In the US ‘discovery’ is the phase in a legal action before the court hearing when both parties can request information from the other side. All documents and information which are deemed relevant and which are not covered by attorney-client privilege and are not confidential must be supplied to the other party. This involves hard copy documents, electronic files such as e-mails, office documents, access to financial records and the contents of databases or back-up tapes. The data must be supplied in a usable form within a short space of time on penalty of substantial fines. The amount of data is almost always more than one person could read.
E-discovery relates to the discovery phase involving digital data. Physical documents are often also converted into digital form (scan/OCR). Dutch organisations have to deal with e-discovery too, for example because many organisations may be involved in a court case in the US. Comparable ‘discovery’ requirements also apply in other situations and jurisdictions.
A visit from the supervising authority? Support with e-discovery there too.
Our Forensic & Investigation Services team supports its clients with the challenges of e-discovery. We thereby comply with the international standards which result from the American Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), but we also strive for maximum control of the client’s own information position. We help organisations to select and organise information and make it accessible if a discovery situation arises. We can also help with analysing information, for example if you or your client are the subject of an investigation by a supervisory authority. To do this, we have various e-discovery software solutions from leading suppliers. Our clients have constant access to their data via a secure link, and can also have data obtained from the counterparty added to this for analysis.
Expensive … or not?
E-discovery is perceived as being expensive. We have therefore opted for a flexible and affordable ‘in-house’ solution from Acces Data. Our solution also fits logically with the customary forensic technology solutions which are needed for the ‘recovery phase’ which often precedes discovery.
It is customary in e-discovery to pay per gigabyte of data which needs to be processed. There are also charges for hosting, one-off set-up and monthly licensing fees. The costs can rapidly escalate with large quantities of data. Because many of our clients want to process large quantities of data, we have opted to purchase the Acces Data package under a full license. This means that we can provide e-discovery services at highly competitive prices.
Forensic technology services