What’s the Big Deal About So-Called eDiscovery?

edisovery metadata
EDiscovery: Data about data is called metadata


Metadata is requested using eDiscovery 


Inside every pleading created as a Word.doc the information on who created and worked on that document can be found in the file on the backend of Word. I have some pleading templates created by an attorney and some created by a legal secretary. Both of these litigation professionals initials and/or name is visible as the author of the pleading template. This data about data is ediscovery in its purest form. 


Of Course eDiscovery is also pdf files in an email or on a hard drive 


Some physically pure forms of eDiscovery such as requesting and producing information on compact discs remind me of the ease of producing so-called eDiscovery on “sneaker net”, thumb drives and floppy discs before the explosion of the Internet in the late 1990’s.  


EDiscovery is No Substitute for Litigation Preparation


EDiscovery is not replacement for requesting and responding to form and special interrogatories, requests for admission and requests for production of documents. Use the defendant’s bank statements and financial records to ask RFA’s about each entries deposit and withdrawal.  


California eDiscovery Statute:


California Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.020:
(d) “Electronic” means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
(e) “Electronically stored information” means information that is stored in an electronic medium.


EDiscovery is for high level law firm exotic hybrid discovery practice. Most cases do not get very complicated with eDiscovery and metadata. The time and expense would be overwhelming. It is very expensive just to litigate at the hard copy level. EDiscovery is highly impracticable in most real world discovery practice. Requesting and propounding the minute details of which litigation secretary or legal word processor pulled the original pleading template online for a pleading. 

Is your meta data relevant? Does it matter which clerical worker pulled the document as a template from an earlier non-related case. Have you ever pulled a Word document from online and just started inserting your own facts, names and dates? There could be metadata that you are not even aware of in your documents if you are practicing law and motion paralegal. 

You will not need a lot of eDiscovery metadata for most personal injury or breach of contract litigation. Lawsuits should not get so complicated as to put your client or opposing party through the time and expense of having a paralegal conducts eDiscovery. 

By Dean McAdams

Born a poor peckerwood in a Tujunga holler, Dean practiced secrets of the ancient & modern masters to end up liberated in the coastal paradise of West L.A.