Electronic discovery, also known as e-discovery, is any process where electronic data is used in a civil or criminal legal case. The data may be investigated, searched and secured with the idea of using it as evidence. This has allowed for great advances in the legal industry, as digital data is much easier to work with than hard copies are. In addition, digital information is nearly impossible to completely destroy so it’s a reliable source when it comes to investigations.
E-discovery: A Critical Process in Litigation
Another important aspect of e-discovery is that data of all types can serve as evidence. Investigators can pull everything from text and image files or databases to audio files and animation. Furthermore, malware like trojans or viruses can be easily pulled into evidence. In civil and criminal litigation, email is often a valuable source because people are less careful with it than with handwritten documents.
There is a specialized form of e-discovery called cyberforensics, also known as computer forensics. In this process, experts conduct an investigation on the contents of a hard drive. After they physically isolate the specific computer, investigators create a digital copy of the hard drive. Soon after, they bring the original computer into a secure facility and lock it away. (Electronic Discovery) This way, it remains in perfect condition.
Developments in E-discovery in the Coming Year
Many new developments in 2018 impacted the world of e-discovery. We will continue to address those in 2019. One of those was the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that took effect last May. This new law governs data security for data transferred from or housed in the EU. It has impacted many firms’ digital data teams. Because of this and other data security laws, lawyers need to be sure that their services are in compliance. Therefore, it’s safe to say that in 2019 there will be a great deal of protected data under review. Experts will use this data in cases as e-discovery.
Additionally, the discussion of privacy laws shows that there is an increase in the number of people who are involved in the field. This is significant because a mere ten years ago, only e-discovery experts were able to perform many tasks that are now being handled by associates who are well-versed in digital matters.
For the past two years, a group of three powerful e-discovery vendors has been leaders in the acquisitions sector. Known as the “Big 3,” Epiq/DTI, KLDiscovery and Consillo/Advanced have all dominated the market recently. However, in 2019, there are new trends emerging that will change the landscape of legal technology. Once it seemed that the global providers were untouchable. In 2019 will see middle markets e-discovery vendors playing a more important role in the industry.
These middle market vendors are purchasing other companies and taking investment to scale toward the size of the “Big 3.” For example, companies such as Driven and QDiscovery are buying others. These acquisitions may not be an on large scale, but they will be happening more often in 2019. This means that fewer businesses can remain immune to being bought or sold this coming year. (Law.com)
CRA: Your Up-to-the-Minute Connection
When it comes to the evolving field of e-discovery, there are many issues that will still need to be resolved in the coming months and years. At Computer Resources of America, we are your experts in legal services, especially when it comes to the IT field. Let us help your business stay on top of evolving fields of technology so you can better serve your clients.