White Papers

Legal professionals face huge challenges related to e-discovery. The experts at DTI have created these white papers to help clients understand and implement e-discovery best practices in areas such as managing e-discovery projects, controlling e-discovery costs, implementing legal holds and collecting electronically stored information (ESI).

Using Early Case Assessment to Effectively Prepare for a 26(f) Conference

The use of Early Case Assessment (ECA) tools is a familiar topic to most, but the value of ECA in preparing for the 26(f) “meet and confer” is just gaining appreciation. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and many states now mandate that attorneys meet and discuss “any issues about preserving discoverable information” as well as develop a “discovery plan” to lay the groundwork for discovery. To develop this plan, the attorneys must already be aware of the whereabouts and nature of their own clients’ discoverable documents, and must be prepared to ask questions about their opponents’ electronically stored information (ESI), electronic systems and data preservation actions.

E-Discovery for Intellectual Property Cases: Considerations for Reducing Risk & Cost

Intellectual property (IP) litigation presents unique e-discovery challenges. All electronic discovery projects are multi-layered and multifaceted, and may involve millions of documents, numerous custodians and the resources of corporate legal and information technology (IT) departments, law firms and outside vendors. Why are IP cases different? While IP cases follow the same general pattern of any litigation, the scope and scale of e-discovery is often significantly greater than for other matter types. IP litigation matters may require preservation, collection, processing, analysis, review and production of significantly greater numbers of documents. These documents may come in a wider array of file types and include multiple languages and detailed technical jargon not common in other types of litigation. IP cases may also involve more custodians from a greater number of locations around the globe.

A Comprehensive Approach to Discovery Response Planning

Managing requests for electronic evidence in response to litigation, audits or investigation has become one of the chief concerns for today’s general counsel. Discovery requests are more frequent and much more complex; the amount of data subject to discovery is growing at record rates; and the costs associated with responding to these requests are exploding. This paper outlines how taking a proactive, organized approach to discovery response planning can help enterprises predictably reduce the cost, time and risk inherent in the electronic discovery process; apply proven methodologies for developing and implementing comprehensive response plans; and leverage the planning process as a way to improve the interdependencies between the people, processes and technology required for a defensible discovery response.

A Lawyer’s Guide to E-Discovery Project Management

The most important and immediate benefit of e-discovery project management is that it allows lawyers and their support staff to focus on what they do best – winning the case. This white paper explains what every attorney needs to know about e-discovery project management: What is project management? What do I look for when selecting an e-discovery project manager? What is my role as the sponsor of an e-discovery project? What should I expect my e-discovery project manager to do for me?

Reducing Chaos in E-Discovery Projects

Litigation support professionals who manage e-discovery projects experience high stakeholder expectations, complex requirements, difficult issue resolution and tight timelines. The process can quickly deteriorate to a state of chaos if not properly managed. Effective use of project management knowledge, skills and tools can lessen the chaos and reduce unnecessary project costs. The goal of this white paper is to introduce practical project management concepts and tools that can be easily leveraged with current litigation support expertise to increase project success.

Ensuring Effective Preservation for E-Discovery

Effectively managing legal holds requires the right combination of people, process and technology. It is how an organization protects itself when facing litigation and investigations. In the traditional paper world, the requirements for preserving relevant documents were straightforward. Organizations could not shred, burn or otherwise dispose of potentially relevant documents held in file cabinets, off-site storage warehouses or in the desks of employees. In today’s digital world, carefully and defensibly preserving electronically stored information (ESI) is much more complex ‒ and risky.

Proportionality: Are Discovery Costs Proportional to the Value and Importance of the Case?

It is well-documented that e-discovery consumes increasing percentages of overall civil litigation costs. Judges and legal professionals are actively exploring a variety of initiatives to address the problem, and several recent conferences and legal rulings have taken up the theme of proportionality. Proportionality shifts attention from the general problem of high-volume, prohibitively expensive productions to a more focused analysis of whether discovery costs are proportionate to the value and the importance of the specific case in question. This paper offers examples of successful proportionality arguments and outlines how to evaluate and undertake such an argument.

A Framework for Evidence Collection Planning and Assessment

Inexpensive storage technology, expanding networks, the explosion of data, new data formats, and stricter regulations and tighter time frames are putting enterprises at risk when they are required to respond to electronic discovery requests. Networks and data storage have moved beyond corporate walls and desktops. Portable storage and communications devices ‒ cell phones, unified messaging devices, thumb drives, iPods, PDAs and even employees’ home computers ‒ are all impacting an enterprise’s data collection and preservation practices. More devices and more file types are making data tougher to preserve and extract, and stricter regulations are requiring enterprises to store more data. This paper offers advice for applying business process improvement techniques to ensure a defensible document collection and retention process.

Working Through the Practical Implications of the Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

This paper covers the critical points of the language in six Federal Rules ‒ 16, 26, 33, 34, 37 and 45 ‒ requiring attorneys to pay specific attention to e-discovery issues ‒ or, in the vocabulary of these rules, “discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).” The exact language of these amended rules has been widely broadcast through lectures, articles and outreach efforts by the Federal Judicial Committee itself, but their precise practical impact is just starting to be tested as judges are already beginning to apply these new standards.

FRCP 26(g): Understanding Your E-Discovery Certification Obligations

The recent surge in sanctions relating to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 26(g) certification requirement increases the risk to corporate clients and outside counsel when discovery is mishandled. Engaging a qualified e-discovery expert early in the discovery process can help create transparency, demonstrating impartiality and good faith. This white paper discusses the rise of FRCP 26(g), the courts’ rulings and increased scrutiny of the e-discovery process and how many of the mistakes made in cases like Qualcomm, Mancia and R & R Sail could have been avoided or mitigated had the parties worked with e-discovery experts.

Five Steps to Controlling Costs

Gigabyte for gigabyte, e-discovery in small matters often costs proportionately more than in large cases. Until recently, the e-discovery industry has been ill-equipped to properly manage these smaller matters, leaving litigants few options but to wrestle with the discovery challenges as they arise, rather than applying an effective process. New tools and techniques can help cut e-discovery costs in small matters, allowing cases to be resolved based on merits instead of budget constraints.

Voice Mail and Audio Recordings: Evolving E-Discovery Standards

As the prevalence of sound recordings in today’s enterprises grows, new requirements for legal and regulatory compliance are accelerating the need to manage these recordings (e.g. broker/dealer telephone conversations) as business records. This paper outlines a new framework for managing the discovery process, specifically when audio recordings are requested, in a much more efficient and affordable manner while insuring legal defensibility and chain of custody.

The Basics of Handling Email Attachments in E-Discovery

Email attachments can be particularly problematic items in electronic discovery. One wrong move in collection can divorce attachments from their emails. Improper de-duplication across a matter without regard to the email chain can also wreak havoc on attachments. In addition, various email platforms store attachments differently, which is a common source of errors in production. This paper delves into key considerations and common pitfalls for this important discovery issue.