Avoiding the Minefields of Litigation Self-Collection

Avoiding the Minefields of Litigation Self-Collection

Executive Summary

The amended RFCP mandates that attorneys must minimally understand, and optimally participate in, the identification, preservation, and collection of their clients’ ESI (Electronically Stored Information). We offer best-of-breed data collection technologies and partner with clients to ensure they know how to lead successful collection projects. Take an honest look at the issues surrounding how corporate clients gather and identify responsive litigation data. Read an overview of self-collection and a cost-benefit analysis of the DIY (do it yourself) model from a lawyer’s perspective

The recent changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence and the amendment to Rule 902 come with many implications for corporate litigations. Corporations must question whether to self-collect their litigation data or hire a third-party forensic collection expert. Many groups consider self-collecting their data, but that can lead to peril when facing litigation.

Questel offers data collection technologies and partners with clients to ensure they succeed when working with Electrically Stored Information (ESI). The whitepaper, now available for download, provides an honest look at how corporate clients gather and identify litigation data and the impact Rule 902 has on collections. With many legal technology choices available today, it can be difficult to determine which collection method produces the best results.

 eDiscovery experts agree that self-collection can lead to negative outcomes such as sanctions for missing data deemed responsive to the case. The most advantageous method to preserve the data involves mapping custodians and using legal technology to identify, preserve, and collect data. Technology ensures the collection uses relevant keywords, preserves metadata, and bates-stamps documents. Self-collection can omit any of these steps and present significant issues later.

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“Addressing proper collection practices, Judge Scheindlin stated, “Whether or not metadata has been specifically requested, which it should be, production of a collection of static images without any means of permitting the use of electronic search tools is an inappropriate downgrading of the ESI.”

The whitepaper outlines certain dangers involved with allowing employees to manage their data or conduct their own legal holds. Many companies rely on a “collect everything” approach, which results in increased costs, larger data volumes, and other litigation data collection risks. The main pitfall with data self-collection is the lack of knowledge and understanding by employees, who are unsure what data to collect, where to collect data from, and how to forensically accomplish it. A forensic collections expert has the expertise to help with these situations. They begin by creating a data map covering all the aspects of the custodial information, which can be easily understood and actioned by all involved employees.

Learn the evidence behind four practical tips

  • Develop a documented process
  • Train teams on collection best-practices
  • Stop “Do-It-Yourself” activities
  • Help clients understand the costs of poor collections

An additional challenge arising from self-collected data comes when transferring data between different formats. PDFs are an example because advanced eDiscovery tools that can cull duplicate or near-duplicate files won’t typically work on this file type. Litigation support professionals live and breathe this process and have the capabilities to overcome this by matching hash values of files. Forensically-sound collections can minimize these issues for attorney review teams and will allow any eDiscovery software you use to function without issues. We cover numerous examples that help show the self-collection minefields to avoid, thus presenting the most data-rich case.

 

To learn more about how to avoid the minefields of self-collection, download our whitepaper to help you further understand the implications of the amendment to Rule 902 and the best course of action for your litigation support efforts.

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