What Is Electronic Discovery (E-Discovery)

Electronic discovery is the finding out of government investigations which works with exchange of information electronically; this is normally referred to as the Electronically Stored Information, the data is reviewed before it is passed to the opposing counsel.

The attorneys look at the data and identify them as relevant to the case and then they are placed on legal hold. From there the evidence is dug up and analyzed through the use of digital forensic procedures, then reviewed as either PDF or native files or even TIFF form.

The e-discovery is considered to be more reliable and different from paper information because of its volume, persistence, transience and intangible form. They come with metadata that is not found on paper documents, and can be used as vital evidence; these are things like the time and date the documents were written which can be used in a copyright case.

Professionals in the field of e-discovery refer to the field as litigation support. When the documents are found they have to go through a process of identification which involves review and analysis. Those who hold the information are also identified, so as to have full records of the source of data, and there can also be data mapping. The identification documents are organized and arranged according to the needs of the case, hence leaving out what is not necessary for the case.

Once the data has been identified, the information that is relevant to the case is placed on legal hold, so as to ensure that the data is not destroyed. Once they have been preserved, there will be a collection carried out. This process involves transferring of data from company to their legal counsel. The counsel determines the importance and relevance of data. There are companies that prefer to use the digital forensics experts so as to prevent damage on data.


Once the data is ready the native files are then set up and loaded into a document review platform, here there is extraction of metadata and text from the files. The files can be converted to PDF or TIFF so as to make it easy to carry out redaction.

From there the documents are reviewed for responsiveness as per the e-discovery request. There are review tools that are used and make it easy to review cases. Once the review is complete the document is ready for production. This is done by the opposing counsel as per the agreed specifications.

Data that is kept as an electronic form is subject to production under common e-discovery rules. The data can be in any form either videos, photos, databases and many others, but they can also be office documents or even emails.

When the data is found, it is always known as raw data before it goes through the processes of review and collection and all the other stages, before it is reviewed by forensics for hidden evidence. The ‘native’ format refers to the original file format.  The e-discovery can be reviewed any preferred format either PDF, printed paper, TIFF images or any other preferred form.

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