The relationship was inevitable. Many saw it coming, and they positioned themselves accordingly. These are the ALSPs — alternative legal service providers — who knew that once data made the transition to electronic records, those would inevitably come up during the discovery process. The marriage between eDiscovery and document review was surprising at first, mainly because of the speedy nature of the relationship.
Understanding the Relationship Between eDiscovery and Document Review
In a technological world, data kept in electronic formats do not lend themselves to easy retrieval or understanding. How do you know you’ve gotten all the data on someone’s servers? Did you receive all the emails you asked for in your request for document production? Was some of it culled? How do you know?
You know by utilizing eDiscovery specialists, of course. These specialists are trained in knowing how to locate, capture and present electronic data in ways that are understandable and helpful to your case. More importantly, they know where to look. They know where something important might be hidden on a hard drive or in the cloud. They know what is appropriate to pull in discovery, and they know for sure if something has been overlooked.
If You’re Going To Use It, Use It Right!
The last thing you want to do is violate court rules by skimping on eDiscovery. It’s not a matter of simply pulling information that you requested; you must make sure it’s all there, captured and preserved like an insect in amber. Once you receive volumes upon volumes of information, you must then sort it appropriately and determine what is useful to your case. This is a highly technical, fiddly process that requires someone trained in the field, lest you unintentionally blunder into privileged information you’re not meant to have.
Rules surrounding eDiscovery made their debut in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure back in 2006, and much has changed since then. Electronic data can very easily overwhelm, far more than receiving boxes upon boxes of files would. That’s why changes to the Rules in 2015 state that requests must be proportional to the needs of the case. These are part of good-faith discussions between counsel. The moral of the story? Don’t bury opposing counsel under mountains of electronic data. Give them what they asked for, and don’t be difficult about it.
By using someone with intimate knowledge of this field, you can save money and streamline the discovery process. Pay the investment up front, and don’t wait to make mistakes. Remember: Cleaning up an eDiscovery mess is much more costly than doing it correctly from the beginning.