Gathering digital information can be a costly but necessary part of trial. As the use of technology grows, electronically stored information (ESI) is playing a critical role in the majority of trials, regardless of the case subject or venue. Litigators often struggle to balance due diligence with the high costs eDiscovery can incur. With digital forensic services such as targeted collections and data culling, attorneys can cut costs while still providing their clients with a thorough defense.
How Targeted Collections and Data Culling Save Money
When thinking about data collection, most attorneys picture making full forensic images of hard drives, email servers, personal devices, etc. This approach results in large volumes of data being collected, even when you suspect that most of the data will be non-responsive. As a result, the review process – the most expensive part of eDiscovery – becomes lengthy and involved, quickly escalating costs.
However, this “grab everything” approach isn’t necessary for small matters or cases that involve a specific set of data (such as a particular document or folder). Rather than copying the entire hard drive, a targeted collection allows a digital forensics expert to focus on specific areas of the mobile device, computer, laptop, server, or network to be forensically imaged. Just like a full forensic image, all metadata and system data is preserved, but it is restricted to only relevant and responsive ESI. A targeted collection takes into consideration culling and filtering protocols at the point of collection, such as collecting only an email inbox instead of an entire hard drive. By limiting the size of the data set from the beginning, targeted collections can reduce costs and review time.
There are times, however, when you may not know where the specific data is located, making a full forensic image necessary. This is where data culling comes into play. Data culling uses cost-effective tools and methods to analyze data and remove as many documents from the collection as possible before process and review. By searching and isolating data based on specific criteria – such as date ranges and keywords – you can reduce the collection to only relevant ESI for review. This will help to keep your costs low while still ensuring key data has been collected.
Expert Digital Forensic Services from Precise
Since 2000, Precise has been providing law firms and legal teams with cost-effective, state-of-the-art digital forensic services. From targeted collections and data culling to deleted data recovery and expert witness testimony, Precise’s digital forensic experts are ready to help with your case. For more information, call us today at 866-277-3247.