Early Version of the EDRM
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Early Version of the EDRM


When it was first introduced in 2005 the Electronic Discovery Reference Model had a different structure than it does today. While the nine stages in the familiar version of today were all present (with 'Information Governance' being termed 'Records Retention'), there was a tenth stage missing from the current model.

A second 'Analysis' stage appears between Production and Presentation. The EDRM is an iterative process, and the in-depth description of the model makes clear that Analysis is to be performed in all phases of electronic discovery. However the positioning of Analysis after Review in the modern model emphasizes tasks such as clustering documents or threading emails for reviewers; determining what categories of documents should be included in e-discovery; and running effective searches to reduce the ESI to be reviewed and identify privileged data.

Analysis can have another meaning though. For those of us who perform litigation support at law firms much of the work involves helping attorneys review documents after they have been produced. Months and often years will past between the discovery deadline and the trial where Presentation takes places. Attorneys need help searching for through produced data and understanding its import. Email meta data doesn't always include the names of all recipients in a message thread, and addresses can be obscured in X.400 format. The litigation support analyst can structure a series of searches that goes beyond standard TO/FROM/CC/BCC field searches. Produced data that will show trends in a business over a date range may be split between thousands of reports or spreadsheets. An litigation support professional can prepare a master index running Regex searches on extracted text or employing VBA code to merge multiple spreadsheets. Production metadata can be analyzed to determine if data received from particular custodians has omitted relevant material. Working with production sets often involves far more than tagging hot documents.


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