eDiscovery is a field of law that relates to the exchange of information for legal matters (e.g., civil litigation), specifically referring to managing documents that are electronic in their native form (i.e., born digitally) or that have been converted to electronic form from an original paper form. Though eDiscovery had its roots in the process of exchanging documents in the discovery phase of litigation, it has expanded to include the exchange of documents in any legal situation – from civil litigation to regulatory investigations and governmental inquiries.
TMC (News - Alert) got the chance to discuss eDiscovery with Alon Israely, co-founder of Business Intelligence Associates (BIA), a developer of defensible, technology driven solutions that reduce the costs and risks related to litigation, regulatory compliance and internal audits. BIA offers software solutions complimented by mature professional services in the areas of litigation, digital investigations and electronic policy consulting.
According to Israely, a practical example of an eDiscovery process includes the gathering of electronically stored information (“ESI (News - Alert)” – e.g., computer files, e-mail, databases, app content, etc.) from employees to then be reviewed by attorneys for relevance and privilege in the context of a civil lawsuit.
eDiscovery begins with the legal hold notification process – that is, advising employees that they must retain documents and data and thus should not delete data from their computer or other devices, like a smartphone. eDiscovery usually ends at the close of the discovery phase of litigation but has implications all the way through and even after the end of trial.
Current trends include cloud computing and storage, increased use of mobile device based applications and the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend, in which employees use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops to conduct business on, or in relation to, the corporate network. All of these trends have significant implications for the eDiscovery market. Predictive coding, cost-model adjustments, outsourced tools and smart IT solutions can help companies manage compliance issues related to these trends.
“Before the term ‘eDiscovery’ was coined, BIA was founded to bridge the gap between the IT and legal department within a company by providing defensible, technology-driven solutions to reduce the costs and risks associated with litigation, regulatory compliance and internal audits,” said Israely. “For more than a decade, BIA has been providing software solutions and professional services in the realms of computer forensics, litigation, digital investigations and electronic policy consulting. BIA is committed to disrupting the status quo with new cost models and technical methods that leverage emerging technology and deliver simple, intuitive and affordable solutions to help clients manage the complexities of legal data compliance.”
BIA offers a cloud-based, on-demand software application that automates much of the eDiscovery process and is geared towards any size organization in need of managing legal data in a compliant and efficient manner. Additionally, BIA employs a full team of professional consultants for matters and projects when software alone is not enough.
TotalDiscovery was developed by BIA and takes eDiscovery online – making it simple, fast and affordable while maintaining the highest level of defensibility. TotalDiscovery was introduced in 2011, combining two of BIA’s core data related technologies to create the industry’s first SaaS (News - Alert), or web-based, eDiscovery solution. For nearly a decade, BIA has been providing litigation and regulatory data gathering and management solutions using its mature DiscoveryBOT data identification and gathering engine that facilitates defensible, targeted and remote data gathering and analysis. Go online and start a remote collection of email and e-docs for small, medium and large legal matters. With TotalDiscovery.com you are in complete control of the data identification and data collection process - by simply using a browser.
When combined with BIA’s other legal data related technologies such as powerful data processing and analytics, the TotalDiscovery platform is in a league of its own. Now companies can take control of legal data compliance and data preservation requirements by defensibly identifying and gathering data from employees and resources around the globe with a few clicks of a mouse.
“TotalDiscovery is the industry’s only SaaS model preservation and electronic data discovery system: No competitors offer true SaaS electronic data discovery tools allowing users to immediately begin data preservation processes without the need to hire experts, contract with a vendor or install hardware,” said Israely. “Another major advantage is TotalDiscovery’s pricing model, which uses a mature IT per-seat licensing model rather than the traditional eDiscovery data volume and hourly pricing model. Key differentiators include unparalleled ease-of-use for an enterprise-class system delivered via the Web.”
There are a variety of ways TotalDiscovery has been used to help companies tackle legal data management tasks such as the identification or relevant files on user machines and gathering those files in a forensically sound manner.
“In one instance, an enterprise TotalDiscovery customer was able to gather data from more than 100 roving salespeople (in the field) in less than three days, all while ensuring secure and efficient gathering techniques were used,” explained Israely. “TotalDiscovery has also been used to gather data from multiple employees on the corporate network simultaneously without interrupting their productivity or kicking them off their machines.”
In another example, a TotalDiscovery customer completed data collections from representatives located in 15 countries without incurring the expense of sending technicians or equipment onsite. As a final example, a Fortune 500 company used TotalDiscovery to identify and gather data in a sensitive situation where data was required from the laptop of one of its Board members without compromising security or data privacy issues.
BIA is in a unique position as a leader in the legal data compliance space because of its long history in the fields of computer forensics, information security and eDiscovery. As a leader in the legal data compliance space, BIA has been a pioneer in creating and using technologies to assist small, medium and large organizations with identifying, gathering and managing data for litigation, regulatory matters and internal investigations. Thus, BIA is poised for the next phase of the industry’s maturity, having already introduced software and methods for companies to use to gather data from enterprise systems and cloud-based systems alike.
New features being added to its TotalDiscovery product include more expert workflow for legal departments, additional enterprise class functions for IT and deeper data analytic technologies in order to accurately identify relevant and non-relevant data associated with legal matters and internal data compliance needs.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo