Compliance e-Discovery Solutions
What is e-Discovery?
E-Discovery refers to a search through digital materials such as email accounts, messaging apps, or other online communications or data to identify evidence that could be used in litigation. Such evidence may include the content of specific emails, instant messages, information from social media posts or profiles, online documents, web content or any other data found online.
Businesses should have an e-Discovery compliance solution in place in the event that they are called upon to provide information that could be relevant in a lawsuit.
The 9 Stages of e-Discovery
While each law firm may have their own specific way of conducting e-Discovery investigations, the following are the 9 stages that generally make up an e-Discovery process:
- Information Governance – this refers to the policies and procedures related to the collection and preservation of data, which should be in place in any company.
- Identification – the e-Discovery team identifies the specific data that must be captured and saved to serve as evidence.
- Preservation – the owners of the data identified in the previous step receive official notification that they must preserve this specific data and not delete it.
- Collection – there are legal requirements that must be followed when it comes to collecting data for e-Discovery purposes. The data must be preserved with no changes to the metadata including file creation information and audit logs.
- Processing – in this stage, the data is organized and put into a format that can be presented in court. This stage can often be automated with software designed to identify the relevant information from large amounts of data.
- Review – sometimes done manually and sometimes using AI tools, the review stage involves selecting only the most relevant data to the case and eliminating anything unnecessary.
- Analysis – at this stage in the process, the data is analyzed to find trends and other important information that will be used during a trial.
- Production – the digital assets that will be used as evidence are turned into physical documentation in this stage so that they can be presented in court.
- Presentation – in this final stage, the evidence found in the e-Discovery process is presented to other relevant parties including lawyers, judges, mediators, etc.
Common e-Discovery Challenges
E-Discovery is a complex process that many companies do not necessarily think about until a lawsuit is imminent. If a lawsuit or investigation does arise, companies often find themselves unprepared and unsure how to proceed. They are thrown into an e-Discovery process that may require them to shift employee focus from other essential tasks to gathering evidence and preparing for trial.
This is a process that can take months, especially in a large organization where there can be huge volumes of data to trawl through as well as strict rules to follow to ensure that no data is tampered with, altered or deleted. When information is stored on employees’ personal devices, the situation can become even more complicated and difficult to navigate.
This process can be made infinitely simpler if companies prepare in advance by putting controls in place and capturing and archiving all types of e-communications on both company-owned and employee-owned devices. With all the data saved in such a system, it will be easy to search for the information relevant to a lawsuit should the time come.
Stay Prepared with LeapXpert
LeapXpert’s platform enables companies to keep complete records of all communications between employees and clients on all of the most popular messaging apps. LeapXpert can be integrated with other business systems, keeping all client-related data in one place and making it easy to search and access during an e-Discovery process.