10 Critical Decisions for Successful E-Discovery: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure's Recent Emphasis on Producing Electronically Stored Information Requires That the E-Discovery Team Understands the Collection and Processing Choices to Be Made-And Their Ramifications

By Unger, Karen | Information Management, September-October 2007 | Go to article overview

10 Critical Decisions for Successful E-Discovery: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure's Recent Emphasis on Producing Electronically Stored Information Requires That the E-Discovery Team Understands the Collection and Processing Choices to Be Made-And Their Ramifications


Unger, Karen, Information Management


Today's explosion of electronic data, coupled with the December 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) concerning electronically stored information (ESI), requires information and legal professionals to expand their knowledge about handling electronic discovery.

The recent changes to the FRCP include:

* Definitions and safe harbor provisions for the routine alterations of electronic files during routine operations such as back ups [Amended Rule 37(f)]

* Information about how to deal with data that is not reasonably accessible [Amended Rule 26(b)(2)(B)]

* How to deal with inadvertently produced privileged material [Amended Rule 26(b)(5)]

* ESI preservation responsibilities and the pre-trial conference. [Amended Rule 26(f)]

* Electronic file production requests [Amended Rules 33(d), 34, 26(f)(3), 34(b)(iii)]

There are many opinions about how ESI should be planned for, managed, organized, stored, and retrieved. Some of the available options are extremely costly in terms of their required financial and time commitments.

Constantly changing technologies only add to the confusion. One area of confusion is the distinction between computer forensics and electronic discovery; there is a significant difference. These are described in the sidebar "Computer Forensics vs. Electronic Discovery."

Making the Right Choices

Successfully responding to e-discovery within the constraints of the amended FRCP requires organizations to make many critical decisions that will affect the collection and processing of ESI.

Collection Decisions

The following questions need immediate answers:

1. Are e-mail files part of this project? If so, do any key people maintain an Internet e-mail account, in addition to their corporate accounts?

The sheer volume of transactions for large e-mail providers prohibits the storage of massive amounts of mail files. Many Internet e-mail account providers, such as AOL, BellSouth, and Comcast, retain their e-mail logs 11o longer than 30 days. If a case could potentially require the exploration of e-mail from Internet accounts, the discovery team must expeditiously request the records, or they may be gone forever. This usually requires a subpoena. In rare cases, fragments of Internet e-mail may be recovered forensically from an individual's hard drive.

2. Is there any chance illegal activity may be discovered?

Many cases involving electronic data uncover wrongdoings. These situations may involve a member of the technology department or a highly technical employee. In these cases, an organization's first inclination may be to terminate the employee(s) involved and determine the extent of any damage prior to notifying law enforcement agencies.

This may be exactly the WRONG thing to do. If the wrongdoing is by a technical person, there is a chance that he or she is the only person who knows how to access the files, find the problem, or fix it. This is often the person who knows the passwords for mission-critical applications. The technical employee usually has the ability to work and access company files remotely. Unless such access is eliminated prior to the employee's termination, it is possible that a terminated or disgruntled employee may access the network and do great damage.

A better solution is to restrict the employee's complete access privileges, both local and remote. The employee is then notified of management's knowledge of the situation and given an opportunity to cooperate to minimize the damage. If the situation involves criminal matters, especially if financial or medical records have been compromised, a good decision is to involve law enforcement as early as possible. Electronic criminals frequently disappear and destroy all evidence of their activities.

3. Is it possible that deleted or hidden files may play an important role in this case? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

10 Critical Decisions for Successful E-Discovery: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure's Recent Emphasis on Producing Electronically Stored Information Requires That the E-Discovery Team Understands the Collection and Processing Choices to Be Made-And Their Ramifications
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.