EDRM Stages

The EDRM diagram represents a conceptual view of the e-discovery process, not a literal, linear or waterfall model. One may engage in some but not all of the steps outlined in the diagram, or one may elect to carry out the steps in a different order than shown here.

The diagram also portrays an iterative process. One might repeat the same step numerous times, honing in on a more precise set of results. One might also cycle back to earlier steps, refining one’s approach as a better understanding of the data emerges or as the nature of the matter changes.

The diagram is intended as a basis for discussion and analysis, not as a prescription for the one and only right way to approach e-discovery.

Below are summary explanations of each EDRM stage. For guides for each stage of the e-discovery process, move the cursor over the boxes below for links to guides for each stage of the e-discovery process or select from the headings above the summary explanations.

Information Management
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Information Management

Getting your electronic house in order to mitigate risk & expenses should e-discovery become an issue, from initial creation of electronically stored information through its final disposition.


Locating potential sources of ESI & determining its scope, breadth & depth.


Ensuring that ESI is protected against inappropriate alteration or destruction.


Gathering ESI for further use in the e-discovery process (processing, review, etc.).


Reducing the volume of ESI and converting it, if necessary, to forms more suitable for review & analysis.


Evaluating ESI for relevance & privilege.


Evaluating ESI for content & context, including key patterns, topics, people & discussion.


Delivering ESI to others in appropriate forms & using appropriate delivery mechanisms.


Displaying ESI before audiences (at depositions, hearings, trials, etc.), especially in native & near-native forms, to elicit further information, validate existing facts or positions, or persuade an audience.