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eDiscovery Production Services
Any ESI that is identified as responsive in the review stage must now be produced for opposing legal counsel in a format compliant with the agreed upon production terms.
Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure actually dictates that the form of production be agreed upon ahead of time, so there really ought not to be any surprises in the production stage. In areas where production has not been agreed upon, FRCP rule 34(b)(a)(E)(ii) comes into play, as it states that “if a request does not specify a form for producing ESI, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms.” This leaves production options somewhat open but also provides a framework for crafting defensible production, something that can also save time and money.
Our team can deliver ESI in the requested format in a way that coincides with e-discovery best practices and regulations. Whatever formats you require, we can help. This includes:
- Native production
- Near-Native production
- Image (Near-Paper) production
- Paper production
- Load files
- Load file conversion
Whatever the agreed upon terms of production, we can assist & produce ESI in whatever formats are required
Due to the many different forms that ESI can be in, standard legal production methods may not be adequate for any given e-discovery case
The production stage comes immediately following processing, review, and analysis. Any ESI that is identified as responsive in the review stage must now be produced for opposing legal counsel in a format compliant with the agreed upon production terms. These terms are typically determined in the meet-and-confer meetings earlier in the EDRM process. Due to the many different forms that ESI can be in, standard legal production methods may not be adequate for any given e-discovery case.
Formats of Production
Native format is exactly what it sounds like and means files are produced in their ‘native’ format, so if the ESI comes from Microsoft Word files, they will be produced in the original .docx file type that Word documents are created in. The advantages associated with producing in native format are mainly that it’s the cheapest and fastest form of production, since there are no processing costs or processing time associated with producing the ESI.
In near-native format, files are produced in a searchable format that closely resembles (but is not identical to) their native format. One example would be taking a Microsoft Exchange database and producing it as individual EML files. One of the pros of using near-native format is that first and foremost, the data files are more likely to be in an easily reviewable format if they are not fully native. Another advantage is that there are no associated image conversion costs or time investments.
Image (Near-Paper) Format
Image (near-paper) format is where files are converted to images rather than their normal file types, typically taking the form of either TIFF or PDF files. This further eliminates some of the issues associated with native and near-native formats, including opening up the ability to redact files, individually tag, brand, and number pages, and happens to also be the standard file format for reviewing purposes.
Paper format production is exactly what it sounds like; ESI is produced in hard copies on paper. It’s similar to image format in terms of pros and cons, however review and processing can be much more difficult than if digital images are used. Paper format is also almost never the only form of production in any given case, as there are usually more convenient and useful ways to produce ESI.
The final type of production is known as load files. Load files are large files that contain all elements for review. Depending on the type of litigation assisting software, different load file types are used, corresponding to the software in question. Regardless of the type of production, whether that be native, near-native, or image, load files can be a convenient and sometimes required way to produce ESI.