Data Collection

  • Phases
    Legal Updates

    Finding Proportionality in a Phased Approach to E-Discovery

    Two recent decisions highlight the usefulness of phased e-discovery as a tool to satisfy Rule 26(b)(1)’s ever-important proportionality requirement. Model orders for patent cases in numerous courts require phased discovery, typically phasing email discovery to occur after other discovery and only if deemed necessary. However, phased discovery is becoming prevalent in other types of cases as well.

  • Social Network
    Technology Advantage

    Collection Best Practices - How Multifaceted Software Has Changed E-Discovery

    As our work force has shifted to mobile and remote working practices (a trend in place before COVID, which only accelerated during the pandemic), businesses have turned to collaborative messaging tools such as Slack and various versions of Teams to manage communications. On the positive side, by using these messaging tools, organizations are able to more efficiently discuss ideas and brainstorm solutions. However, when an organization becomes involved in a dispute and those communications are potentially relevant to the dispute and need to be preserved and collected, the process may not be as straightforward as a simple email collection.

  • Justice
    Legal Updates

    Court Orders Spoliation Sanctions Requiring Defendants and Former Defense Counsel To Pay Attorneys’ Fees and Costs

    In DR Distributors LLC v. 21 Century Smoking, Inc, v. CB Distributors, Inc. and Carlos Bengos, 2021 WL 185082, No. 12 CV 50324 (1/19/2021), Judge Johnston of the Northern District of Illinois, granted Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against Defendants and their former counsel, requiring them to, among other things, pay what was expected to exceed a million dollars of attorneys’ fees and costs to Plaintiff. The Court imposed the sanctions based on its conclusion that Defendants and their former counsel: did not take reasonable steps to preserve ESI (electronically stored information); did not conduct a reasonable investigation of their ESI; did not timely disclose ESI under 26(g); and spoliated thousands of emails and chat messages. This ruling shows that we, as legal practitioners, need to be extremely congizant of our discovery obligations.

  • Legal Updates

    PRIVACY PLEASE, DO NOT DISTURB: Proportionality and Privacy

    As you recall, in December of 2015, the amended FRCP 26(b)(1) sought to address the escalating burdens associated with data preservation and production by emphasizing proportionality and defining the scope of discovery. As the latest proportionality rulings show, Rule 26(b)(1) is having an impact on limiting the scope of discovery based on the associated expense and some state courts are even following the federal courts’ lead in enforcing proportionality. Interestingly, while expense continues to be a factor in the proportionality argument, parties’ objections on the basis of proportionality have extended to nonmonetary factors as well, including privacy. As a result, some courts are now recognizing privacy as a consideration in determining whether the discovery sought is proportional to the needs of the case.

  • Structured Data
    Technology Advantage

    The Growing Source of ESI: Structured Data and Messaging Platforms

    It takes a minute to come to terms with the definitions of "structured" and "unstructured" data. It seems logical to associate “formatting,” such as the formatting that comes with word documents (indentation, headers and footers, paragraphs, etc.) with “structure,” but the terms are used very differently when it comes to describing data. This blog will explore structured data, particularly as it pertains to the preservation, collection, processing, review and production of such data, using the Slack instant communication tool as an example.

  • Best Practices
    Technology Advantage

    Planning for a Successful Document Collection – Best Practices

    There is often a lot of discussion around the processing and review of documents in a litigation, most likely because these phases end up costing the most money and taking the most time. What is often overlooked, however, is the collection process and how that phase sets the tone for the rest of discovery, including overall case strategy, knowledge gathering and cost thresholds for the case. In this blog, I lay out some best practices that can be followed to collect data in a sound manner while keeping costs reasonable and gathering all relevant information.