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Special Advertising Section

July/August 2005 Issue

Discover PreDiscovery™ and Save Time, Effort and Money
by Jon Rowe
Executive Vice President
Image Capture Engineering, Inc.

Jon, a 15-year veteran of litigation support, is the cofounder of ICE (Image Capture Engineering, Inc.) and heads up the imaging and electronic discovery services for Pro Copy, ICE’s sister company.

Image Capture Engineering, Inc.
8710 F St
Ste. 128
Omaha, NE 68127

Is there a bigger buzz in the legal world than electronic discovery? It’s referred to as ED (electronic discovery), EED (electronic evidence discovery), and EDD (electronic data discovery) and there are others. Many legal professionals have come to realize that the most simplistic explanation for this phenomenon is that computer files have become an integral part of litigation and they must be dealt with to effectively serve the clients and consider all the evidence.

The reason that electronic discovery is so important and must be considered in almost any litigation is because the majority of the documents and information that is created today is done so on our computers and servers and never gets printed. Correspondence is often considered key to many cases yet most of our correspondence is done via email, instant messaging, text pagers and many other devices and never ends up in a file cabinet or warehouse. If attorneys aren’t actively creating production requests for electronic based information they are missing vital information in a case.

What are some drawbacks to the typical ED process?
While encouraging attorneys and legal assistants to take charge and go after the electronic information as well as other forms of evidence, there are some drawbacks to the discovery process that must be kept in careful consideration. The first mistake that often occurs is very broad discovery requests that are too general and that produce more information than they could feasibly review in their lifetime.

Most often only about 5-10% of the data on a computer could be considered relevant to litigation. This is why so many law firms who have embarked on the process of requesting electronic data end up with more data then they want and frequently want to decline paying for all the processing done, the costs can spiral out of control in a matter of hours. Automatically requesting to print or convert everything on a computer is not only a costly mistake but is inefficient and will most definitely make it impossible to meet deadlines.

The answer is to effectively cull down and eliminate the unwanted files by focusing on file types and content. This part is very similar to taking trips to the warehouses and storage facilities to narrow down the paper document collection by general categories. As you know, many times several passes are made and it’s an ongoing ‘investigation’ to find the ‘boxes’ or files you need.

A similar process is required when dealing with mountains of electronic data. It doesn’t make any more sense to make multiple sets of copies of every document a company ever produced than it does to try and print or convert every file on someone’s computer.

PreDiscovery™ is a Vital Part of the Electronic Discovery Process
PreDiscovery™ is the operation that occurs after a proper forensics extraction and copy process, where we inventory, cull down and extract the content so that the review process can begin. PreDiscovery™ is a more efficient and cost effective way to approach the first phase of the electronic discovery review process. By culling down files based on type and doing initial searches through the documents in their native format we can dramatically reduce the number of files that are eventually processed or even printed and get much closer to that 5-10% relevancy target at a fraction of the cost.

The way this is accomplished is through specialized software tools that allow us to create inventories and catalogs of all the files that reside on the computers and servers which are in question. After the inventories are completed, we begin to isolate the general file types that are relevant such as emails, office documents, project files and other relevant file types, then the data can be rapidly searched electronically so key documents are quickly located. By incorporating these additional steps prior to any type of production process, we eliminate a large portion of those files on systems which have nothing to do with the data relevant to the case. The PreDiscovery™ phase is the solution to automate this process.

Here is a typical scenario of how we implement the PreDiscovery™ process and how it can dramatically reduce the cost and amount of data that needs to be reviewed. Imagine getting a stack of CD’s, DVD’s or a hard drive containing 20 gigabytes of information which you need to have online for attorney review ‘yesterday’. With potentially hundreds of thousands of emails and attachments how can you possibly begin to make the data available in a matter of hours?

Using PreDiscovery™ you can extract emails (including multiple attachments) and recognize most file types without the native application installed. This process removes duplicates, leaving you with a fraction of the files to convert to tiff, PDF or paper. This saves time, effort and most importantly—money.

PreDiscovery™ Bundle from Image Capture Engineering, Inc.
For the past 5 years ICE (Image Capture Engineering, Inc.) has developed electronic discovery and PreDiscovery™ software tools. Z-Print and LAW are responsible for processing hundreds of millions of pages each month for legal departments and service bureaus all over the world.

As the pioneers in electronic discovery and PreDiscovery™ software, ICE products are used in some of the largest electronic discovery projects. Z-Print is the ideal front-end extraction and conversion tool for popular litigation applications. From file inventory through conversion of subsets, Z-Print has the tools needed to give legal professionals the edge.

When speed tested on a recent project, Z-Print extracted the content and metadata from all emails and attachments in a 1 Gig PST mailstore containing over 9,000 messages and attachments in just fewer than 13 minutes. On completion the appropriate load files were already created and documents we ready to be loaded and indexed. Once files are loaded, flagged and ready for conversion Z-Print can convert files to TIFF three to four times faster than other competing applications. Z-Print also has the ability to use several high speed printers for printing blowbacks.

If you need to quickly provide an inventory report and extract data from large volumes of files and mailstores for review then it’s worth taking a quick look at Z-Print from ICE. Time and time again in side by side comparisons Z-Print outperforms and is a fraction of the cost of competing applications.

When large volumes of data come in the form of hard drives, tape backups, DVD’s and CD’s it’s important to remember the following. Quickly identify what is on the media, dedupe files, cull down based on file type and content and review indexed native files. This process has provided quicker access to relevant documents at a fraction of the cost of recent practices.


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