Legal discovery in the past was straightforward, whereas even documents preparation services were at their highest point. Each side would go through the request for production process and then send out, or await the delivery of, banker’s boxes filled with documents for paralegals and law clerks to sort and tag. Most target sources of discovery came in hard copy form or could easily be reduced to paper documents such as cell phone records and emails. We now find ourselves in the world of electronically stored information (ESI). Pertinent digital evidence may be lurking in instant messages, Facebook, or even inside a fitness app on a smart phone or watch. The Exterro white paper, Preserving and Collecting New Data Types, states that “A recent study found that 60% of merger and acquisition transactions are closed by text message. If litigation arises, then those texts have to be collected.” Even clearwater custody attorneys say that just collecting the data does not guarantee that is has been preserved in a manner that will allow an attorney to present it as permissible evidence. The best custody attorney in Largo, FL says that E-discovery is a subject many attorneys would rather avoid. It seems highly technical and potentially expensive, but the courts have made it clear that attorneys have an ethical responsibility to preserve and manage electronic data. Large firms can afford to hire a company that specializes in e-discovery and then connect that company’s experts to their own in-house IT person, but how does a solo or small firm attorney handle the identification, preservation, collection, analysis, and production of all this digital evidence? Results from the Exterro 2017 Federal Judges Survey showed that “For the third year in a row, judges do not feel the typical attorney has the required knowledge to be effectively counseling clients on e-discovery matters.” But, don’t take my word for it, just ask any of the good family law lawyers and they can answer that question for you rather immediately.
Many law schools now have e-discovery classes so that graduates can understand how to best leverage available technology to personally take on the challenges associated with handling relevant electronic data, and discover how to become the best st petersburg fl family law attorney and the most affordable family law attorneys. The University of Florida Levin College of Law currently offers two courses on this subject. Electronic Discovery “will examine developing case law and address the practical problems and issues which arise in the preservation, collection, searching, processing, and production of electronic data” while Electronic Discovery Data Analysis and Review “will explore ‘search’ or information retrieval: the central issue in e-discovery and legal defensibility of the discovery process.”