There are many different definitions of eDiscovery floating around. In general, it can be defined as the electronic process of gathering and reproducing discoverable materials in litigation. While this may seem straightforward, it can be quite complicated, especially if you are not trained in the latest rules and policies concerning HIPAA-compliance, cyber-security, and privacy rights.
The Old Method of “eDiscovery”
The old method of eDiscovery was to take all the information you had to turn over in discovery and save it to a compact disc (CD). You’d spend countless hours dragging and dropping large files full of metadata, saving them to folders on your computer or server, then one-by-one adding these to the disc. You would burn the disc, label it, and then place all of your client’s secure, confidential and sensitive materials in an envelope to be sent through the postal service.
As you can probably imagine, this “old way” is no longer a “good way.” Consider all the potential traps and snares to this method:
- Postal Theft. Someone could get ahold of your client’s proprietary business records, or you may entirely violate HIPAA.
- Metadata. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be sending all sorts of hidden information that is visible to a trained information tech specialist. A PDF can contain thousands of lines of hidden information about the underlying document.
- Disorganization. Ultimately, the biggest problem with the old way is that you had to sort and sift through all that material manually.
The New eDiscovery Method
Today, eDiscovery has evolved. All of your client’s sensitive materials can be carefully inventoried, categorized, and scrubbed to avoid any unnecessary disclosures of confidential material. Modern law firms must now deal with a host of problems that simply did not exist even 10 years ago. As one ABA article explains, cybersecurity is just part of running a law firm nowadays.
Modern eDiscovery, like that provided by the team at AWR, lets you set up a document production project so that all information is at your fingertips and easily searchable. It allows you to secure information from hackers and review quickly to avoid inadvertent disclosures of irrelevant or even harmful information. Finally, there’s a new level of flexibility that comes from being able to import so many pages of content and materials to a single document repository, from which numerous workers can operate either on site or remotely. This type of flexibility has become an important part of the eDiscovery system.
Do You Need Help With eDiscovery?
Is your firm with the times? Are you still sending unsecured e-mails or mailing flash drives and compact discs to opposing counsel? If so, what’s keeping you from becoming the next cyber victim? Worse yet, what’s to stop you from risking your clients’ information?
Make the switch to modern eDiscovery practices today. Contact AWR to learn more about how we can help with your next eDiscovery project.