Tag Archives: eDiscovery Processing

4 Challenges When Conducting an Enterprise eDiscovery Data Inventory

enterprise eDiscovery data challenges

4 Challenges When Conducting an Enterprise eDiscovery Data Inventory

An important first step to help corporate counsel and their departments more efficiently manage enterprise eDiscovery data before litigation arises, is understanding your organization’s data landscape in order to avoid potential data pitfalls in the middle of a matter.

The challenge lies with the near infinite number of file types (and variations within each type) in which data can live. Every program and application you use creates different file types: email, chat, social media, planning and content-creation tools, etc. Different versions of the same program or application create variations of those file types, and different formatting within each of those can create still more variations.

Here are 4 Data Challenges any enterprise should discuss with their IT Director and eDiscovery Manager, so that they can begin a data inventory and put policies in place ahead of litigation, which will greatly cut down on roadblocks later.

  1. The Fringes – Legacy and Bleeding Edge

Have you ever cleaned out your closet and found that shoebox full of cassettes from college? Businesses are no different. Many of their electronic files are stored as legacy file types which are no longer supported. A great example is one company who needed to review files which were saved on 8-inch floppy disks! Knowing this ahead of litigation is important.

On the other end of that spectrum, being on the forefront of technology is great, but when it comes to preparing files for eDiscovery, it can slow things down. Similar to knowing about legacy files, it’s also important to take note of recently developed software or applications your organization may use which creates unique file types.

  1. New Data Sources – Mobile, IM, and Social Media (Oh My!)

Mobile devices can be difficult when it comes to eDiscovery for many reasons. They contain a large variety of file-types and data intermingled with a lot of private information, which may be privileged. Extracting specific information can be difficult and imaging an entire device can be costly. This is why it’s important to have policies in place to determine how mobile devices are used for business purposes.

Organizations are also relying on messaging platforms (Slack, Teams, and What’s App are good examples) and social media to conduct business. Data can usually be requested from the source company (For example, Instagram has a data request form in its Privacy and Security settings), but it can be difficult to put into a review-ready format. So, knowing if these platforms are a potential source of data—should litigation arise—is important.

  1. The Oddballs – Unsupported Data Files

Besides the file types listed here, there are a myriad of other unsupported file types which may come into play (A good example are CAD files used by an architecture or construction company). Because they are used every day by members of an organization, the fact that they may be difficult to process for review may not be considered in the event of legal action.

  1. Size Matters – Understanding Your Organization’s Overall Dataset

Besides knowing the file types your organization may use, knowing the size of that data is also difficult to capture, especially with the exponential growth of electronic information each year. Doing a data inventory will give you an idea of how much data is created for a given amount of time, as well as how much of that data may be ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, Trivial).

It’s easy to get stuck in a “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality, but eDiscovery data challenges shouldn’t get in the way of your enterprise legal team’s ability to quickly understand the facts in a matter. For more insights into your organization’s data landscape, Download the Ipro Pre-Litigation Data Inventory Checklist now!

Ipro Pre-Litigation Data Checklist

Grab BigData by the Horns: Download Ipro’s Pre-Litigation Data Checklist!

For corporations, litigation is not a case of “if” but “when.” However, this risk can be mitigated with repeatable processes and preparation, especially when it comes to data. Moving data to Early Case Assessment (ECA) as soon as possible allows your legal team to quickly get to the facts of the case.

A first step in this process is to use Ipro’s Pre-Litigation Data Checklist as a guide to effectively manage enterprise data in order to avoid potential data pitfalls in the middle of a matter.

Download the Ipro Pre-Litigation Data Inventory Checklist

Ipro Pre-Litigation Data Checklist

Should Mobile Devices be Imaged for eDiscovery? Recent Case Law Provides Insight

Mobile Devices Imaged for eDiscovery

Should Mobile Devices be Imaged for eDiscovery? Recent Case Law Provides Insight

Deciding whether mobile devices should be imaged can be difficult when it comes to eDiscovery. They contain a large variety of file-types and data intermingled with a lot of private information, which may be privileged. Extracting specific information can be difficult and imaging an entire device can be costly. So the question remains: To image or not to image? But not really. That’s why we have case law.

On the surface, it seems that imaging an entire device would fall beyond the usual scope of a matter as it’s defined under FRCP Rule 26. Specific relevant data would be the obvious choice over everything on a single device. Which is exactly how a magistrate judge saw it last year in Henson v. Turn (N.D. Cal. Oct. 22, 2018), when the court denied requests by the defendants to inspect personal devices of the plaintiffs, collecting web browsing history and cookies in the process, on the basis that the data sought was neither relevant nor proportional to the needs of the case.

But in a recent ruling by Special Discovery Master Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.) in the class action suit In re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation (N.D. Cal. Aug. 22, 2019), the court determined that imaging a sample set of the plaintiffs’ mobile devices was proportional to the needs of the case under Rule 26. So what sets this case apart from Henson v. Turn?

The Case:

In re: Apple concerns the plaintiffs’ claim that Apple used operating system updates to “throttle” and hamper device performance regarding certain of its iPhone 6 devices, allegedly impairing “the integrity, condition, quality, and usefulness of the Devices without Plaintiffs’ knowledge or consent.”

Each side brought forward forensic experts. The plaintiffs’ expert, Mary Frantz, Managing Partner of Enterprise Knowledge Partners, LLC, asserts that “Apple’s internal databases such as collected historical diagnostics, support, and potentially archived cloud of backup files would be a preferred and sufficient method to determine historical performance,” and that, “there is no difference between what would be found on any specific Devices and what could be found via iTunes and iCloud analysis (which Apple could test without a forensic inspection).”

Apple’s expert, Paul D. Martin, PhD, Computer Science—who has over a decade of experience in technology and forensics, including with performance testing and benchmarking of computer and other technological programs—explained the word “performance” can have a broad variety of meanings for a device. “To assess performance conditions,” Dr. Martin asserts that “it is important to perform tests on a device that is configured in a way that matches, as closely as possible, the configuration of the user’s device. Configuration depends both on the hardware and on what is installed on the hardware, including operating system, applications, and data.” He also adds that, “each user controls the state of his or her Device to the extent that it deviates from the basic iOS configuration,” which, along with, variations of installed software, specific device usage patterns, and network or Wi-Fi variations, will impact performance. Which is why he concluded, “the best record of what is installed on a particular Device is the Device itself.”

The Ruling:

Special Discovery Master Westerfield ruled against the plaintiff on the issue of imaging, stating that “other types of discovery would not provide sufficient information on the issue at hand,” and that “the defendant’s privacy concerns could be addressed through a robust protective order containing the following:

  • “The plaintiffs would select a neutral forensic expert to produce a mirror image of the computer’s hard drive in a timely fashion
  • “That expert would execute a confidentiality agreement and also abide by the protective order in place in the action
  • “Only that expert would be authorized to inspect or handle the computer or the mirror image (the plaintiffs and their counsel would not inspect or handle the mirror image
  • “The expert would not examine any non-relevant files or data on the computer, or anything designated as privileged or work-product protected information
  • “That expert would produce a report based upon his or her inspection that describes the files found and any relevant file-sharing information
  • “And that expert would disclose his or her report only to the defendant’s counsel, who could then lodge objections to the report based on privilege.”

SDM Westerfield also cited Herskowitz/Juel v. Apple, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Feb. 12, 2014) in which the court ordered the plaintiffs to deposit computers and devices at issue with a third-party vendor for forensic inspection, because the “data contained on Plaintiffs’ computers and devices is likely to be highly relevant, and admissible evidence under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1).”

The SDM noted the potential privacy intrusions in Herskowitz/Juel were not as widespread, because only a small number of devices were imaged. In response, the number of devices available for forensic inspection was limited to much less than the 115 devices Apple had requested.

Meet and Confer:

Cooperation is the name of the game when it comes to determining whether mobile devices should be imaged and other complex eDiscovery cases like this one. And the SDM drove that home by stating the importance of both parties continuing to meet and confer, ensuring the order is carried out as determined by the court.

In her ruling, SDM Westerfield writes, “Given the above direction and following Apple’s designation of specific Devices to be examined, the meet and confer process is likely to be more productive than the parties’ past efforts. In this regard, the parties and their experts are in the best position to meet and confer on a proposal that minimizes exposure of content and private information to Apple, the parties’ experts, and Apple’s outside and inside attorneys and provides an appropriate tailored approach to discovery from these Devices.”

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

 

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Ipro Announces Major Performance and Productivity Gains to its Best-In-Class Processing Engine, eCapture

eCapture by Ipro

Over the last four years, Ipro has been updating its industry-leading processing capabilities based on the foundation of eCapture. It is the backbone processing engine of the Ipro for enterprise solution. Ipro’s new streaming technology has automated the entire eDiscovery process from the upload of data through Production into ECA or Review. Integrating with Ipro for enterprise’s self-service module allows custodians to upload documents without needing direct access to the controller or job queue. The automation allows customers to kick off a job and leave the office knowing that the case is rapidly moving forward.

The quality and the amount of processing options to handle complex data types truly sets eCapture apart from all other competition. This includes the QC Module, which is a feature-rich quality control module allowing customers to filter and find flagged documents, validate processed data, and easily correct issues.

While already hailed as best-in-class by industry analysts and users for its ability to take control over large, complex data sets with outstanding speed and unparalleled quality, Ipro continues to innovate and dramatically improve eCapture, creating major performance and productivity gains in the software, including:

  • Unlimited extraction of meta-data fields
  • Increases in overall processing speed, up to 40%
  • Report generation speed performance gains of up to 95% on SSDs
  • Up to 70% efficiencies in CPU usage
  • Improved processing of new and complex file types
  • Superior image and production quality, including the latest MS Office file types

In addition, several improvements were made in the latest version of eCapture (2019.6.2) including 1) the ability to auto-publish all documents to review, even those held back due to errors, 2) extracting additional metadata from photographs and PDF files, 3) the ability to convert standard discovery to streaming discovery jobs to take advantage of the speed and more efficient workflow, 4) improved handling of documents with passwords, while driving down installation and upgrade times, making it possible to move to the latest version with minimal interruptions to business and down-time.

Finally, eCapture, the engine of Ipro for enterprise, has a robust roadmap, including work with our partners to continue developing secure public API’s—allowing partners full access to customize their workflows and take advantage of the power of eCapture.

Visit us here to learn more about eCapture by Ipro or Ipro for enterprise

About Ipro Tech, LLC

Ipro is a global leader in eDiscovery technology used by legal professionals to streamline discovery of electronic data through presentation at trial. Ipro draws upon decades of innovation to deliver high-performance software, services, and support, bundled as a solution and deployed the way you want it—Desktop, On-prem or Cloud—significantly reducing the cost and complexity of eDiscovery.

The Forgotten Middle Child of the EDRM: eDiscovery Processing Challenges and How Technology Can Help

eDiscovery Processing

eDiscovery Processing Challenges and How Technology Can Help

The processing stage of eDiscovery is like the forgotten middle child of the EDRM. Most people working in eDiscovery are focused on how to best preserve and collect data, and then how to find what’s relevant from that collection during review. The processing stage – which falls between those steps – is usually just expected to happen. Like magic. But processing isn’t magic. It’s an important and challenging step in the eDiscovery process that many people may overlook.

Challenges from a Developer’s Point of View

Scott Kirk, Product Manager of Processing at Ipro, said that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to developing software for this stage is the, “near infinite file types and variations within each type.”

This isn’t something that’s hard to grasp when you think about it. Just look at all the programs and applications you may use in a given day: email, chat, social media, planning and content-creation tools, etc. All of these create different file types. Different versions of the same program or application create variations, and different formatting within each of those can create still more variations. So even something as common as a word or an excel file may seem straightforward, there are so many variables that have to be considered (reverse engineering, deconstructing them, gathering the metadata, text, etc.) when getting those collected files into review.

While adapting to new file types is important, Kirk also raises the issue of knowing “how soon to support a new ‘fad’ file-type? Is the work worth it, is the type prevalent enough to warrant the effort, time, and money to support it if one customer comes across an unusual file type once a year?”

Challenges from the User’s Point of View

Tom O’Connor, director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center and well-known industry thought-leader notes three main challenges when it comes to the processing stage:

Loading Data: “Load file prep is still a mess. I (and people I work with) still get up to two-thirds of their load files with errors.”

Separate Programs: “Being able to load data into the program which will also do the review is a major help, instead of having one program for processing then moving it into a separate review program.”

Exception Reporting: “This is absolutely crucial, and it’s astonishing to me how many programs don’t do it or do it in an incomplete manner.”

Steps for Creating a Smooth Processing Stage

Know Your Data

As with most things in eDiscovery, knowing your organization’s data landscape is a good first step. Find out what programs are being used for communication and data creation and include them in a data inventory. That way if litigation should arise, you will have a heads-up for particular file-types that may be easy enough to preserve but might cause issues during processing (such as Slack or other new data types).

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Start Researching

If you’re a corporation, don’t wait until litigation is imminent to begin researching potential eDiscovery software and service providers. Know the different options which are available to your organization and which would fit your individual needs.

If you’re a law firm, it’s easy to get stuck in a “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. Be on the lookout for trends in new file types that organizations are using, as well as ways to streamline the speed and outcome of data processing. You can also look for a powerful processing engine that built into an advanced Review tool. The goal is to get to the facts of the case as quickly as possible. Which means that processing shouldn’t get in the way of moving collected data into ECA and Review so that relevant data can be identified.

If you’re a service provider, you’ll also want to research if a processing engine can operate by itself or if it’s part of a larger suite of eDiscovery tools, along with any connectors available that would allow you to hook into other applications your clients may need.

Look for a Technology Partner

Fortunately, you don’t have to do all of this alone. After understanding your data and what your processing needs might be, look for a vendor that will partner with you, not only with their software, but also with the ability to provide services and support on demand, so that any situation that may arise can be handled quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

How Ipro Can Help

eCapture is the backbone processing engine of Ipro for enterprise, and can take control over large, complex data sets with outstanding speed, while producing the highest quality documents for review. eCapture’s automated workers require almost no human supervision, allowing it to continue processing data, even after hours.

File Types

Ipro for enterprise can process hundreds of different electronic file types, including complex situations such as extracting comments from PDFs or pulling additional metadata from photographs. You can also feed passwords into eCapture at the start, allowing password-protected data across jobs (Discovery, Streaming Discovery, Data Extract, Process, and Enterprise Imaging) to be unwrapped as they’re processed, including extraction from protected PST files. Then, when the job is complete, you can convert the final document collection to TIFF or PDF using high-speed production technology, saving time and money by streamlining your discovery workflow.

Load File Errors

The most recent reporting from Ipro shows that eCapture has an error rate well below industry standards (13.9% on ingestion and 6.3% on processing). Combine this with the Ipro Support Team’s 95.4% Satisfaction Rating, a Net Promoter Score of 78, and 30 years’ experience in the industry, and you know your data is in good hands.

QC Reporting

Ipro for enterprise has a feature-rich quality control module which lets QC personnel validate processed data in batches appropriate for their skill level. Ipro for enterprise will also flag certain documents for further attention during QC.

Streams into Review

eCapture by Ipro is fully functional as a standalone application, but also works as the processing engine for Ipro’s enterprise solution. With Ipro for enterprise, processed data is streamed directly into review where multiple advanced analytics tools (including ECA and TAR) are available, giving reviewers eyes on documents in minutes.

Find Out How Your Organization Can Get 15x Faster Processing with Ipro!

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro