Discovery Tech Center

In litigation, parties are entitled to exchange documents and other information that may be relevant to the case. Once upon a time, these documents were all paper, meaning the bigger the case, the bigger the stacks of bankers’ boxes full of documents. But as electronic documents superseded paper documents, bankers’ boxes no longer sufficed. These days, virtually every case potentially involves electronically stored information (ESI), whether in the form of documents, emails, digital media, or messaging. In large cases, the numbers of potentially relevant documents can number in the millions. When a lawsuit is filed, the parties must go through a series of steps to preserve all that potentially relevant information, collect it, review it to determine what is relevant or not, and then produce it. When a party to the lawsuit is a large company, that process can require collecting data from locations all over the world, often in different formats and languages, and then reviewing many thousands or millions of documents.

E-discovery technology is a broad class of products that help legal professionals streamline and expedite this process. Most of the technologies address all or some part of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, which maps the e-discovery process from the initial identification, preservation and collection of ESI, through to the review and analysis of the data, and then to production of the data to the opposing party.

Most e-discovery products are end-to-end suites that span most of the EDRM spectrum. Others focus on discrete parts of the process.

This Legal Tech Center focuses on two categories of e-discovery products:

Legal Holds. When litigation is contemplated or filed, legal hold software enables legal departments to manage the process of preserving potentially relevant information by issuing holds, polling custodians, and tracking compliance.

Electronic Discovery. Electronic discovery software is used in litigation to identify, preserve, collect, review and produce potentially relevant documents and information.

Although e-discovery products are most typically used in litigation, their use has expanded into other areas where legal professionals are required to review and produce large amounts of data in response to legally authorized requests. Two common examples of how this technology is used outside the litigation context are by businesses that must respond to government investigations and by government agencies that must respond to freedom-of-information requests.

Show more

Categories of software used in Discovery

Electronic Discovery
Legal Holds