What is the purpose of eDiscovery? You might think that it’s about discovering documents or data, or about leveraging technology and/or workflows. But, as Derek Duarte of UnitedLex tells us, it’s about discovering digital truth.
Their article (Discovering Digital Truth: A Different Approach to eDiscovery, available here) reminds us that before there was electronic data, paper was the primary storage media and most business processes – not just discovery – revolved around paper. Paper documents were produced in discovery and productions in large cases could literally involve boxes upon boxes of paper documents that had been photocopied.
When work product began to be created on computers and we began to communicate electronically through email, responsive documents were initially printed out to be produced before we adjusted eDiscovery workflows to produce those documents electronically, in image form. Emails and office files carried forth the “document paradigm” to which legal professionals had long become accustomed.
Today, the document paradigm is alive and well. eDiscovery platforms are document-centric, and review of evidence is called “document review”. As we have evolved into newer forms of electronic evidence, such as texts, collaboration app data, location data, and audio/video files, we have forced the “square pegs” of those newer forms of data into the “round hole” of the document paradigm.
While you wouldn’t know it from looking at eDiscovery platforms today, eDiscovery is not about discovering documents. Nor is it about discovering data. Nor leveraging workflows or technology. According to Derek, it’s about discovering digital truth. Find out why (there’s a hint!) in their article here and how they demonstrated it in a recent case here!
So, what do you think? Do you agree that eDiscovery is about discovering digital truth? Or is it about something else? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.