eDiscovery Daily Blog

A New Processing Standards Guide from EDRM: eDiscovery Best Practices

When dealing with electronic data, some attorneys think that since the files are already electronic, how hard can they be to load? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. To be useable in discovery, electronic files need to be processed and good processing requires a sound process. Leave it to EDRM to offer a new standards guide to establish a set of basic standards for processing various types of data for eDiscovery.

Let’s face it, at some point in nearly every eDiscovery life cycle, it is necessary to “process” data from an electronic storage device into a database so the data may be used in subsequent e-discovery steps. So, last Tuesday, EDRM released its new “software agnostic”* EDRM Data Processing Standards Guide, which is designed to help eDiscovery professionals ask the right questions and be knowledgeable about the tools available (*while the guide is meant to be software-agnostic, it does draw heavily on examples from kCura’s system, Relativity).

Written by experienced practitioners, the guide addresses considerations and concerns that arise when one processes data from an electronic storage device into an eDiscovery database and is intended to be a resource for anyone who would like to use the processing stage of eDiscovery to streamline review and improve analysis of information in the database. It covers everything from virus protection, container files, deduplication and de-NISTing to HASH values, time zone considerations, passwords and exception handling. It also identifies key metadata fields necessary for searching, sorting and production purposes and a basic glossary of terms. And, as processing has numerous potential permutations, the guide identifies some of the topics that aren’t yet covered in the “Potential Future Topics” section, such as language identification, EML files (Outlook Express) and processing Lotus Notes email.

The draft guide is available here and is open for public comment until tomorrow, March 17 (extra credit for submitting your comments in green ink – just kidding!), after which time input will be reviewed and considered for incorporation before the new guide is finalized. If you’re used to simply turning over your electronic files to a vendor for processing and want to know what that vendor is actually doing with them, it’s a good guide to help you understand the steps involved in making your data usable for review.

So, what do you think? Have you read the guide yet? If so, did you find it useful? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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