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The Ultimate Guide to eDiscovery for Lawyers
Companies worldwide increasingly rely on technology to boost productivity and efficiency. Electronic discovery is one ...
Companies worldwide increasingly rely on technology to boost productivity and efficiency. Electronic discovery is one such software that has become prominent in the legal field. According to one small-scale study by the American Bar Association, the number of law firms involved in cases that utilized eDiscovery ranged from 29% of solo practitioners to 72% of large firms.
- Electronic discovery (eDiscovery) refers to the process of locating and producing electronically stored information in preparation for the discovery process of a legal case.
- It encompasses emails, text messages, website communications, social media posts, and audio files. It can also include information stored on physical devices, such as hard drives or servers.
- eDiscovery software such as Microsoft Purview can be used to manage and collect, process, and review data for a legal case.
- It's important to look for certain specifications when choosing eDiscovery software such as cloud-computing, core features, price, free trial, and customer reviews.
- eDiscovery also comes with its own set of challenges such as identifying relevant data, managing large data sets, and ensuring data security and privacy.
What Is Electronic Discovery?
Electronic discovery refers to the process of locating and producing electronically stored information in preparation for the discovery process of a case. The process might also follow the direct request to produce evidence as part of the discovery process. It encompasses emails, text messages, website communications, social media posts and audio files. It can also include information stored on physical devices, such as hard drives or servers.
Legal professionals use electronic discovery in both criminal and civil cases. In a criminal case, professionals might use it to find evidence of illegal activities. In a civil case, it can uncover communications between two parties or identify a witness.
What Is Microsoft Purview eDiscovery?
This cloud-based software helps you manage your electronic discovery. With Microsoft Purview eDiscovery, you can collect, process, and review data for your legal case. Microsoft Purview is part of the Microsoft 365 suite. The features depend on the Office 365 subscription you own.
How Is Electronic Discovery Used in the Legal Field?
During the discovery process, both sides of a lawsuit exchange information and evidence for use during trial. Each side can request evidence from the other side. The party receiving the request must then produce the requested evidence. If the requested evidence is in electronic form, the legal team can use electronic discovery to locate and produce it.
What To Look for in the Best eDiscovery Software Options?
When looking for the best software options, you will find that the value of certain specifications will vary based on your unique needs. Consider these factors carefully before making a decision.
Consider whether the software is cloud-based or installed on your computer. Cloud-based software is typically more affordable and easier to use. It also allows you to access your data from anywhere.
Consider the core features offered by the software. Ensure the software has all the needed features, such as document management and review, data processing, and production. Start by making a list of your must-haves and then use that to narrow down your software options.
Price is always an essential factor to consider. When looking at price, remember that you typically get what you pay for, but, in this field, it might just mean losing a few features. The most expensive software is not always the best, and the cheapest software is not always the worst. For example, Microsoft offers a free version of its eDiscovery software.
Most software companies will offer a free trial. Test out the software to see if it meets your needs. Be sure to take advantage of free trials when available. View companies that do not offer one as a red flag. It implies the company is not confident in its offering. It does not believe a free test run will translate into a satisfied user who buys the product.
Always read customer reviews. These provide an unbiased, third-party opinion of the software. You might have to dig, but be mindful of testimonials or full write-ups on large blogs. Companies often curate testimonials, and write-ups often include affiliate links, which can influence bloggers to write more favorably about the product.
What Are The Challenges of Electronic Discovery?
While electronic discovery can be a helpful tool in litigation, it also comes with some challenges. Identifying these ahead of time can help you plan for success:
- Identifying relevant data: With the vast amount of data created and transmitted electronically, even with the best eDiscovery software, it can be challenging to determine what is relevant to your case.
- Collecting data: Once you have identified the relevant data, you must retrieve it. This can be challenging if the data spreads across multiple devices and locations.
- Processing data: This step includes converting information into a format that can be reviewed and analyzed. Data processing can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
- Reviewing data: Reviewing data can present a challenge if it is voluminous or contains sensitive information. This is typically not a task you can automate.
- Producing data: Producing the data involves converting it into the correct format for use in court. You might also need to transmit it via a specific channel.
What Are the Benefits of Electronic Discovery?
Despite the challenges, there are many benefits to using electronic discovery in litigation. These benefits can help you sway decision makers at your company who might not yet agree that you need electronic discovery to improve legal processes:
- More efficient review: Use search terms and filters to narrow down the data you need to review.
- Greater accuracy: Easily identify relevant data and then check it more carefully.
- Increased transparency: eDiscovery makes it easier to find all relevant data, which can help reduce the risk of missing something important.
- Faster turnaround: Electronic discovery can also help you achieve a quick turnaround time, speeding up the litigation process.
How Does Cloud Migration Help With Electronic Discovery?
Companies need access to Microsoft 365 to leverage the full power of Microsoft Purview eDiscovery. That makes cloud migration necessary. Cloudficient has helped companies with 5,000 end users or more achieve seamless transitions to the cloud. Are you ready to get started? Contact us for a quote today.
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.