The Basics: What is ediscovery?

Big data = big headaches.

So, what is ediscovery or edisclosure?

A legal process

Discovery in the U.S. and disclosure in the U.K. is a legal process that involves collecting and producing evidence before trial in a legal dispute. Each party must search for information that is relevant to the case and produce it to other parties in the case. The exact duties of the parties, the extent of the search and the way in which information is exchanged is set out in the rules of court in different countries.

A similar process is followed in arbitration and in regulatory investigations where there is a formal duty on parties to produce information to the arbitrator or regulator.


Increased data volumes = increased cost and risk.

Given that most business documents are now created electronically, this legal process involves identifying and producing Electronically Stored Information (ESI) such as e-mail, Word documents, spreadsheets, databases, pictures, text messages, etc. It is therefore now commonly referred to as “ediscovery” or “edisclosure”.
Increased data volumes = increased cost and risk.

Ediscovery technology saves the day.

Ediscovery technology and expertise saves the day

To carry out the exercise and cope with the enormous volume of ESI companies now store, it has become essential to rely on:

  • forensic expertise to help identify and harvest the data needed from company IT systems without altering it;
  • sophisticated legal technologies to help process and filter the data by keywords and date ranges for example to identify what is relevant to a particular case;
  • online document review tools which allow documents to be searched across and reviewed efficiently by legal teams as they make decisions about what is relevant and must be produced, what is privileged or private and need not be disclosed and what will be helpful as they build their case.

Savvy litigation teams are learning to integrate ediscovery technology into their cases to gain a strategic edge.


But we don’t have ediscovery rules?

Even in countries where there is no formal discovery or disclosure duty, there is still a role for ediscovery technologies to support the review of company data such as emails and other electronic documents. Companies in Europe have begun adopting a far more proactive stance to legal risk management by using ediscovery technologies ahead of litigation and regulatory action. The technologies traditionally used during pre-trial discovery or disclosure are able to help legal teams collate, filter, review and produce documents efficiently in other situations. They are now being used by some companies to review Electronically Stored Information as part of their internal audit processes to ensure regulatory compliance and uncover wrongdoing such as corrupt practices and anti-competitive behaviour.

The ABCs of the EDRM

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is an organization that serves as a guide for corporations and law firms faced with the cost challenges and complexities of ediscovery.

Developed to create practical resources to improve ediscovery and information governance, the EDRM provides a forum for sharing advice and best practices. Kroll Ontrack has been honored to participate in this prestigious group over the years and contribute to the creation of its many frameworks.


A Continuous and Simultaneous Process

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model is depicted as a linear workflow. However, ediscovery is continuous and iterative, with interdependent stages that often run in parallel.

On any project, data can be in all phases of the EDRM simultaneously. And, steps are often repeated multiple times. Further, instead of a single project, corporations and their outside counsel may have a portfolio of projects ongoing at the same time, all in differing phases of the EDRM.


Ediscovery.com across the EDRM

Through an integrated approach to service and technology, ediscovery.com offers solutions woven through every touch point in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

Whether you need unmatched, global services or feature-rich software, let ediscovery.com help you take control of your cases, regulatory matters and investigations across the EDRM.