review.
Using metadata handling as an example; this information is not always visibly displayed when viewing an electronic file, yet it can be very relevant to your case and must be both preserved upon collection and accurately communicated to the body of records being reviewed. Involving a seasoned team of professionals early on is ideal, however, Advanced Discovery is poised to assist even if litigation is well underway. We support clients with targeting, collecting, processing and culling; providing guidance on correcting any issues that may have already taken place.
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