What All General Counsels Should Know About e-Discovery

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 14, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As companies are pushed further into the electronic age, it's important for corporate counsel to understand the complexities of e-Discovery and to find the most efficient and cost-effective ways in which to leverage e-Discovery tools.

For those who have yet to spend some serious time in the e-Discovery trenches, here's a quick primer on what you need to know about e-Discovery and why you need to know it.

Why Is e-Discovery Important?

Whether it's collected from a smart phone, netbook, or e-mail account, all electronic documents contain some sort of metadata.

Metadata is the hidden information attached to an electronic document. It can tell you the time and date of revisions; who has edited a document; and may contain serial numbers or commentary.

Before e-Discovery, access to this information was limited, but with it, you can potentially make your case.

Do the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Apply to e-Discovery?

In 2006, the FRCP were amended in consideration of the growing use of e-Discovery, making it an important part of pretrial proceedings. E-Discovery bleeds into disclosures, privilege, production, and even the Rule 37 safe harbor. For the curious, FindLaw's Electronic Discovery Rule Wizard will take you through these changes.

How Should You Choose e-Discovery Software?

Undertaking electronic discovery is a big task that requires software that allows you to conduct individualized searches, make notations, and store documents. The software you choose depends on your typical litigation needs, so you'll need to do some research. To get started, head over to FindLaw's E-Discovery Software section.

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