A Guide to Discovery Readiness

The planning for and collection of physically stored information (PSI) and electronically stored information (ESI) are at the heart of the document discovery process. As with what comes before and after these phases in the discovery process, the impact of ESI has left its mark on how these phases need to be conducted.

The volume, dynamic and volatile nature, complexity and diversity of ESI have rendered the continued use of PSI-based mindsets and approaches risky and ineffective. The dominating presence and nature of ESI mandate new approaches.

A key aspect of planning is the preparation of project-specific documentation and process materials that will facilitate the smooth implementation of the work.

It is in the planning phase that a document discovery request must be transformed into a collection project that can be managed using the information, knowledge, resources and structure provided by a discovery response plan and the results of the meet-and-confer process.

The efficiency and smoothness of the collection phase depend on how well the planning phase is implemented, for it is in the planning phase that the practical side of things is put in place to make the collection effort a success.

This need for effective planning is compelled by the overwhelming presence of ESI and the continued need to efficiently address PSI. Planning and collection are both facilitated by the existence of a well-implemented and consistently enforced records management program. This makes having an effective records management program part of a best practices unified approach.

Finally, conducting an effective collection requires following its plan and efficiently managing the logistics associated with collecting PSI, and the logistics and myriad details and volumes associated with ESI.

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