Learn About E-Discovery: PROCESSING

This picture has to be my absolute favorite illustration to kick off a discussion (or lesson) on the processing or conversion of electronically stored information for the discovery phase of litigation.

(Please note: I have nothing against bunnies… well, except for the ones that ate all of the broccoli and spinach in my garden last fall.) This graphic shows us how the corporate clients will provide ESI in it’s native format only for the law firm to flatten it into a TIFF or PDF image format. The original blog post that addresses the case of the flattened bunny can be found here and is well worth the time to read. Four years ago the debate over producing documents as TIFF images vs. their native format was in full swing.  The “dead bunny” case was discussed further in this video.  While the video and blog post reference a case from 2009, it is still a relevant topic today as many case teams are still unclear about the PROCESSING phase in e-discovery. I think it is important to note that we can not make processing decisions in a vacuum.  The project plan for processing can not be finalized without the final plan for production format(s). This is why it is considered a best practice to identify and agree upon production formats at the beginning of the case.  For example, if the parties agree to producing native files, then there is no reason to spend money converting files to TIFF images for the review. Also, if you are looking for creative ways to save money, your case team will want to address both processing options and the resulting production format options at the same time.

Let’s take a look at a few current resources to learn about ESI PROCESSING today:

ESI Processing does not have to be a mystery

The general objectives of processing include identifying exactly what elements or items of ESI have been submitted for processing, including their associated metadata. This allows intelligent and informed decisions to be made that can reduce the volume of data selected for continuation along the path to review. At the same time, the application of processing technology and analysis to the data needs to be performed under strict standards of quality control and to bear in mind chain of custody requirements. (read more of this article here)

The EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) – Processing Phase

My blog post on understanding technology used for Processing ESI

The technology available to converting ESI to a “reviewable” format is pretty straight forward… data in/ data out. However, you’ll notice in the sample product demo that there are a lot of options so ask lots of questions to be sure that you understand the output from the system.  How will it help your document review? Will the output from the processing system allow you to meet the agreed upon production requirements?


Learn About E-Discovery is now offering weekly webinars. This week’s topic: Introduction to E-Discovery Project Management.


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

Introduction to E-Discovery: Technology (Part 5 of 5)

It’s pretty easy to execute a Google search on “e-discovery” and immediately become overwhelmed by the amazing volume of information available. Where should you begin reading? What’s fluff? What’s not? What’s educational? What’s marketing jargon? Over the next few weeks, we’re going to dedicate MONDAY mornings to reading about electronic discovery basics. Each week, look for a new post to learn about e-discovery without becoming overwhelmed.This  week, we continue our series on technology used to support e-discovery with a few resources for you to learn more about ESI Production.  This will be our last entry in this series… since statistics show that only about 1% of cases ever make it all the way to trial, most of us will end our e-discovery technology journey at the production phase.

ESI Production



Software (not an endorsement)

I hope you learned something new about e-discovery technology or reinforced your on-the-job training with the five short lessons provided here over the past few weeks. If you have questions or if you are interested in a custom learning plan, please send an e-mail to erika at learnaboutediscovery.com.

Now Available On-Demand – E-Discovery Project Management Training

Did you miss the live online class we offered a couple of months ago? No worries, it’s now available on-demand.

E-Discovery Project Management On-Demand Training – Litigation Paralegal Bootcamp


•Project Management Methodologies: Which will work for your next e-discovery project?

•Role of a Project Manager

•What does it take to transition from senior paralegal to e-discovery project manager?

•What Should Be in Your Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

•Outline of Best Practices for Each Phase of Your SOP

•EDPM Responsibility Matrix, Planning Resources and Budgeting


This course is only 90 minutes and can be completed on your lunch hour.


Covering the Basics

Last year, Gibson Dunn issued a new series of client alerts covering the basics of what practicing litigators and corporate counsel should know about electronic discovery.  There are 11 alerts ranging from general overviews to admissibility of electronic evidence.  Also, a quick search of their publications page will return many other alerts and articles on the topic of e-discovery.


Trial Court Says New York’s “Requester Pays” Rule Applies Only to Data That Is Not Readily Available : E-Discovery Law Alert

As discussed in a recent post, there exists a dichotomy between the New York state and federal courts with respect to which party should bear the cost of producing inaccessible data

via Trial Court Says New York’s “Requester Pays” Rule Applies Only to Data That Is Not Readily Available : E-Discovery Law Alert.


Additional coverage of this case can be found here:

Message to eDiscovery Defendants: Pay-As-You-Go

Google Scholar


e-discovery 2.0 » Searching… TREC Legal Track

e-discovery 2.0 » Blog Archive » Electronic Discovery, EDiscovery, E-Discovery, Legal Discovery.

Clearwell Systems has been keeping up with the latest discussion and trends in searching thanks to its participation in the TREC Legal Track. Here they discuss and link to the latest white paper which analyzes “the task of producing specific records in response to a `discovery request'”

This is a very high-level discussion on searching technology that will aid you in discussing application vendor claims about how their search & retrieval technology is better than the next guy.

In an e-discovery world where simple keyword searching is no longer considered a reasonable effort, it is recommended that you learn all you can about how to turn your mountain of data into a mole hill in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.