Document Collection

Electronic Discovery – Collection

In a litigation matter, after the subpoena is received and the custodians are identified, we begin to collect the client's documents, both hardcopy and electronic.

The document collections may be handled by the client's IT staff and this can be a little concerning if the IT staff does not understand electronic discovery protocols. It is better if the document collections are handled by a service provider that specializes in this area.

Hardcopy documents will be removed from file drawers, sent to a scanning vendor and then returned. Electronic documents will be collected from various sources, depending upon the information that was shared during the custodial interviews, as well as any discussions with the IT staff.

Some of the most common sources are:

Network shared server hard drives

Desktop computer or laptop hard drives

Microsoft Exchange server (Outlook email)

Enterprise databases (structured data)

Mobile devices

Most of the time, the data from these sources is forensically collected, by forensic experts. The data will most likely end up in a computer image file using a tool like EnCase or FTK Imager. The file extensions for these files can be similar to *.ad1, *.e01, *.ex01, *.l01, or *.lx01.

It is very important to track the document collection process carefully. You will need to know exactly what was collected for each custodian and from what source. Future decisions will be made by the attorneys based on this information.




  1. And to complicate matters a bit, we now have to understand and collect data stored in the ominous cloud and overseas! Great post, Amy!

  2. Its always interesting the power play in these scenarios between: outside counsel/lawfirm and inhouse counsel, key business person and IT. I find that typically:
    inhouse counsel has a high care factor
    key business person may do occasionally
    IT does not have the resources and so does their best

    We find that it can take quite some time for the various cogs and wheels to get moving before anything substantial turns up. Meanwhile there is of course no change in the deadline…

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