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Whether the matter is regulatory disclosure, litigation, dispute resolution or a compliance investigation, data collection using forensic methodology is critical. By doing so, you are ensuring the integrity of the data is admissible as evidence in court.
However, clients still take it upon themselves to attempt data collection. This is not recommended as using the incorrect workflows can lead to errors. This can alter the associated metadata, disrupting the integrity of the digital evidence and any subsequent investigation.
The following points outline the collection of data from the perspective of a client in comparison to an efficient and forensically sound workflow.
Client Workflow: Clients must manually search for relevant documents and provide them to the solicitor; this is rarely completed using industry best practices and documents are often missed. It’s also time-consuming for the client and can often lead to unintentionally altering the documents key metadata.
If the method of collecting documents for disclosure is questioned by the other side, the workflow is often hard to justify. Ideally, an independent party such as CYFOR would collect the data using forensically sound techniques and workflows.
CYFOR Workflow: CYFOR conducts a forensic collection of all relevant sources of ESI (Electronically Stored Information). This will capture all relevant data and give both the solicitor and client peace of mind that no documentation has been missed in the collection.
If the method of collection is questioned, CYFOR experts are courtroom trained expert witnesses that can discuss the method of collection and confirm a forensically sound workflow.
Client Workflow: Once the documents have been collected, they will need to be prepared for review. Completing this important stage incorrectly will often lead to inefficiencies.
In order to process the data set effectively, specialist software must be utilised. This transforms the entire data set into structured data, which is then de-duplicated globally, ensuring time is not wasted looking at identical documents.
CYFOR Workflow: Once the data has been collected forensically, CYFOR will reduce the volume of documentation by approximately 80% through processing. This will include de-duplication, date range and keyword searching.
In order to benefit from an effective and efficient workflow, serious consideration needs to be taken into maximising filtering during the processing of data.
Client Workflow: If data for the requirement has been collected by the client, the review of documentation could be more time consuming as duplicated documents will be reviewed.
There are very few options for reducing the volume of data at this stage, for example, applying keywords or search terms.
CYFOR Workflow: If the documentation has been collected forensically and de-duplicated, CYFOR will upload the documents to Relativity for the solicitor to review.
Firstly, there are fewer documents to review as they have been processed. In addition, the solicitor can use the powerful analytics and search features to refine the search of the documents. This includes keywords, search terms, clustering and active learning.
Client Workflow: Unless you are using a document review platform to complete the review, ensuring that only the relevant documents are exported and copied to the other parties can be difficult.
CYFOR Workflow: Once relevant documents have been identified utilising Relativity via CYFOR, the technical team automatically export documents only identified as relevant, which is followed by a thorough quality assurance process.
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