Do you know the purpose of electronic discovery and how it can help small businesses or even large corporations? Practically all enterprises and organizations may experience litigation proceedings at some point. You will notice that electronic discovery requests are pretty common in both criminal and civil trials.
Whether you’re getting ready for your first court hearing or have never experienced being litigated, it’s important to know everything involving electronic discovery.
What is Electronic Discovery?
The legal procedure known as discovery governs the ability to obtain and the duty to furnish information pertinent to the lawsuit case. This process is crucial — whether you’re handling or are involved in employment discrimination, financial services, civil rights, bankruptcy case, or other types of cases where you need to gather information.
Similar to regular discovery, this process involves the gathering and sharing of materials relevant to a legal case that may be used as evidence in court. The difference is that electronic documents are now included since modern technology has shifted communications to virtually entirely online. Therefore, you can think of eDiscovery, which is another term for this process of discovery, as a way of overcoming the difficulties that come with examining, gathering, and presenting evidence in the contemporary and online world.
Legal professionals frequently use the word eDiscovery to differentiate the online gathering of relevant information from other types of discovery. Most information is still discovered through recorded and documented questioning, interrogations, or testimonies. Physical objects like clinical and medical tests or faulty products and services can also be used in the discovery process.
In the past, the parties involved in a lawsuit claim would often swap numerous boxes of paper records. But today, the discovery method has been profoundly altered as it has gradually overtaken printed documents. Other types of information involved in electronic case management include data saved in car computers and black boxes, home appliances, mobile phones, apps, and even digital video or audio recordings.
How It Works
When you’re involved in a legal dispute, eDiscovery starts at the beginning. Both parties’ legal counsel will choose the request’s parameters, identify and examine the applicable information, and put them on legal hold. Following the issuance of the eDiscovery, the parties involved in the litigation must submit all pertinent information for gathering and review before formatting it to PDF so it can be used in court.
While it may appear fairly simple, it’s important to remember that eDiscovery is a continuous process, not just a single-day activity or task. And remember that you can’t just create these things for each eDiscovery request and make them appear out of nothing. So if you want to make sure that your company covers and gathers all pertinent information, you must develop certain processes and policies for eDiscovery and strictly enforce them.
Common Obstacles With eDiscovery
Without a strict guideline or policy on eDiscovery, companies are likely to face the following difficulties:
- Waste time looking for emails or files. It will be hard to track down and search for a certain email or file from your backup system, even though your company’s email and file server has enough space. And while it’s not an impossible feat, finding one email or file will be a tedious and overwhelming effort that can divert your time from more crucial activities.
- Guaranteeing the integrity of files and emails is difficult. In the absence of a sound eDiscovery approach, the possibility of recovering contaminated, corrupted, or incorrect material is increased.
- Constant delays and missed deadlines. eDiscovery requests in federal investigations are subject to stringent deadlines and a plethora of compliance standards. And if you fail to adhere to these requirements or fulfill the set deadline, it could have major repercussions for your business.
- Privacy exposure risks. If you take a long time to find the required information needed for the eDiscovery request, there will be a higher chance of disclosing private employee data.
Streamline Your Discovery Process
During the pre-digital era decades ago, a lawyer performing discovery might find it easy to obtain actual documents, meet with or visit clients, and start the evaluation process. Fortunately, modern technology allows you to take advantage of eDiscovery and ask for help from experts like Judge David Levi. This way, you’ll be able to get the needed leverage to win your case.