Saturday, December 12, 2009

E-Discovery: Using Keywords To Unlock Your Case

If you’re working in litigation, I’m sure you’ve frequently wondered how to get your vendor to conduct the most effective keyword searches and not break the bank. How can you find information that might be critical to the case? We’ve learned that keyword searching is an art as much as it is a science. Every project has some kind of resource limitation, so we have developed search strategies to make the most of real-life budgets, time and computing power.

Keyword searches for a typical e-discovery production yield more predictable results because the searches are conducted on complete documents and files that remain intact on the system. However, many of the cases we work on involve data that has been deleted, requiring computer forensic techniques to recover. Simply searching the ‘unallocated space’ of the hard drive (where deleted documents reside) can be helpful, but often retrieves far too much information to be useful. This is because the data is no longer organized as individual files. It’s like hunting through a land fill in search of a penny.

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