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What IT Should Know About eDiscovery


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Presented at InnoTech Oklahoma by Gavin Manes on 11-3-2011. All rights reserved.

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What IT Should Know About eDiscovery

  1. 1. What IT Should Know About E-Discovery Dr. Gavin W. Manes President and CEO 1 Topics• “It is difficult to deny the global impact of electronic communication on business. Over 90 percent of all information is in electronic format.” » The Digital Evidence Project (American Bar Association)• Discussion areas: – How is IT Involved in E-discovery? – ESI Processing Overview – The Law – IT Risks and Considerations – Data Collection and the Aftermath – Planning for Next Time 2 1
  2. 2. Avansic’s Background• Gavin W. Manes, Ph.D. – President and CEO – Nationally recognized expert in e-discovery and digital forensics – Frequently publishes in peer-reviewed journals, magazines, and proceedings and presents to attorneys and professional organizations – Served as an expert witness• Avansic – E-Discovery and digital forensics company founded in 2004 by Dr. Gavin Manes, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and is a former Computer Science professor – Strong background in academics and research – Based in Tulsa, OK with numerous regional offices 3 What’s it to me?• Why should I care about e- discovery? – IT is very involved in the litigation and e-discovery process • Especially helpful in the early (preservation) stages • Coordination and efficiency can cut costs, effort, and time spent • Proper communication with lawyers is key 4 2
  3. 3. ESI Processing 5 The Law• Laws struggled to keep up with changing technology – Federal Rules of Civil Procedure acknowledged digital evidence in 2006 – Must use best practices as a guide for collection and investigation – Case law is developing• Similar to privacy vs. security issues 6 3
  4. 4. IT Risks and Considerations • Each step of the e-discovery process can expose IT personnel to risk – Preservation, collection, investigation – May be called to testify • Court’s evidentiary requirements should be always be considered – Even if some steps are outsourced – Clear communication and definition of terms *especially* when talking to non-technical personnel 7 What to Expect• First – “Litigation hold” – Suspend document destruction practices – Enforcement or use of the records management policy• Second – Legal counsel will speak to “key players” about hold• Third – Preserve unadulterated electronic copies of all relevant active files • Computers, cell phones, tablets, server shares • Cloud storage or applications? – Copies are sent for processing and review – All backup media should be identified and safe 8 4
  5. 5. IT in the Litigation Process• Part of the team – Which includes IT, Legal, HR, Management – Key part of locating and properly preserving electronic information• Communication – Terms may be defined differently by legal professionals: be careful! • Custodian, e-mail, “document”, file share, clone, copy• Commonly requested items: – Email & documents (Word, Excel) – Graphics or jpgs (depending on case) 9 Data Collection• Electronic information must be collected “in a legally defensible manner the court can certify.” (Chaumette) – Gold standard: Bit-by-bit copy, MD5 hash, authentication, chain of custody• “Select” data collection – May be requested on large file or email servers – Careful to preserve the metadata – .PSTs are very frequently requested; may be required from server and local machines 10 5
  6. 6. Now What?• Collected information is sent for processing – Filtered for common non-relevant documents – Will be searched for keywords, dates, etc. – Duplicates will be removed – Email will be “threaded”• After processing, attorneys will review – For relevance and for privilege 11 What About Next Time?• After an e-discovery project, analyze the efficiency of the process• Decisions that IT makes now will effect liability in the future, for security and litigation – Purchasing and deploying technology – Responding to common, repeated threats – Upgrades – Equipment retirement 12 6
  7. 7. The Future• IT personnel that know what to expect during litigation can help smooth the process for themselves and their businesses• Knowing all the steps of the process helps IT to understand their role• Good communication with attorneys is key 13 Gavin W. Manes, Ph.D. 918-856-5337 1-888-808-0337 14 7