Data Collection

  • The Modern Attachment
    Legal Updates

    The Modern Attachment: How to Handle Hyperlinked Documents in Emails

    Document management systems allow users to send a link to a document directly from the system, ensuring that all recipients receive the same, most up to date version, and, often most importantly when it comes to efficiency, ensuring that only one person is working in a draft document at a time. When we email links to these documents, the document itself is not attached to the email; rather, a hyperlink to the document where it is housed on the document management system is attached. As an e-discovery professional, my next thought is….how do we handle these links in discovery? At least one court has grappled with this question and its decision sheds new light on how we can handle hyperlinked attachments in our own cases.

  • 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.