Early Case Assessment (ECA) is a hot topic at events (Masters Conference) and on blogs. In Christine Taylor’s recent Network Computing article she is recommending that ECA move up in the eDiscovery process, so that involved parties can understand what they have as quickly as possible. The goal is to control costs and “grasp the merits of a case from the beginning”. Some eDiscovery tools have attempted to support ECA using a sampling process. Why sampling? Because without a specific list of files and email requested by the legal teams (resulting from the meet and confer process) you would need to sort though large volumes of data to truly understand what you have. Most discovery tools have limited processing capability. They are not designed for large scale collection and review, so sampling small subsets of the data to “get a general idea of what exists” is the best they can do. Index Engines on the other hand, scales to perform cost effective and efficient processing of all ESI early in the process. In order to satisfy Christine’s recommendation, new tools need to be deployed, however the goal of these new tools should be to streamline the process and save significant dollars when litigation comes knocking.
Once a case is introduced, Index Engines’ customers are able to scan backup tapes and online file systems to get a true understanding of what exists. To be clear – Index Engines does not make a copy of the data, so the expense and pain of moving large volumes of data into a review platform is not a factor. Index Engines generates a searchable index of large volumes of ESI (both network and tape data), this data can be easily reviewed (ECA) without moving it off the existing storage platform (offline or online storage). When the lawyers determine what is required for the case, based on their comprehensive knowledge of what exists, they can easily collect it from the existing indexed ESI. Ideal ECA solutions need to push only the relevant data to the legal review platforms when the time is right. Index Engines clients are doing this today, and saving significant cost and time.