eDiscovery StraightTalk with James D. Shook, Esq., Top 5 Considerations For ECA Investments
Top 5 Considerations For ECA Investments
By James Shook, Esq., EMC SourceOne eDiscovery Expert
Having an Early Case Assessment (ECA) capability is absolutely imperative for corporations to deliver rapid insight into a potential or pending litigation, so that the corporation can determine risk and exposure quickly and accurately. What are the top five considerations corporate counsel should investigate prior to making an ECA investment?
- Ability To Immediately View Data In-Place – Some systems touting “ECA” cannot actually view data until it has been collected. When looking at ECA capabilities, you need to determine whether such delays really meet your needs. With recent cases like Pension Committee, which discuss how critical it is to quickly identify key players, the capability to immediately start reviewing email, desktop files, SharePoint data, etc. in the production environment can be extremely important.
- Scope of Data Available — Determine what the system can actually access for early case assessment purposes. For example, systems that can view only “archived” data can be of extremely limited value when a case first starts and you are trying to determine key custodians and where they are storing relevant data, etc. For example, in a straightforward trade secrets case — is it more likely that relevant data would reside in or outside an official archive?
- Search, Culling and Reporting Capabilities — A good ECA system will enable access to a lot of data, so the ability to rapidly cull the important from the mundane is critical. Capabilities such as email threading, proximity searching and rapid searches — where a search is run against an index and returns results in seconds instead of hours — are all critical. Similarly, visual maps of data — how much data, how old is it, who are the custodians, what types of files are present — can be critical to fast case evaluation.
- Concept and “Smart” Search Technologies – Having the system do some of the work for you can also be critical, so solutions that employ concept searching, fuzzy search and other “smart” technologies can identify data and people that might not ordinarily be found. For example, concept search can make code words jump right out, and also group common concept together (location, people, etc.) making evaluation faster.
- Ease of Use — None of the technologies are very useful, if they cannot be used by the actual investigators who may not have strong IT backgrounds (lawyers, paralegals, etc.). Easy-to-use web-based interfaces, allowing click-throughs instead of requiring users to memorize lists of arcane commands make solutions much more accessible to the investigators.
Posted By: David in eDiscovery, eDiscovery StraightTalk on April 11th, 2010.
Tags: Analysis & Review, e-discovery, Early Case Assessment, ECA, eDiscovery, eDiscovery StraightTalk, electronic discovery, emc, end-to-end ediscovery, ESI, ESQ., George Socha, J. David Morris, James D. Shook, Karthik Kannan, Kazeon, legal ediscovery, legal hold, Legal Hold Management, litigation, litigation readiness, Matthew Nelson, SourceOne