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Electronic Discovery

Abbott Law Group, P.A. > Electronic Discovery

Electronic Discovery

What is it and why is it important to your case?

Electronic discovery, also known as eDiscovery, refers to the process of locating, identifying, preserving, processing and producing computer generated documents or records that may be used as evidence in litigation. This evidence is known as electronically stored information, or ESI.

The International Standard Organization (ISO) has adopted the following definition:

 

“Electronically Stored Information, ESI”

Data or information of any kind and from any source, whose temporal existence is evidenced by being stored in or on any electronic medium, and includes without limitation databases, spreadsheets, office documents, traditional e-mail, presentations, letters, memos. ESI also includes system, application and file associated metadata such as timestamps, revision history, file type, etc. Electronic medium can take the form of, but is not limited to, storage devices and storage elements.” See ISO/IEC 27040, 27050.

ESI also includes what is known as “metadata” which is information about information or content, (e.g., time, date, author, sender, recipient, and other file properties) which are generally not produced or associated with hard copy document production. Metadata collected in response to a litigant’s discovery requests in civil actions can encompass information including vital information associated with:

  • word processed documents
  • spread sheets
  • email
  • voicemails
  • text messages
  • photographs
  • social networking sites (e.g. Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®, Vine®, and LinkedIn®)
  • databases
  • cloud storage
  • websites

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended in 2006 to expressly permit the discovery of ESI, and provide robust eDiscovery tools for requesting parties. Many states, including Florida, have also adopted eDiscovery rules that closely track the federal rules, giving requesting parties correspondingly strong tools for evidence acquisition. The objective of electronic discovery is identical to discovery in any litigation – ascertaining the truth from available relevant evidence. Our attorneys are up-t0-date on the latest eDiscovery rules and techniques.


Co-Counsel for Litigators:

eDiscovery is a rapidly changing, highly technology-focused process, and these activities (in federal and other courts) are required to commence even prior to the beginning of litigation. Owing to the volume, location, format, and age of stored data, a thorough working knowledge of preservation, identification, search methodologies, ESI discovery protocols, and privileged document clawback rules are essential to effectively engage in eDiscovery.

The retention of eDiscovery co-counsel can provide litigators with an early and continuing litigation advantage, and facilitate early and favorable resolution of your client’s case. The Abbott Law Group offers eDiscovery co-counseling to attorneys in significant Federal and State court litigation for both pre-litigation as well as post-commencement counseling. Our services include working with our network of highly qualified technical liaisons and computer forensics experts. For more information, email Steven W. Teppler at steppler@abbottlawpa.com.