Technology: Early Case Assessment – What You Don’t Know Can (and Likely Will) Hurt You

John Blumenschein Patrick Zeller, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of eDiscovery at Guidance Software, has just written an article featured in this month’s issue of Inside Counsel entitled Technology: Early case assessment – What you don’t know can (and likely will) hurt you. In it, Patrick talks about the importance of taking proactive steps at the earliest stages of litigation in order to ensure that the ever-expanding universe of electronic data is manageable and under control. This process is commonly referred to as Early Case Assessment (ECA), and according to Patrick, “Effective ECA is the solution for this dilemma of needing to quickly assess and understand the vast and growing amount of data for litigation.”

Having the right technology in place is the key to achieving this goal; and Patrick points out several important considerations in selecting the right solution. For example, while many vendors claim to have the ability to achieve effective ECA, the reality is that the vast majority of them (with one notable exception) can assess the data only after it has been collected and/or indexed, or migrated to an enterprise content management (ECM) repository.

Why is this important? As Patrick notes, index-based solutions need to create a directory of the corporate network, and many e-discovery attorneys believe these indices are discoverable in litigation. If the index is discoverable, it could easily create a record of spoliation. To avoid this scenario, it is critical for organizations to have a solution that will instead “have the ability to search, analyze and review ESI content to understand a case’s merits, identify responsive documents and further cull the dataset prior to attorney review allowing those organizations to minimize risk and save money.”

You can read the full article here.

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