The Big List of E-Discovery Terms Every Paralegal Should Know

e-discovery terms
  • To get a proper grasp of electronic discovery, it is essential for paralegals, especially those in litigation,  to familiarize themselves with the unique terms that are used in the realm of electronic discovery.  In fact, I think learning the terms first before diving into the process of E-Discovery makes the whole thing easier to understand from the beginning. The following are some electronic discovery terms that are commonly used. 

  • Grab some coffee, have a seat and learn a few helpful e-discovery terms. 

  • Admissible: Evidence that is allowed in court during litigation

  • Analytics: This blanket term refers to all different kinds of technology that are used to examine a particular data set.

  • Chain of Custody: The tracking and logging of all handling, access and location movement of any electronic evidence from initial collection to presentation as evidence. The chain of custody is used to verify authenticity of evidence.

  • Computer Assisted Review: The use of conceptual search tools to assist in the document review process. Sometimes also technology assisted review.

  • Computer Forensics: The investigation and analysis of computer crimes or misuse. Can include the recovery of deleted or damaged files and capturing encrypted data in response to e-discovery.

  • Custodian: The individual from whom original records were collected; not always the author of those files.

  • Data Extraction: The identification of metadata and body contents from electronic documents for use in the discovery process.

  • Data Mapping: The process of recognizing and classifying data and data locations within an organization’s electronically stored information.

  • De-duplication: Sometimes also deduplication or de-duping. Identifying and removing duplicate records to streamline the review process.

  • Discovery: The process of recognizing and obtaining information that may be relevant to the litigation process.

  • E-discovery: Electronic discovery. The discovery process when specifically focusing on electronic data. Includes the collection and review of electronic data for discovery efforts, including email, documents, files and any data or metadata stored on a computer, network or removable storage media.

  • ESI: Electronically Stored Information. A blanket term for electronic data such as documents, emails or files stored on any type of hardware, portable storage device or in the cloud.

  • Filtering: Using search metrics to eliminate electronically stored information in a particular data set that is irrelevant to current litigation.

  • Forensic Computer Expert: A technical position that can include data collection, including of damaged or deleted data, as well as providing consultation services and testimony at trial.

  • FRCP: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. These guidelines define the proper protocol for e-discovery as well as other aspects of litigation.

  • Harvesting: Retrieving relevant electronic data for the purpose of discovery.

  • Information Governance: The process of managing digital information at an enterprise level while remaining cognizant of regulatory guidelines and e-discovery applications.

  • Keyword: A specific word or phrase used in search efforts to produce relevant results within a data set.
  • Legacy Data: Data was originally created in a file format that is now obsolete.

  • Legal Hold: Requests the preservation of relevant or potentially relevant information, including electronic data, during or in anticipation of litigation.

  • Metadata: Embedded information about ESI that is generally inaccessible to non-technical users. For example, the date, author or origins of a file or document.

  • Native Format: The original format of ESI.

  • Normalization: Converting ESI into a standardized format rather than native format for more streamlined review.

  • OCR: Optical Character Recognition. Converting scanned images of physical pages into searchable electronic text.

  • Predictive Analytics: In e-discovery, the practice of analyzing raw data through a combination of computer and human analysis.

  • Predictive Coding: Categorizing documents through a tagging system across a data set to increase accuracy with repeated analysis.

  • Production: Delivering specific ESI to another party, typically opposing counsel, according to a specific ediscovery request.

  • Redact: The intentional deletion or concealment of data or information that is considered sensitive or confidential in nature.

  • Search: The process of examining a data set according to a specific query or criteria. May be conceptual or keyword-based.

  • Spoliation: The alteration or destruction of relevant evidence, or the failure to preserve relevant evidence when litigation is likely or already underway.

  • Structured Data: Electronically stored information that is maintained in a structured format such as a database.

  • Technology Assisted Review: The use of conceptual search tools to assist in the document review process. Sometimes also called computer assisted review.

  • Unstructured Data: Electronically stored information that resides in various unstructured formats, such as word processing documents kept on a hard drive.




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