Tackle E-Discovery with a Proactive Approach

How to tackle e-discovery with a proactive approach and strategy. How prepared would your company be, if they received an e-discovery request today? For many companies, the practice of disregarding a proper e-discovery plan is far too common. Inefficient e-discovery practices almost always lead to costly expenses, in addition to sanctions or fines that are handed down.

The first step every company should take in a proactive effort to properly prepare an e-discovery strategy, is to familiarize themselves with the Electronic Discovery Reference Model or EDRM diagram.

EDRM.net states, “The EDRM diagram represents a conceptual view of the e-discovery process, not a literal, linear or waterfall model. One may engage in some but not all of the steps outlined in the diagram, or one may elect to carry out the steps in a different order than shown here.”

Taken directly from their website, EDRM.net lists the stages of the EDRM diagram as follows: Information Governance – Getting your electronic house in order to mitigate risk & expenses should e-discovery become an issue, from initial creation of electronically stored information (ESI) through its final disposition.

  • Identification – Locating potential sources of ESI & determining its scope, breadth & depth.
  • Preservation and Collection – Ensuring that ESI is protected against inappropriate alteration or destruction. Gathering ESI for further use in the e-discovery process (processing, review, etc.).
  • Processing, Review, and Analysis – Reducing the volume of ESI and converting it, if necessary, to forms more suitable for review & analysis. Evaluating ESI for relevance & privilege. 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.Preparation remains key for companies that want to proactively handle e-discovery. Ensuring you have the necessary practices and procedures in place, is the first step every company should take in order to be e-discovery ready. The risks far outweigh the benefits of avoiding a proper e-discovery strategy, so start familiarizing yourself with the EDRM stages today!