E-discovery is simply the extension of the discovery process to information that is stored electronically and includes email, instant messages, word processing files, spreadsheets and other electronic content that may be stored on desktops, laptops, file servers, mainframes, smartphones, employees' home computers or on a variety of other platforms.
E-discovery is becoming much more important in the context of civil litigation - for example, roughly three out of four discovery orders today require email to be produced as part of the discovery process. E-discovery today represents 35% of the total cost of litigation, and companies that fail to produce emails in a timely or appropriate manner face the risk of paying millions of dollars in sanctions and fines, not to mention loss of corporate reputation, lost revenue and embarrassment.
The goal of this white paper is to focus on the key issues involved in developing an e-discovery capability and to help organizations plan to become better prepared for the rigors of the e-discovery process. However, the goal of this document is not to offer legal advice or legal opinions on specific legal issues related to e-discovery, and it should not be used in this context.