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10 steps to creating defensible, living esi content maps

IT Analyst

By Brad Harris

The detailed "content mapping" process has become a crucial component of discovery preparedness and can often mean the difference between obtaining a favorable scope of discovery or, on the negative side, increasing risk of inadvertent data spoliation and expensive, negative outcomes.

There has been a lot of hype over the past year about "preparing for electronic discovery" as a result of the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) - and with good reason. The likelihood that organizations will be required to respond to complex electronic discovery requests, coupled with the dramatically shortened timeframes available to prepare for a Rule 26(F) discovery conference, means counsel must become familiar with the organization's IT infrastructure - now!

As prescribed in the FRCP and clearly articulated in recent case rulings, such high profile cases as Intel vs. AMD, Qualcomm v. Broadcom, and Coleman v. Morgan Stanley, becoming "familiar with a client's computer systems" goes beyond obtaining a traditional network topology diagram that shows how servers and databases are interconnected. It means counsel needs to understand what type of electronically stored information (ESI) exists; how the ESI is stored; the relevant file types that comprise the data set; who has created the files; how the ESI has been preserved; and, when required, how the ESI will be collected in the event of a discovery obligation. This detailed "content mapping" process has become a crucial component of discovery preparedness and can often mean the difference between obtaining a favorable scope of discovery or, on the negative side, increasing risk of inadvertent data spoliation and expensive, negative outcomes.

Developing a living ESI content map that can grow and change with an organization requires capturing details about how potentially relevant ESI is used, stored, preserved and accessed for a specific matter or, more commonly, across the organization's entire litigation portfolio. While this might seem overwhelming for organizations faced with hundreds or thousands of cases annually, it's a very doable process that needs to start now. Following are 10 practical steps to make this happen

Complete article here...

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awesome article. if only this could be applicable to Indian laws. our law grads would have an entirely new stream of career open to them.

 
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