If the term ESI, or electronically stored information, makes you break out in a cold sweat, you’re probably not alone. Most lawsuits rely, at least partly, on electronic evidence and the prospect of preserving, finding, sorting through and reviewing the volumes of ESI most companies store can be overwhelming.
E-mail is just the beginning. Company computers and servers hold reams of electronic information of all kinds. Half of all companies will even need to produce material from social media sites for e-discovery by the end of 2013, according to a Gartner report issued last year.
E-discovery is a rapidly growing area, and many people who don’t deal with the courts regularly may not have been faced with this obligation. But as the outcomes of more and more trials are determined by evidence found in ESI, it’s in your best interest to understand your obligations and know what to expect.
Canadian law firm McCarthy Tetrault has created a great video that explains the process much better than any blog post could. It’s from the Canadian perspective, but the concepts apply anywhere.