eDiscovery Daily Blog

EDRM Publishes Collection Standards – eDiscovery Trends

On the heels of announcing a transition to nonprofit status by May 2014, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) has now introduced Collection Standards for electronically stored information (ESI) for public comment.

In their press release to announce the new standards, EDRM noted that a group of attendees at this past May’s annual meeting “decided that ‘collection’ of ESI had evolved to the point that it made sense to document collection best practices and considerations for developing a collection strategy. The team, including Julie Brown, Teri Christensen, Kevin Clark, Sean d’Albertis, Kevin Esposito, Faisal Habib, Valerie Lloyd, Rick Nalle, Andrea Donovan Napp and John Wilson, has collaborated over the last several months to develop these standards which are now available for public comment.”

The collection standards page, which is available here, defines best practices to identify what processes are repeatable and the understandable risks and rewards that can be used to evaluate a strategy in various cases.  It focuses on different approaches for collection, including:

  • Forensic Image (Physical or Logical Target)
  • Custom Content/Targeted Image
  • Non-Forensic Copy
  • Exports – Harvesting Email
  • Exports – Non-Email
  • Exceptions (technologies that the standards don’t yet address, including mobile devices, instant messaging, MACs, International Protocols, and social media/ other types of cloud storage).

Each approach includes definitions, pros and cons of that approach and a glossary of terms.  Defined terms are hyperlinked with pop-up definitions, making it easy to define any terms that need it.

Want to know the different types of email formats that are typically exported for discovery purposes?  This document has it.  Want to know when you should consider creating a forensic image of the data in question?  It’s there too.  The standards provide clear best practices in easy-to-understand terms that should be a useful reference for anybody who will need to tackle ESI collection for their cases.  Good move to publish the standards they have now instead of waiting to address the exception technologies, which are much more complex.

According to the press release, the public comment period extends through November 15, 2013, which is only 17 days later than the standards were officially published.  That time period seems a bit short to me; hopefully, EDRM will consider extending it.

It’s shaping up to be a banner year for EDRM, as, since the May annual meeting, several EDRM projects (Metrics, Jobs, Data Set and the new Native Files project) have already announced new deliverables and/or requested feedback.

So, what do you think?  Will these new Collection Standards be a useful best practices guide?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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