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eDiscovery Review: 5 Software Options for Your Firm
Technology is everywhere these days, from the smartphone in your pocket to the self-driving cars on the road. The world is going through digital transformation, and this trend is finally having a big impact on the legal industry.
Today, just about every connected system and device could wind up as evidence in a court of law. As such, legal teams need to have a framework for collecting, processing, analyzing, and presenting digital evidence.
In case you’re new to the term, eDiscovery is the process of managing digital evidence during a trial. Keep reading to learn why eDiscovery is important, how it works, what goes into a typical review, and how software solutions can help along the way.
What Is eDiscovery?
Before two opposing teams meet in court, they exchange evidence during discovery. This ensures an efficient and civil trial that’s free of surprises for both parties.
Discovery stretches back generations. In the digital age, discovery now includes eDiscovery, following amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). Legal discovery covers tangible evidence while eDiscovery has to do with electronically stored information (ESI).
The eDiscovery process moves very quickly. To make the most of the process, legal teams need to have information ready to share. This requires a significant amount of preparation and planning before entering the courtroom.
Before sharing data, companies first need to collect, analyze, and prepare the information so it’s ready for use in court. That way, they can get all of their ducks in a row before stepping foot in a courtroom.
What Does the eDiscovery Process Include?
While your legal team has to follow FRCP eDiscovery guidelines during court cases, your company can form its own strategy for internal eDiscovery workflow. The eDiscovery process changes from company to company.
For guidance, most legal teams follow the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). If you’re unfamiliar, the EDRM is the leading industry framework providing a conceptual overview of eDiscovery.
The Stages of the EDRM
As the EDRM explains on its website, you can follow some or all of its models if you choose to do so. Or you can carry out the steps in a different order. Further, you may need to repeat the same step multiple times on occasion. Teams often use the EDRM as a foundation and build on it or modify it to fit their unique needs.
With all this in mind, here’s a look at the nine stages of EDRM.
1. Information Governance
Information governance involves establishing a plan to reduce risk and lower costs during eDiscovery. The information governance plan should account for all stages of eDiscovery.
Identification entails locating ESI sources in places like cloud storage systems, mobile devices, laptops, and websites, to name just a few examples.
Preservation ensures the safety of data, protecting it from manipulation or destruction. This is especially important to ensure data stays intact and available.
Collection is the process of bringing ESI together for use during eDiscovery. During this stage, you carefully extract information from various systems for use as evidence. This often requires working carefully with IT to avoid damaging or losing files.
Processing requires culling or reducing the volume of ESI and converting it into an appropriate form for review. This is important when working with extremely large data sets.
Review is for digging into ESI and gaining an understanding of the material. Your aim during review is to develop facts and reduce risk. We’ll dive deeper into the review process in just a bit.
Analysis involves evaluating ESI for content. During this stage, you look for patterns and topics in the data that you collect.
Production is for preparing and delivering ESI to stakeholders so they can examine the material.
Presentation means displaying ESI before audiences to validate claims, obtain information, and persuade your audience. The presentation stage is the most important part of eDiscovery.
eDiscovery Review: a Breakdown
Success during eDiscovery requires thoroughly knowing your subject matter. Before you present any information to external parties, you have to understand what you’re working with.
You also need to extract the best information to present. Part of eDiscovery is selecting what details you need to share and what you should omit. As such, it’s necessary to go through a comprehensive review process to make sure you’re bringing the right information to court.
The EDRM recommends developing a review strategy, setting up a review or evaluation room, performing data analysis, and conducting a formal review. Finally, legal teams conduct a final review before moving on to the analysis stage of eDiscovery.
Best Practices for eDiscovery Review
Now that you have a better idea of eDiscovery, let’s take a look at the best way to get through the review process.
Prepare the Review Environment
It’s important to provide the review team with a suitable environment for analyzing ESI. The EDRM recommends using a room that’s well-lit and free of distractions.
It’s also important to have quality hardware and software to avoid technical difficulties. After all, you want to make it fast and easy for the review team to go through the material and identify patterns, trends, and relevant points to support the case.
Use Quality Control
The EDRM recommends using quality control measures during each stage of the review process. By doing so, they can ensure consistency and accuracy throughout the process.
Best practices call for allowing reviewers to mark a document for further review. That way, they can revisit a document and change the coding upon discovering their original decision isn’t correct.
Modernize Your Process
At times, the review stage can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This is especially true when working with extremely large datasets containing millions of files.
It’s critical to modernize your operation and make sure you’re using the latest technologies for review. For example, many legal teams are now using artificial intelligence (AI) when organizing and reducing datasets. With the help of AI, the review process becomes much faster and easier. Your team can move through the review process much easier, cutting through irrelevant information and visualizing data.
Streamlining eDiscovery Review With Software
Review costs can vary, depending on the volume and complexity of data. On average, document review remains one of the most expensive parts of eDiscovery.
With data becoming increasingly costly and complex, legal teams need to consider using software to streamline the process. Here’s an overview of the top eDiscovery software leaders for 2021.
Logikcull is a leading solution for processing, reviewing, and producing ESI.
Nextpoint specializes in simplifying eDiscovery using drag-and-drop simplicity.
3. Discovery Attender by Sherpa
Discovery Attender helps locate and produce data during eDiscovery requests.
Onna helps locate data across multiple cloud apps, expediting early case assessment and reducing costs.
5. Venio Systems
Venio Systems is the industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end eDiscovery platform, bringing all processes together in a user-friendly cloud platform.
What Makes Venio Different?
Venio offers VenioOne, a complete eDiscovery platform that provides a bird’s-eye view of ESI for legal teams. Simply put, VenioOne makes it easy to manage eDiscovery from early case assessment all the way to digital production.
Using VenioOne, your team can manage multiple projects simultaneously through a central portal. VenioOne also offers AI-powered review for culling large datasets and a secure file-sharing component for protecting information when exporting files to legal stakeholders.
Venio is your ticket to fast, affordable, and efficient eDiscovery. To see the platform in action and experience it for yourself, try a free demo today.
This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science, and creativity can help workers be more productive. In his spare time, he likes seeing or playing live music, hiking, and traveling.