In litigation, discovery refers to the process of making relevant documents available to the opposing legal counsel.
Discovery refers to making relevant documents available to opposing counsel.
In Ireland, S.I. No. 93 of 2009: Rules of the Superior Court (Discovery) 2009, states that an order for discovery of documents could include Electronically Stored Information (ESI).
With the ever increasing amount of information that is stored electronically, advanced technology and methods need to be used to make discovery of ESI manageable, this process is also known as eDiscovery.
KPMG has the tools and expertise to handle large and complicated eDiscovery projects. Our team uses the latest technology to greatly reduce the workload, by allowing our clients to focus on reviewing relevant documents, while we manage with the technical challenges of the eDiscovery process.
KPMG follows the Good practice guide to Electronic Discovery in Ireland (2013), and adopts the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) for managing eDiscovery projects. This is a globally recognised framework, which is described in the phases listed below.
A solid information governance policy greatly reduces the time and effort involved in eDiscovery projects. KPMG can help organisations set up an information governance policy tailored to their needs, or to help and improve existing policies.
At the beginning of every eDiscovery project, the sources of ESI that are potentially relevant to the case must be identified. In order to do this, KPMG will document and conduct interviews with people, such as IT personnel, who know where ESI is located and who has access to it. We can collect ESI from all available data sources, such as: servers, laptops, mobile phones, backup tapes and cloud services.
Preservation & Collection
Once the potentially relevant ESI is identified, steps must be taken to preserve it in its current state. KPMG will isolate the systems containing the ESI and use proven forensic collection tools to create a forensic copy (where possible) of the data. The data can then be transferred to our secure forensic laboratory for further processing and analysis. This is done to a standard that is defensible in the Irish Courts.
During the processing stage, we will work with you to reduce the total volume of data collected to a more manageable level for review. Liaising closely with you, we will extract, verify, and convert the data files into a searchable format before indexing and de-duplicating the data set. We may thereafter, and depending on your instructions, further process the data using one or more of the following methods:
Following the processing phase, we will work with you to 'focus' on what is likely to be relevant (i.e. types of documents, key recipients of emails and domain names, key date ranges etc). Given the likely scope of eDiscovery projects, our experience of advanced processing methods will be crucial.
Review & Analysis
The remaining ESI is then made available in our Document Review Platform. This allows our clients to easily review, tag and redact documents. Documents can be viewed in their native or text format. Advanced analytical techniques can be further applied to identify relevant documents, such as:
KPMG can work with the opposing party to provide a suitable production load file. We have exported load files for loading into most of the commercially-available tools. KPMG can also produce a load file with native files for most documents and email in rendered HTML format. Our Review Platform supports a number of different production formats and allows for customised metadata fields. We will therefore discuss the specific production requirements of each project with you as and when appropriate.
The final phase is the presentation of ESI as evidence in court. KPMG can assist legal teams by providing detailed reports on the methods and tools used to manage ESI during the eDiscovery process.
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