The Ins and Outs of eDiscovery
Legal cases can be very complex, and in multi-dimensional cases an attorney may hire a litigation team to aid in his/her efforts. Litigation support services constitute anything from eDiscovery to forensic collections to compiling a visual presentation for the courtroom. The service’s main purpose is to save the attorney time and focus. Without the worries of research, attorneys have much more time to address different parts of the case prior to trial.
Litigation support services can also add their support by assessing charges and fines post trial. They can do this by researching previous cases and ensuring the current penalties of the law. The idea of litigation support services is to combine law with technology. This is primarily accomplished through eDiscovery.
What is eDiscovery?
eDiscovery simply stands for electronic discovery, meaning the research and compilation of electronically stored information or ESI. E-mails, word documents, web sites, blogging, and instant messaging all constitute what is known as electronically stored information. The job of the litigation team is digging this type of evidence up for an attorney. With the list of information that could be dug up in eDiscovery, it’s easy to see that eDiscovery is an ever-changing process–something that must keep up with the times. E-mails and instant messaging would not have been a means of evidence twenty years ago, but now can give imperative insight during a case.
Process of eDiscovery
eDiscovery begins as soon as the need for, or anticipation of, a lawsuit has been established, whether the court date is next month or next year, the research compilation will begin and last until the data is presented as evidence in court. And even then the eDiscovery process does not end! When cases are lost, a litigation support team is also in charge of helping attorneys assess whether an appeal can be filed. Perhaps very new information has just surfaced, or a loophole to a certain charge has been discovered.
And even when cases are won the eDiscovery process may not immediately end. In this case, litigation specialists help attorneys tie up loose ends and ensure that not only has all legal action been taken, but that all dues have been given to the deserving party.
Prior to a case, the data discovered by both the defense and the plaintiff is presented and challenged by the other side if necessary. Any electronically stored information that is not relatable enough to the case is at this time sifted through once again and disposed of if necessary.
The evidence found from eDiscovery is then converted into a form that can be easily presented to the court, whether it’s a graph, a timeline, or pictures– the attorney and the litigation support services collaborate to develop a presentation that is easily comprehensible and persuasive for any jury.
Storage and classification are important statutes to remember during the eDiscovery process. And the backbone of both of these statutes is organization. With such a wealth of information, it is important to organize, classify, and store appropriately so that the attorney does not waste extended time sifting through research.
Certain information may be at a very high value to varying organizations. This evidence needs to be preserved and safely stored so as not to ever be destroyed. Records or information that is lacking in value or is no longer needed after a case must be destroyed of in a very methodical and consistent manner, setting a precedent for all eDiscovery processes.
The technology our society has now not only allows for speed and depth in research, but ultimately allows for more flawless justice. eDiscovery gives attorneys an extra advantage in serving their clients and producing the best outcome. For eDiscovery or any other litigation support services contact us on our website or give us a call at 973-732-6380.