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Implementing eDiscovery at a Law Firm
Technology has reshaped all aspects of society and business, and the legal world is no exception. Not only has tech ...
Technology has reshaped all aspects of society and business, and the legal world is no exception. Not only has tech become a lucrative area of law practices, but it has also affected eDiscovery requests. The American Bar Association shares that eDiscovery requests have grown exponentially, but it also laments that too many lawyers still need to develop compliance solutions. Where does your law firm or legal department fall on that spectrum?
Developing an electronic discovery process for your law firm or legal department should be a top priority.
Companies must understand the electronic discovery steps before seeking solutions or reorganizing processes, which includes identifying relevant information, preserving new evidence, collecting relevant data sources, searching through relevant data sources, processing relevant documents, reviewing documents, and producing documents.
By migrating electronic discovery data to the cloud, companies can reduce the cost and time required for discovery activities, improve capabilities, and enhance scalability and flexibility compared to on-premise electronic discovery solutions.
What Is eDiscovery?
Electronic discovery is the process of collecting and producing digital records for use in civil or criminal legal proceedings. Examples of digital records include emails, documents, databases and social media posts. It is an essential component of conducting investigations and responding to requests from regulatory bodies. Attorneys can leverage technology to sift through large volumes and complex data quickly.
How Can Companies Manage eDiscovery Requests?
Developing an electronic discovery process for your law firm or legal department should be one of your top priorities. To minimize errors and potential liability issues, you must implement a system that effectively manages requests from start to finish. Here are some critical implementation steps.
Evaluate the Law Firm's Current Ability To Comply With Discovery Requests
Before investing in solutions, you must assess your organization's needs. What kind of discovery requests does your law firm typically receive? What processes do you have in place for managing electronic discovery requests? Are there any data sources that are difficult to access or manage? The answers to these questions will point you in the right direction.
Choose Effective eDiscovery Solutions
Once you have evaluated your electronic discovery needs, it is time to select a solution that can adequately meet them. Consider both software and hardware options, as well as cloud-based solutions. Depending on the size of your law firm or legal department, you may need to invest in software, such as Microsoft Purview.
Develop Effective Policies
Create policies that ensure compliance with the law. Your policies should cover data collection, storage, processing, access controls, and data destruction. Additionally, companies should update policies regularly as laws and regulations change.
Train Staff on Discovery Processes
To ensure compliance with electronic discovery requests, all your staff members must receive training on related processes. This includes training on how to use tools, respond effectively to requests, and adhere to policies.
Create an eDiscovery Team With the Right Expertise
An electronic discovery team is essential for effectively responding to requests. The team should include personnel with specialized knowledge and expertise, such as attorneys, IT professionals, paralegals and legal assistants. These professionals should have also received proper training on the chosen solution.
Maintain Accurate Records of Discovery Activities
Accurate record keeping is essential for compliance. Your team should create and maintain detailed records of all discovery actions, including the data sources it used and the methods it employed to search for information.
What Are the Steps for Conducting an eDiscovery Review?
Companies must understand the electronic discovery steps before seeking solutions or reorganizing processes. Consider the following steps.
Identify the Information Relevant to the Case
The discovery team needs to identify which data is necessary to understand and resolve the legal issue at hand. This can involve searching for emails, documents or social media posts that relate to the case.
Preserve New Evidence That Arises During the Discovery Process
As electronic discovery activities proceed, new evidence may come to light. Teams must take steps to preserve this evidence to protect it from tampering or destruction. In some cases, a court may even issue a preservation letter to all parties with involvement in the process.
Collect Relevant Data Sources
Once the team has identified the relevant data sources, it needs to collect them to begin discovery activities. This can involve requesting data from third parties, downloading data from the cloud, scanning hard drives or collecting email archives.
Search Through Relevant Data Sources
Next, eDiscovery teams need to search through the collected data to extract the case information. Electronic discovery tools, such as keyword search, can speed up this process and make it more efficient.
Process Relevant Documents
After the discovery team has collected and searched the relevant data sources, it must produce documents pertinent to the case. This can involve creating summaries, organizing documents into folders or converting documents into different file formats.
The discovery team must review the produced documents to ensure that they are relevant to the case and that no one has tampered with them in any way. During this process, discovery teams may also need to redact certain information for privacy or security reasons.
The initial request should have provided a deadline and the method for producing the discovered documents. Use end-to-end encryption to ensure data security when transferring files to the relevant parties.
How Can Cloud Migration Streamline the eDiscovery Implementation Process?
By migrating electronic discovery data to the cloud, companies can reduce the cost and time required for discovery activities. Cloud computing improves capabilities, while cloud storage provides enhanced scalability and flexibility compared to on-premise electronic discovery solutions.
Cloud solutions are easier to set up and maintain as they do not require specialized IT expertise or resources. This makes it easier for organizations of all sizes to implement electronic discovery processes quickly and effectively.
As a vital compliance issue, eDiscovery requires careful planning and execution. This is also true of cloud migration, so at Cloudficient, we provide an experienced team of professionals to ensure a seamless transition. Contact us to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration plans.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.