When it comes to e-discovery projects, the debate about how to improve the Identification and Collection steps are often at the forefront. Why so? There are several factors – the gap between legal and IT, the desire to cut costs by using manual processes, and just not being aware of the risks involved. My colleague Dean Gonsowski’s recent post Manual Collections of ESI in Electronic Discovery Come under Fire discusses manual collections at lengthand what counsel needs to supplement it. The alternative is obviously to enable automated collections, which organizations may balk at, citing large technology and IT costs. In this post, I would like to examine the critical considerations and advantages of automating the collection process within an enterprise.
It is generally the case that with automation, you achieve a certain level of repeatability and quality control, which leads to better management of risks. In Ford Motor Co. v. Edgewood Properties Inc., 257 F.R.D. 418 (D.N.J. 2009), the opinion suggests that manual collections are permissible. However, is that a wise decision, considering the exposure that offered the plaintiffs in the case? A counter point is the Judge Shira Scheindlin’s Zubulake Revisited, Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of America Sec. opinion that certain plaintiffs’ collection efforts warranted a sanction for spoliation of evidence because, among other defects, the plaintiffs relied solely on their employees to search and select what they believed to be responsive information without adequate attorney direction and supervision.
So, what are the critical elements and advantages of automating the collection process within an enterprise? Most important is closing the gap between legal and IT teams that are involved in the matter. The legal team is often involved at the start of an e-discovery project and hasthe insight into possible custodians who are potentialtargets of ESI collections. However, they have very little visibility into the information assets that actually belong to the named custodians. A key step in automation is identifying the custodians and their ESI. This is where legal teams and IT teams need to collaborate. Once this is completed, you now have the need to specify collection parameters and apply them methodically for all custodians in the context of a matter.
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Source: eDiscovery 2.0
By: Venkat Rangan