The Georgetown Advanced eDiscovery Institute

The Advanced eDiscovery Institute

A continuing education program by Georgetown Law School

This year the program was held December 6 & 7

The agenda and roster of speakers can be found here.

This conference is considered one of the most highly regarded e-discovery learning events of the year.  Learn something new about e-discovery today by reviewing the blogs and articles below:

Exterro’s E-Discovery Beat Blog live blogged notes from the conference

Other notes & blogs summarizing the learning experience

Learning About Data Maps

Most data maps or content maps or “who-knows-where-the-data-is” diagrams are anywhere from 9 to 18 months out of date.  Any IT network manager will tell you that creating a diagram of everything on the company network is not a fun or easy activity. Add to that the litigator’s need to know who has/had access to potentially discoverable information and the size of the task more than doubles. Today, we fortunately have tools that help automate parts or all of this but how effective those tools are depends on a lot of variables. Our interest now is to provide a few resources and definitions to help you begin conversations with your e-discovery team about data mapping.

E-Discovery attorneys, project managers and paralegals will want to become familiar with their client’s data map as early as possible in a litigation matter.  If you’re the e-discovery liaison for a corporation, you will be want to be very familiar with your organization’s network data map.  According to the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, here’s what you need to know about data maps:

You can’t secure it if you can’t find it. An essential component to a successful electronic discovery project is an accurate picture of the target company’s data sources. It is important to keep in mind that all company information technology infrastructures are not created equal. The hardware and software deployed to accomplish commonplace tasks such as managing company e-mail or creating data backups, varies widely from organization to organization. Indeed, it likely varies within the target company if the timeframe in question is broad enough, or if the company is widely distributed in various geographic locations.

This identification process implicates many types of servers with active and dynamic data (e.g. file servers, collaboration servers, e-mail servers) and many interrelated data management systems (e.g. document management systems, financial systems, disaster recovery and backup systems). This includes servers responsible for general company data, as well as user specific data, such as user home directories or departmental shared directories. It also includes the myriad of devices that users employ to utilize that data, including desktop computers, photocopiers, calendars, Instant Messaging (IM), text, PDA’s and cell phones, smart phones, and memory cards. Lastly, it implicates inactive data archives on various media such as hard drives, servers, recycle bins, tape backups, flash drives, CD-ROMs and DVDs. All of this is further complicated by the fact that legacy data, potentially across all these categories, may exist from previous company systems within the relevant time period. The necessary hardware, software or technical expertise to access such legacy data may no longer exist within the target company.

Additionally, I would add the following resources for learning about e-discovery data maps to your reading:

ESI Data Mapping Resources

Best Practices

And if you are an information governance or records management professional, then you may find this resource helpful, too:

Five Free Apps for Diagramming Your Network

Identification Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Identification Workflow Chart

Aim: To identify subject matter experts, resources involved, potential sources of data; to determine the depth and breadth of potential liability; to aggregate information sources for developing course of action.

Goal: Evaluate, leverage and mitigate.

via Identification Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

View the Table of Contents for this section of the EDRM

Social Media, Permanent Records and eDiscovery

Social Media, Permanent Records and eDiscovery | E-Discovery Resources & Information –

This article provides a thorough overview of the current discussion and research on social media’s impact on electronic discovery.

Key Learning Points Include:

  • harvesting social media for legal purposes
  • legal holds, preservation and archiving
  • current case law references
  • authenticating evidence
  • privacy and other issues

7 Steps for Legal Holds of ESI and Other Documents

ARMA International – Bookstore – ARMA International.

This book is a practical, how-to guide describing step-by-step a best practice process for identifying trigger events and implementing a litigation hold. It provides a straightforward description of why the law requires preservation, the scope of preservation, and practical tips on how to preserve records in an acceptable manner.

Includes a self-analysis checklist, a flow chart describing the process for implementing a litigation hold, chapters devoted to each step in the process, and case law citations supporting this best practices process.

Understanding How E-Mail Works


This month’s column begins a series on understanding e-mail that’s geared to the not-too-technical reader. My goal is to instill the “e-mail is a database” mindset that will help you meet the challenges of collecting, searching, reviewing and producing e-mail in electronic discovery.

via Traffic Jam.

This is an article by Craig Ball for Law Technology News.

PART 2 can be found here. Did you know that an e-mail message is a “report?”

It’s generated by an invisible query and built of select fields of information culled from a complex dataset, then presented to you in an arrangement determined by your e-mail client’s capabilities and user settings.

Gibson Dunn – 2010 Mid-Year Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update

Gibson Dunn – 2010 Mid-Year Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update.

Law firm report reviews e-discovery trends for the first half of 2010.

Topics addressed include:

  • Sanctions
  • the application of FRE 502
  • Privilege
  • Search Methodology
  • Proportionality
  • Preservation
  • Cooperation
  • Social Networking
  • Government EDD Responsibilities
  • International EDD

Update: Whenever a major report like this one is published, you can expect many industry experts & service providers to offer their observations and interpretations. This can be extremely valuable beyond reviewing the raw data of the report as information is translated into key trends, best practices and practical ideas for improving your e-discovery process.

The e-Discovery Team / Ralph Losey

The eDiscovery Paradigm Shift

Legal Technology Today

Liquid Litigation

I’m sure I’ll add a few more over the next few weeks …