Is eDiscovery Missing from Your Email Archive?
For eDiscovery purposes, there are specific requirements that will move you away from owning just a backup to implementing a hassle-free archiving solution as part of a smart information governance strategy. Here are four ways you can be sure that you have an archive, instead of just a backup, which can be used for eDiscovery.
In an archive, critical business data is captured, indexed and searchable. Indexing capabilities, which include the overall search speed, are essential when archiving for eDiscovery. Identifying relevant data by search doesn’t need to be handled by an IT admin or staffer. Temporary search access to an archive can be given to your legal counsel, freeing up valuable technology resources.
While there’s also plenty of technology to aid in the eDiscovery process, it’s imperative that you start by storing your data securely and making it easily searchable. Technology Assisted Review (TAR), such as predictive coding, can enhance human workflow, but I’m still not convinced it replaces the jobs of actual people.
You’ll want to define a retention policy ahead of time and make sure that all of your employees are aware of this schedule. Equally important is to ensure that there cannot be any manipulation of the original content and metadata.
If your retention policy is for three years, and after 36 months you’re purging data, there likely will come a time when you’ll need that information. A lot of lawsuits involving eDiscovery drag out much longer. That’s where litigation holds come in, allowing you to preserve pertinent data indefinitely.
Not only do you need to be able to search for the appropriate terms in an archive and preserve that data, but it’s also critical to collect it all and make it accessible for processing. The collection of data should include often-overlooked files such as email messages that hit a spam folder and deleted files in online storage like Google Drive.
Review & Produce
Similar to Open Records requests, you’ll want to review data promptly to produce it for opposing counsel, a judge or as evidence pertinent to an actual case. When evaluating archiving products, it’s best to confirm that you will have multiple exporting options to produce the necessary eDiscovery evidence.
After your internal review, you’ll need to produce data from your archive to opposing counsel. Whether that consists of giving it to lawyers in PDF, EML or PST format, you should be able to produce what they want, when they want it.
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