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Copyright 2005-2007. Socha Consulting LLC and Gelbmann & Associates. All rights reserved.
Launched in May 2005, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) Project was created to address the lack of standards and guidelines in the electronic discovery market - a problem identified in the 2003 and 2004 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery surveys as a major concern for vendors and consumers alike. The completed reference model provides a common, flexible and extensible framework for the development, selection, evaluation and use of electronic discovery products and services. The completed model was placed in the public domain in May 2006. We encourage you to make use of the model and all its contents. We do ask, however, that if you use the EDRM structure or materials (the diagram above, for example) in any published materials, you explicitly acknowledge EDRM (http://edrm.net) as the source.
In May 2006, two new projects were launched, both outgrowths of the original EDRM project.
Launched on May 24, 2006, the EDRM Metrics project is intended to provide a standard approach and a generally accepted language for measuring the full range of electronic discovery activities.
Launched on May 25, 2006, the EDRM XML project will develop an XML schema to facilitate movement of electronic information from one step of the electronic discovery process to the next, one software program to the next, and one organization to the next.
By its nature, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model is a work in process, not a final product. Please keep that in mind as you review the materials we have posted to date.
We welcome any comments you may have about the model - any corrections, any suggestion for improvements, any examples or templates.
Commenting via edrm.net
- To register and obtain your user account, click on "Create an account or log in" at the top right of this page.
- For a step-by-step guide for creating an account, go to Creating an Account.
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Commenting via email
To submit your comments via email, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uses of the EDRM Model
Law.com has introduced an "E-Discovery Road Map" built on the EDRM Model. A clickable visual guide, the Road Map is available at http://www.law.com/jsp/legaltechnology/eDiscoveryRoadmap.jsp. Check out Law.com's press release.
For those of you who want to print these materials, go to Print Versions.
The EDRM Project Team consists of 62 organizations, representing electronic discovery service providers, software providers, corporations, law firms and professional organizations. Independent consultants George Socha (Socha Consulting, LLC) and Tom Gelbmann (Gelbmann & Associates) organized the project and serve as project managers through its completion.
Additional participants for the original EDRM project are no longer being accepted. Participation was closed to new organizations at the beginning of November, as we felt that the project reached the point where it no longer was practical or effective to bring on additional participating organizations. The only exceptions made have been when an actively participating individual has moved to a new organization but wished to continue to be actively involved in the project.
At this point in the project, individuals and organizations who have not joined the project but are interested in making contributions to the development of the Model are encouraged to do so through the Public Comment process.
The EDRM Project began its public comment period on its proposed model on January 2, 2006. The formal public comment period continued through February 28, 2006. Although the formal comment period is closed, we are still accepting comments.
Everyone interested in electronic discovery - including corporate litigants, law firms, the judiciary and electronic discovery service and software providers - is invited to review and comment on the proposed model. We will make every effort to incorporate any additional comments.
The main EDRM sections are:
Determine the scope, breadth and depth of electronically stored information that might be pursued during discovery. Take into consideration any claims and defenses, preservation demands, disclosure requirements and discovery demands. Start with a larger pool of potentially discoverable electronically stored information and from there assess how much should be preserved and collected.
Ensure that electronically stored information is protected against destruction or alterations.
Gather electronically stored information from various sources (tapes, drives, portable storage devices, networks, etc.). Preservation and collection sometimes overlap.
Reduce the overall set of data you have collected by setting aside files that are duplicates. Consider, as well, setting aside files you have good reasons to believe are not going to be relevant because of factors such as type, origin, or date.
To the extent needed, convert electronically stored information from the form in which you found it to one that allows to you conduct a more effective and efficient review.
Evaluate collected electronically stored information, frequently for relevance and privilege; related activities such as redaction.
Analysis is the process of evaluating a collection of electronic discovery materials to determine relevant summary information, such as key topics of the case, important people, specific vocabulary and jargon, and important individual documents. This information is useful at the outset before detailed review is conducted to help with important early decisions and to improve the productivity of all remaining electronic discovery activities. Analysis is performed throughout the remainder of the process as new information is uncovered and issues of the case evolve.
Deliver electronically stored information to various recipients (law firm, corporate legal department, service provider, etc.).
Deliver electronically stored information for use in other systems (automated litigation support system, web-based repository, etc.).
Deliver electronically stored information on various media (CD, DVD, tape, hard drive, portable storage device, paper, other).
Although this stage comes last in this list, think of it as the first. Consider early and often how you can most effectively present the electronically stored information at depositions, hearings and trial. If, for example, you want a key witness to walk though a live spreadsheet at trial, you better not have produced the file only in paper form.
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The audience for electronic discovery is rapidly expanding as available technology is understood and applied. From the traditional case-based litigation applications, there is now recognition that electronic discovery can provide strategic advantages for organizational discovery and compliance. Capturing, processing, reviewing and analyzing electronic data has appeal to many anticipated audiences, including:
- Law firms - litigators
- Law firms - corporate lawyers
- Law firms - billing partners
- Law firms - litigation support staff
- Corporations - management
- Corporations - office of general counsel
- Corporations - compliance officers
- Service providers
- Software/product providers
- Consulting firms
- Federal courts
- State courts
- Financial institutions
- Boards, especially chairs and audit committee members
- Juror pools