E-discovery can encompass a complicated, and sometimes, a frustrating world. Luckily, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is one tool that helps simplify and ease the e-discovery process. The EDRM is essentially a framework that: (1) helps us better conceptualize e-discovery; and, (2) serves as guidance for gathering and working with electronic data during the legal process.
The EDRM divides e-discovery into a workable nine phases. All nine do not have to get followed. Those using the EDRM can engage in some or all of them. Further, the nine steps can be followed out of order. The nine phases include:
This is analogous to a quiet phase before litigation or an investigation even begins. It refers to a company’s management of information and records via specific policies or procedures that pertain to electronically stored information.
Identification is initiated once a litigation or investigation creates a duty to preserve information. Once created, a company or party to a lawsuit then has to develop a plan to identify all sources of potentially relevant documents and records.
Once relevant information is identified, then it has to get preserved or protected. Information that is typically preserved includes: e-mails, texts, instant messages, files attached to e-mails, and structured data.
This phase involves the collection of any potentially relevant information or data. There are currently a variety of different methods a company may utilize to gather information.
Processing involves the formatting of the information collected so that it can be searched in a review tool. The process is often performed by litigation support personnel or an outside e-discovery vendor.
This takes place immediately prior to a formal review of the relevant information. It involves the evaluation of information to help formulate strategies and plan for a more productive review.
Review is when a legal team searches, reads and codes the collected information to identify responsive and privileged documents.
This phase involves the turning over of responsive information to another party. The method a party uses to produce information is typically set forth in rules of civil procedure and judicial opinions.
According to the EDRM, presentation refers to how information will be presented in depositions, hearings, trial, or other similar contexts.
The EDRM was developed in 2005 by George Socha Jr., founder of St. Paul, Minn.-based Socha Consulting LLC, and Tom Gelbmann, managing director of Gelbmann & Associates in Roseville, Minnesota. Toady, the EDRM is an organization that creates practical resources to improve e-discovery and information governance. The organization is part of the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies and its members include individuals, law firms, corporations, and government entities.
QUID PRO QUO has been at the center of the legal staffing industry for almost 30 years. We have seen the rise and dominance of the e-discovery world. We currently work with many firms and corporate legal departments to help staff their e-discovery projects, and, better understand their e-discovery needs. Please never hesitate to contact us with any e-discovery questions. Further, for those attorneys seeking placement on e-discovery endeavors, always check our career portal for opportunities.