top of page

Electronic Discovery Institute Course - Class 2

As previously noted on this blog, the Electronic Discovery Institute offers an online certification course for just $1.

Tonight I took the second course on Information Technology. It simply consists of a very basic outline and answers given in separate interviews of Kim Newman, the Chief Legal Officer for WalkMyMind; Scott Carlson, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw; and Thomas Mullane, an Electronic Discovery Process Manager, at United Technologies. Below are my very rough notes on the course, which I don't have the energy to polish up, because goodness it's late!

Introduction to Information Technology

A. Introduction

- Data Explosion but most data is still emails and structured data.

B. User Created Files

- Newman notes that it's much easier to store files in a central repository. Carlson notes that it never helps to lock an employee down - will usually find away around restrictions. Mullane files from shared drive are slower to load so usually use files saved locally. Carlson notes increased data collaboration - pile of data with no way to determine who contributed.

C. Document Management System.

Newman some companies require the use of DMSes. Mullane many companies have them but don't use them. Organized in terms of what's important to the business, would recommend a hierarchy of some kind whether by department or something else; so everyone knows where to look for things.

Carlson provides another level of metadata.

D. Structured Data Sources

Ledger and accounting systems. Carlson email structured database at some level. Client Management Systems; Relationship Management Systems; Mullane SAP large databases are the most challenging. Smaller level such as SharePoint something to consider as a source to go to - Newman legal hold on structured data - active and archived sources - issued to stakeholder - automatically attaches to the source itself; user generated files in a number of different place, the custodian is responsible for finding the sources. Carlson structured database - can pick and choose what is important. usually a variety of nest tables - can you trust that the data being spitted out is the whole story. Mullane - is the data exported in a format that means something - not a bunch of disjointed tables.

E. Communications

Carlson - communications emails and texts are where smoking guns are found. Social media site messaging such as Linkedin. All those communications are in structured databases. Lot of organizations decided file exchange sites like DropBox are a bad idea. Carlson - today a variety of sources necessitating custodian interviews.

F. Intranet and External Websites

Carlson - relevant in less than 10 per cent of cases. Corporations typically don't track changes to extranet sites. Mullane - a web site is like a bottomless pit - if it is an issue in a matter then capturing it is extremely difficult. Carlson some companies let individuals have wide ability to post and change content - this information is difficult to collect. Mullane HR info; org chart - just front ended through the internal web site - not a huge deal - more concerned with the systems.

G. Social Media

Carlson - some organizations centrally manage their social media; some do not.

H. Handheld Devices

Carlson - replace traditional PC - can control with mobile device management tools; most don't want two devices. BYOD. 10 years ago people used two devices. More sensitivity towards privacy expected, but actually more younger users want integration. Runs counter to privacy interests. Newman - can disable certain functions e.g. camera on a Blackberry so they can't create more data than necessary for business purposes. Email mirrored on corporate servers. Mullane - people forward emails from one phone to another; most companies getting away from BYOD anyway. Use device with an encrypted container - phone less of a focus. Airwatch or Good used for email on phone - people tend to keep business messages separate.

Carlson - forensic exam surprised at what is there and what's not there. Collection of handheld devices poses a problem. If corporate email - no reason to go to the device. Mullane if try to extract control over personal device in the event of litigation, you're in a lot of trouble. Needs to be baked in from the get go. Good and Airwatch create an encrypted container. BYOD companies should have option for work device.

I. Third Party Data Storage

Carlson - many companies have data external to their own sites. Cost control is one factor in moving data to the cloud. Mullane biggest cloud service is actually electronic discovery itself. Migration tools for cloud may work very well importing data, but won't necessarily provide a means to reclaim data.

J. Back-up Data

Carlson - 10 years ago there was a focus on back-up tapes. Today not necessarily on physical media. May instead be server to server. Don't ask about tapes; instead ask about how a system is backed up. May be multiple sites to replicate one another for the purposes of disaster recovery. Newman - structured data sources have back-ups too. Mullane - subpoenas talk about back-up tapes but these aren't used as much. Tapes are difficult to handles - data usually scattered across tapes and fragmented. Organizations don't keep tapes as long. Long term archives not maintained as much. Not much unique content on tapes.

K. Conclusion

Mullane - information governance not gaining a lot of traction as a movement, but it is a rising tide. If the end user is told that he or she can't store data on their laptop there will be mutiny. Most people don't know where their data is located. Aim should be to decrease the footprint of where data resides.


bottom of page