14 e-Discovery Terms Every Paralegal Should Know

The world of eDiscovery can be confusing enough for paralegals due to the ever present changes in legal technology and the massive amount of information that is produced from an eDiscovery production.  Many paralegals are not trained in eDiscovery or litigation support, making it even more difficult to prepare for discovery reviews.  Knowing a few of the most used eDiscovery terms will make it easier when talking with vendors and support professionals.  Learn these definitions today!  

Predictive Coding:

What predictive coding is able to do is get input from a human 
being, who reviews samples of documents and marks them as relevant or not, and then those decisions are input into the predictive coding engine, which is able to generalize those decisions across the entire collection.


A collection of emails or other data that has been preserved for an unlimited amount of time. 

Chain Of Custody:

Refers to the chronological documentation or paper trail, showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of physical or electronic evidence.

Batch Processing:

The processing of a large amount of ESI in a single step

Data Extraction:

The process of parsing data from electronic documents to identify their metadata and body contents


De-duping. The process of comparing the characteristics of electronic documents to identify and/or remove duplicate records to reduce review time and increase coding consistency

A handling of ESI including collection, examination and analysis, in a manner that ensures its authenticity, so as to provide for its admission as evidence in a court of law.


The process of separating documents generated by a computer system from those created by a user. This automated process utilized a list of file extensions developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Legacy Data:
Data whose format has become obsolete.

Legal Hold:

A legal hold is a process that an organization uses to preserve all forms of relevant information when litigation is reasonably anticipated.


The term metadata refers to "data about data". The term is ambiguous, as it is used for two fundamentally different concepts (types). Structural metadata is about the design and specification of data structures and is more properly called "data about the containers of data"; descriptive metadata, on the other hand, is about individual instances of application data, the data content. In this case, a useful description would be "data about data content" or "content about content" thus metacontent.

Native Format:

Native format is simply the review and production of all le types in the format in which they were created by the source application. Examples of native le formats include Microso Word les in .doc or .docx, and email in .msg or .eml. New e-discovery review tools are capable of rendering the native le for review, without requiring the native application


To intentionally conceal, usually via an overlay, portions of a document considered privileged, proprietary or confidential.


The destruction or alteration of data that might be relevant to a legal matter.

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