Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2017-01-05 19:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

For decades eDiscovery practitioners have longed for the ability to find, preserve and even review communications and files in the live enterprise environment. Why do we have to make a preservation copy before even indexing the bulk of non-responsive custodial ESI for early relevance analysis? Back in the late 1990’s it was clear that bad actors, mailbox limits and unstable infrastructure posed a significant risk of loss for ESI during the ECA months. Frankly, the email and file servers could not support dtSearch crawling them while under their normal load. Modern Exchange, SharePoint and cloud platforms bring their own robust indexes to the table.  So why do most companies still make full custodial/department/system preservation collections? Why do providers routinely advise clients to process EVERYTHING into Relativity? (besides the obvious financial incentive)

When the stakes are high, it is human nature to go with what you know even if it is neither efficient, cost effective or will even meet hard deadlines. Lawyers and law enforcement professionals are conservative by nature. We have seen what happens when things go wrong, so we step carefully and have a ‘prove it before you do it’ attitude. At least I do. That is one explanation for the adoption lag for in situ or live eDiscovery.

Another potential hesitation is the legendary ‘index lag’. I am guilty of hammering on the early ‘enterprise search’ platforms like Autonomy’s IDOL that promised instant, universal search across every ESI source. While we may be a ways from that eDiscovery Nirvana, Office 365 and some cloud platforms can support functional real time search on live communications and document platforms. O365 search tests favorably against dtSearch, processing platforms and several enterprise archives that I have done validation testing on. It has quirks that the legal team needs to understand, but no more than every other index system. There is NO such thing as perfect search on the Big Data scale and native ESI. So why not use these tools?

My pet theory is that we have a confidence/expertise lag in developing retrieval criteria for selective preservation/collection. To put it bluntly, many legal practitioners do not want their search term methodology scrutinized by the opposition or their clients. I run into a lot of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ scenarios when I get thrown into eDiscovery run amuck. That does not mean that you need a PhD to develop reasonable search criteria, just that many folks are aware that they are ‘making terms up’ without a safety net. An expansive preservation collection gives you a second chance if your first rounds of searches missed a vital topic or conversation thread.

Why are you not running searches on your live systems? Or are you? Either way I would love to hear about it.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365/2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more.

Blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment. eDJ consultants are not journalists and perspectives are based on public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? eDJ Group is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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