Not be confused with Supply and Demand, Comply and Command is the way we’ve come to think about the eDiscovery and evidence management processes. No offense to the serviceable 9-step process laid out by EDRM.net or the many other eDiscovery survival guides. But in our experience working with law firms, corporations, and legal technology service providers there’s no magic bullet to tackling eDiscovery. So try breaking your efforts into two distinct components and make sure you are giving appropriate effort to both.
Overview. Bottom line, you need to follow the rules. Although eDiscovery gets talked about in a lot of different ways, Comply is the more traditional Discovery process applied to electronic information (ESI). Collection, preservation, identification, lit holds, deduping.
Success factors. Maintaining active searchable archives of email and docs makes it easy to place lit holds, search, enforce consistent data retention policies, and export. Otherwise, prepare to extract 5 years of email backups, get them indexed for search, and then remove duplicates. The key to mastering eDiscovery compliance is to get proactive. Help is on the way with hugely promising and affordable services such as Google’s Postini.
Overview. We talk about it all the time on Frank ( check out The Copacabana Rule). Honestly, most folks that we meet are doing a very poor job of command. Perhaps due to exhaustion from the Comply phase. Command is about knowing your evidence and more and more of our customers are spending the majority of their time focused on this step.
Success factors. Consolidate your evidence (from all sources) in a secure but accessible location. This means, all documents (image and native), transcripts, and depositions. Make sure to use a tool that is powerful and flexible enough to import your different file types and watch out for the services that charge extra for processing and converting those file types. Bring as much related information / meta-data into the repository as possible and get it all under a single searchable index. If you have multiple programs or files (or even printouts) to open every time you need to run a search, do a document treatment, or exchange designations you will never feel in command. Make sure that it’s easy to run reports and exchanges. Easy in / easy out is critical. Our TrialManager platform was born from the lack of evidentiary command that we experienced working on large trials.
With the exponentially growing amount of data that gets produced, it seems that eDiscovery is bound to get more and more difficult. But if you get proactive in eDiscovery compliance and build a consolidated command environment you’ll be ahead of the game and ready for the next, even bigger, case.