The importance of scoping in E-Discovery

Big data is playing an increasingly important role in contemporary investigations and litigation. The Gupta saga being a prime example.

It involves more than just a large volumes of data; it also relates to the complexity of that data. Analysing and sorting it for litigation purposes requires very careful planning to ensure it is handled effectively and efficiently – something we do at LexTrado through the process of E-Discovery.

When tackling big data investigations, E-Discovery experts need to be involved as early as possible. Gaining a clear understanding of what is involved allows us to properly scope the project and establish the best approach, avoiding problems later on.

These are the five key considerations the LexTrado E-Discovery experts use to guide early case assessment and scoping:


  1. What does the case involve?

We look at exactly what is involved, what’s at stake, who the key players are, and what the date range in question is. The more we know upfront about what we’re dealing with, the better we can anticipate and manage challenges. With our extensive experience in these matters, we understand our client’s pain points and do our best to mitigate them.


  1. Where is the relevant data?

We scrutinise where the data resides in an organisation. By identifying where the relevant data is before we start digging we can drastically reduce time and effort required later in the process.


  1. Who are the data custodians?

Once we know where the relevant data is, we have to establish how many employees we need to collect data from. Depending on the size of a corporation, this is a crucial step that can have a major impact on the amount of time spent on the project as a whole.


  1. What are the different data formats?

Technological advancement means that relevant case data can take many different forms and can be found in spaces far beyond standard email accounts. Going further than just mapping where the data resides in a company, we look at the data by specific location – is it on a server? What type of server? Is it on a phone, tablet or other device? Are there any company social media accounts? Does the company use the cloud or have backup tapes? Are there hardcopy files? All of this has to be taken into account.


  1. What are the unique data platform considerations?

Just knowing the location of the data is not enough. We need delve into the detail. If it’s on a server, what version is the server on and how much data does that server account for? What type of email accounts are we looking at? Are there limits on mailbox sizes? If so, is there a place for archived emails? If we know the type of platforms we’re working with, we can anticipate where the data is and whether it is useful or not.

Understanding the big picture and key details upfront ensures a streamlined process further down the line. Transparency is important – as is having an audit trail. Always start by having a conversation with your E-Discovery service provider before jumping into a case. It will save you both time and money.

Want to discuss your E-Discovery needs with the LexTrado experts? Request a consultation.