Stages of the E-Discovery Process
Step 1. Identification
Counsel and client determine where potentially relevant evidence may be stored. The custodians of this evidence are identified. Relevant date ranges are also often identified to ensure that the process of e-discovery does not become overwhelming.
Step 2. Preservation
Preservation is the process of ensuring that data identified as potentially relevant is preserved properly and in a timely manner. This is generally done by notifying custodians that the evidence in their possession must be preserved. A legal hold is often put in place.
Step 3. Collection
This process involves gathering all the potential evidence into one location so that the data can be processed to determine which of its portions actually contain relevant evidence.
Step 4. Processing
This step involves reading the data for review. Evidence is extracted. It is important that this process occurs in a forensically sound manner, including metadata preservation. It is very important that metadata is never altered as this information can often prove the validity and authenticity of evidence. DFC provides de-duplication to eliminate redundant information, as well as advanced “near-duplication” removal. In order to do this, we consolidate similar content to the smallest possible set, significantly cutting time and money spent for review. Oftentimes, we can eliminate up to 50% of email and document repositories, radically optimizing the document review process.
Step 5. Review
This is the most important step in the e-discovery process. We can help you complete extensive, in-depth searching and culling in the most efficiently possible manner. Notably, as much as 90% of collected ESI can be non-responsive (irrelevant). Therefore, in order to ensure that the evidence processed is only the most relevant ESI, we take out irrelevant content programmatically while identifying the content that is the most likely relevant.