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Electronic Discovery Questions & Answers


Electronic Discovery

What is Electronic Discovery?

Electronic discovery is the process of accessing computer files, e-mail systems, databases and more from electronic filing systems. The use of electronic discovery in the litigation process is on the rise, and litigants are entitled to discover relevant computer data and receive it in a usable form. How to courts, attorneys, experts and clients determine what discovery of electronic data is relevant and useful? The legal system is becoming increasing reliant on the methods of electronic discovery to produce documents during the discovery process. The electronic version of data is different from its paper representation. It may contain multiple drafts and versions, and have more complete information about the history, drafts, revisions and more. Electronic data can actually be a more complete record and source of information than the conventional paper records.

What is the most commonly requested electronic data?

There are many different types of data that can be accessed in electronic version. This may include databases, e-mails, spreadsheets, CAD or CRM documents.

Databases: Databases are often key sources of information within a company. Databases may be crucial sources of information about organizational financial information, customers, production processes, company performance, company competition, and proprietary internal processes. Almost all major functions of the modern business organization maintain a large segment of their data in some sort of database.

Electronic Mail: Another common form of data retrieved for electronic data is company e-mails. E-mail systems may contain correspondence between individuals, important data as attachments and more. While there are some privacy concerns in retrieving emails in the process of electronic discovery, they are almost always able to be used for the purpose of litigation.

Word Processing or Presentation Documents: These types of documents are very useful in electronic discovery, as they often include individual documents, reports and are often easily retrieved as they are saved in a highly organized fashion.

Other types of documents often included in Electronic Discovery Data include spreadsheets, CAD/CAM/CAE, Personnel Records, and Policy and Procedure Manuals.

Where is Electronic Data Usually Stored?

Electronic Discovery relies on safe and accurate records to retrieve. Companies have a duty to preserve all important documents, and documents are generally retrieved from hard-drives, internet service providers, and “erased” files that can still be retrieved

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