• Sherine Blackford

What is Electronic Discovery?

In a major lawsuit, discovery can include a never-ending production of documents, emails, texts, and more. This can result in time consuming and expensive disputes between the parties. As the prevalence of social media grows, it can be difficult to locate all the relevant data and narrow the scope what social media litigants must produce in discovery.

Electronically Stored Information, or ESI, is anything saved digitally that could be relevant in a lawsuit. Completing a massive search and pulling information from servers produces thousands of results, which can be too dense to be useful in discovery. Key word searches and selecting specific inboxes and computers can help narrow a discovery production. Emerging technology and strategies can also help reduce data collections to manageable sizes, according to other legal experts.

The emergence of platforms like the “metaverse” and other social media make

s the landscape of ESI more difficult. Courts already require personal emails and texts to be produced in discovery, which begs the question: Can a TikTok be used in court?

Sometimes an opposing party may refuse a discovery request because it is unduly burdensome, not proportional, and will not lead to relevant materials. Courts often liberally allow discovery of contested documents because at early stages in litigation it is difficult to determine whether the information is relevant to the case. See generally Univ. of Pennsylvania v. Equal Emp. Opportunity Comm’n., 493 U.S. 182 (1990); Walker v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2007 WL 1031576 (D. Mont. Apr. 2, 2007). Allowing a party to withhold relevant documents and information damages the litigation and judicial process. The law encourages transparent litigation, making discovery of all relevant information important.

Even with limits on which inboxes to search and relevance requirements, the discovery produced in this process can still be daunting. Tens of thousands of pages of documents and email threads produce duplicates and irrelevant information.

In complex litigation, you want attorneys that can navigate the world of eDiscovery and identify the useful information for your case. Blackford Carls P.C. has experience in this area and is standing by to help. Please contact Blackford Carls P.C. at 406.577.2145.