In today’s society, the storage of documents is increasingly in electronic form. To search these documents requires some knowledge of technology and the best application of this technology to find the important facts in the tsunami of electronic information. In this paper, we will discuss the problems, pitfalls and potential solutions for managing such a deluge of data.
Searching through this ocean of data for cases is usually referred to by one of several common terms, Electronic Discovery, e-discovery, Electronic Data Discovery (EDD), or Electronically Stored Information (ESI). Data is collected from sources known in the industry as custodians, via forensically sound methods that allow attorneys for both sides (Plaintiff and Defense) to review the information for relevance to their case. As an example of how tedious this can be, a case may contain anywhere from a few hundred megabytes of email files to a case which may entail server hard disk images, resulting in terabytes of data. Regardless, the mere presence of this data requires that an attorney know something about technology or hire someone who does. This technology knowledge requirement has been slowly creating new problems for the legal industry as attorneys realize that mistakes in managing this information can cost them through sanctions.
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