For businesses, eDiscovery and email go hand in hand. Email has become such a vital part of day-to-day business that it has become a vital component of every eDiscovery request. When responding to eDiscovery requests, there are a number of things you need to do with your email before you return the request. Lets look at the five major steps of eDiscovery and email.
1. Retain Your Email
The first step is simply to send and receive email and store it. You have a number of options for retaining email for eDiscovery. Whether you use an email archive, tape backup or rely on mail servers, you need to ensure your email is stored in an accessible manner. And that all emails are retained.
2. Identify Relevant Email
Once you receive an eDiscovery request, you need to identify what email records are required. This will involve trawling your email records and picking out the important documents. With an email archive this can be done through simple search options, with other methods it may be more time-consuming. Without an email archiving system you may even need to bring in outside agents to complete an eDiscovery and email audit.
3. Filter Data
When you identify the relevant emails, they’re likely to be collected in bulk. That opens up the possibility of duplicates. Before you present the data, you’ll need to check it for repeat or duplicate information. It’s vital that you only filter out copies, and the emails should be presented in their original form.
4. Review for Admissibility
After you’ve filtered out the duplicates, there’s one more step before you pass on the emails. You need to ensure that every email is actually admissible in court. It is possible that some of these may fall within privilege, which would mean they couldn’t be presented as evidence. Your legal team can help you to identify these.
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5. Present Data
The last step will be to deliver the data to the other side. The format and delivery methods can be agreed between the legal teams.
Each of these steps can take anything from hours to weeks. With an email archive, storing, finding and filtering email is much faster and more efficient. For eDiscovery and email, that’s a big bonus.
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