We can, I hope, take it for granted that most lawyers involved inlitigation and regulatory requests have got their minds round email, loose files like word documents and spreadsheets and the other more obvious discoverable material – “obvious” because they have obvious parallels in the paper world.
Such things, however, are only the beginning, because more and more communication (both in absolute numbers and as a proportion of the whole) takes place in other forms – on Facebook and Twitter, by instant messaging and Skype, and by the exchange of photographs and other things which may be seen as trivia.
By no means all of this stuff is potentially discoverable and, indeed, we must resist those who argue that it must all be collected “just in case” it is relevant. Quite apart from anything else, this is unlikely to be deemed proportionate in most cases. One must not, however, overlook the possibility that there are strands of
communication passing between or created by potential witnesses which ought to be collected, analysed and reviewed in the same way as more substantial documents are.
eDiscovery software provider iCONECT, owners of the XERA review platform, has a series of webinars coming up which address these subjects, gathered together under the group heading A Survival Guide to the World of Social Communication.
The first of these is on 25 September (held over from 18 September) and called Social Communication: Is There Anything Worth Requesting? which focuses on where such information can be found and how to get hold of it.
Part two is called Is Private the New Public? and the third is called Using Technology to Turn the Tide which, as its title implies, concentrates on the tools which are available to search, sort, categorise, organised and analyse data which may be relevant.