The advent of electronic mail, digital document management, and the Internet have led to the creation of a new field of legal services in civil litigation called electronic discovery, or ediscovery. The first phase of a civil proceeding, discovery, is when the parties must exchange relevant information with each other. The rules regarding discovery have been amended to account for electronically stored information (ESI), including documents like correspondence, contracts, spreadsheets, and email, as well as video and audio files.
The volume of material involved in ediscovery is often much greater than that stored on paper; in addition, electronically stored data often contains metadata, information created pursuant to the creation of the file. Metadata often includes the time and date of a file’s creation, the author’s identity, and information about modifications and adjustments made to a file, and many more important fields that pertain to any given file. In terms of its value as evidence, metadata can be as significant as the test of a document, and proves crucial when searching for evidentiary files that are to be presented at the trial or hearing.
Within the legal profession, the field of ediscovery is generally called litigation support. James Cortopassi, a national leader in Litigation Support and eDiscovery Services, directs and coordinates the ediscovery efforts in New Jersey. For clients who find themselves in the document review phase of litigation, Cortopassi directs teams of lawyers and other professionals who review electronic files for relevance, certain issues and privilege before delivering them to opposing counsel. Additionally, James Cortopassi and his team are routinely involved in data processing, advanced searching, analytics and culling as well as document review and analysis. In addition, they may also conduct forensic acquisitions and create trial presentations and court demonstratives.