Part one of a two-part series addressing rolling collections and learning criteria in the e-discovery process.
Collection - Getting the Apples
Electronic discovery begins with preservation - the task of making sure nothing potentially pertinent to the case gets lost or deleted. In practice this means locking down data through password protected repositories, creating backup images, or copying the data. Collecting this data can be as simple as imaging a drive or copying email and documents to a new location. However, collection can also be complex, expensive, and time consuming if the data sources or repositories lie in diverse locations, in multiple formats, and within high transaction or usage software systems (e.g. reservation system at a major airline).
Initial collection can be viewed as gathering an enormous collection of apples. Factors such as custodians, issues, facts, and questions drive initial collection. A rolling collection occurs when subsequent collection of data takes place after initial collection. This takes place in almost every e-discovery matter. Identification of additional custodians and data sources requires subsequent collection. Of course, as the legal team investigates and develops both a broader and deeper understanding of the factors and legal issues driving data collection, the case theory may change necessitating additional custodians and data as well.