Electronic Discovery: An Overview - Tips From The Trenches
The pervasive use of computers today has changed the face of discovery. Gone are the days when file cabinets and warehouses contained the universe of relevant documents. While on one hand computers are valuable because they store information long after paper records have been destroyed; on the other hand, they create a seemingly endless array of information that may be subject to discovery. Electronic discovery places a burden on any party seeking to comply with a request for electronic data. Companies are finding it particularly difficult to cope with discovery requests requiring searches of vast amounts of electronic mail ("e-mail"), and attorneys struggle with the myriad of discovery issues that accompany these requests. Because there are currently no uniform standards which govern the parameters of how electronic discovery should be handled, attorneys are often befuddled when facing such requests. This article seeks to answer a few of the basic questions concerning the parameters of electronic discovery with citation to some of the opinions that define the legal landscape on those issues.