Litigation 101 for eDiscovery Tech Professionals: Document Production: The Process
January 03, 2013
** This blog series is intended to introduce new eDiscovery professionals to the litigation process and litigation terminology. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here to go to the first ten posts in the series.**
In an earlier post in this series, we talked about the vehicles of discovery – that is, the mechanisms by which parties exchange information. One of the mechanisms we discussed is Document Production, which is the exchange of relevant documents between the parties. This step is usually the most time-consuming and expensive part of discovery. In fact, it’s often the most time-consuming and expensive part of a lawsuit. It has always been a significant task, but since eDiscovery has come into the picture, it has grown by magnitudes.
Legal professionals responsible for document production typically break the task down into sub-tasks, which are clearly delineated in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). Those sub-tasks – including brief definitions from the EDRM -- are:
- Information Management: Getting your electronic house in order to mitigate risk & expenses should e-discovery become an issue, from initial creation of electronically stored information through its final disposition.
- Identification: Locating potential sources of ESI & determining its scope, breadth & depth.
- Preservation: Ensuring that ESI is protected against inappropriate alteration or destruction.
- Collection: Gathering ESI for further use in the e-discovery process (processing, review, etc.).
- Processing: Reducing the volume of ESI and converting it, if necessary, to forms more suitable for review & analysis.
- Review: Evaluating ESI for relevance & privilege.
- Analysis: Evaluating ESI for content & context, including key patterns, topics, people & discussion.
- Production: Delivering ESI to others in appropriate forms & using appropriate delivery mechanisms.
- Presentation: Displaying ESI before audiences (at depositions, hearings, trials, etc.), especially in native & near-native forms, to elicit further information, validate existing facts or positions, or persuade an audience.
In the next posts in this series, we’re going to take a closer look at some of these steps from the perspective of the litigators and how the steps must be handled so that they are in compliance with the rules of civil procedure. Before we get to that though, let me mention that the steps listed above are broader than their application to eDiscovery. All of these steps also apply to handling paper: organizations need to have a handle on its archives of paper documents that are generated and stored; relevant paper documents need to be located and assessed; paper documents need to be preserved, collected and processed (this might mean scanning); paper documents need to be reviewed for responsiveness and privilege, analyzed, produced and presented. In large-scale litigation today, eDiscovery is by far the biggest part of document production efforts, but there’s still plenty of paper out there that needs to be handled in discovery.
Please let us know if there are specific litigation topics that you’d like to see covered in this blog series.Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.