This article is part two of a series. To read part one, click here.
Would you like your appendix removed by a surgeon wielding a bone cutter instead of a scalpel? We wouldn’t. And yet when legal professionals go through the EDRM process in e-discovery, they often hack away with the wrong tools because they don’t know what operation they’re performing, what procedures to follow or how to carry them out.
A well-executed early data assessment (EDA) process can help answer these questions. EDA and its technology tools help legal professionals to summarize the number of custodians and their disparate sources of ESI that must be identified early on, which leads to more accurate budgeting and strategy planning. If EDA is not conducted well and critical data is overlooked, underestimated or, worse, deliberately concealed or deleted, that breakdown in processes can lead to court sanctions, news headlines or worse.
EDA tools can be used to look at various drives and folders to determine where custodian ESI is located. In some cases, the custodian can be relied upon to tell legal and IT where the data is. Other times, custodians do not know what data they have, or have no idea that their data is relevant to a case. In those instances, relying solely on the custodian to tell legal and IT where the data is won’t work so well.
A combination of new, more- affordable EDA technologies and coordinated e-discovery plans can give parties to legal and regulatory matters a more accurate assessment of the ESI. This assessment can then be used to more precisely calculate the range of costs in a predictable manner for searching, reviewing and producing a set of relevant documents.
EDA is a short, but important, operation