When it comes to the electronic discovery industry, there are a lot of topics, approaches and best practices on which our industry professionals have trouble agreeing. Heck, we don’t even agree on how to spell an abbreviation for “electronic discovery”! Some of us (like me, as evidenced by the logo above) prefer “eDiscovery”, others prefer “E-Discovery” or “e-discovery” (like EDRM). I’ve recently seen others represent it as “ediscovery” or “Ediscovery”. Dash or no dash? Maybe we’re looking at it all wrong?
Before electronic evidence became so predominant and so many additional use cases developed that required discovery of that electronic evidence, we were dealing primarily with paper files. Many of us in the industry back then (twenty to twenty-five years ago) called ourselves litigation support professionals and Duane Lites started the Litsupport Yahoo Group where we shared best practices and ideas. And the term we used for the process of responding to requests in litigation was simply called discovery.
The term “electronic discovery” became popular in the early 2000’s and grew from there to differentiate it from regular discovery. Of course, many then shortened that term to “eDiscovery”, because it’s easier to say and write (I’ve probably saved a year of typing during my blogging career simply by abbreviating that term!). But we can’t agree on how to spell “eDiscovery”.
Dash or no dash? Maybe we’re looking at it all wrong? Today, electronic evidence is the standard – by far. We have it in email, in office files, in mobile devices, social media sites, collaboration apps, even Internet of Things (IoT) devices. And much more.
A few years ago, I attended a Masters Conference event in Dallas where one speaker (I wish I could remember his name) questioned the term “eDiscovery” and asked why we even needed the “e” anymore. He said we should simply call it “discovery” and refer to discovery of paper documents as “pDiscovery”.
Valid question. Actually, even most paper documents usually make their way into electronic form during discovery at some point.
So, dash or no dash? How about neither? Let’s simply drop the “e” and call it “discovery”. I think we can all agree how to spell that term, right? 😉
So, what do you think? Do you prefer dash or no dash? Or neither? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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