EDiscovery Software Basics: How & Why

A 2013 Science Daily report concluded that 90 percent of all of the world’s electronic data had been created in the two years prior to the study with no sign of slowing down. Companies are completely awash in data.

Now imagine that you are a company lawyer putting together a case for trial; for example, about corporate policy violations or a crime of embezzling. There would simply be no end to the available records, emails, documents, spreadsheets, pictures, calendar files, tracked activities, notes and more.  Sifting, locating, securing and searching electronic data manually is no easy task and would disrupt focus from the case at hand. Luckily, electronic discovery (eDiscovery) is able to handle much of the load by quickly searching large masses of unstructured data for litigation preparedness.

However, eDiscovery isn’t just for the legal team. It is an essential component of an integrated information governance framework for today’s leading companies, because it provides searchable access to large data sets for the sake of risk assessment and mitigation for internal investigations. This allows corporate policy mavens to stay on top of policy violations and issues with ease, crucial in times of growing corporate litigation. In fact, a 2013 study found that 89 percent of surveyed companies were involved in a contract dispute or other litigation in the past prior 12 months.

Why is that important today?

EDiscovery is not just easier with the right software solution: it saves money, time and headaches. Where can you begin? First, evaluate available software solutions (we’re partial to Discovery Attender) with your governance, risk and compliance (GRC) expert and IT personnel. There are several options on the market, we recommend you look at one that is holistic and can handle all of the steps of the chain for your information governance lifecycle.

Then, get started today with these simple best practices, based on the Electronic Discovery Electronic Reference Model (EDRM). THE EDRM standard outlines the major phases of the discovery process. Sherpa Software believes in this process and endorses the EDRM standard.

EDRM-graphic

Credit: EDRM

Best Practices:

  1. Create an eDiscovery team, and meet with your IT, legal, audit staff and key stakeholders.
  2. Draft eDiscovery policies to outline procedures and educate staff on data preservation.
  3. Review and simplify your data backup procedures and organization strategies.
  4. Verify that your policies comply with any applicable laws; local, national and any special regulations.

­These steps ensure that your company’s data will be in great shape to follow the EDRM process of eDiscovery in the above workflow. Now you’re ready to search, collect and export findings for uses such as legal presentation and internal reporting or investigation. This can tangibly impact your business’ bottom line by saving your company expensive legal fees or lost productivity time.

Make eDiscovery a critical part of your information governance strategy and your company will be ahead of the data curve.

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