“Bates numbering” (also “Bates labeling”) is a method of labeling and numbering electronic or physical documents for identification and organization purposes, consisting of stamping each page of each document with a unique number, which can then be used to identify, track, and locate the document if necessary. Bates numbering is typically used in conjunction with document management software or other tools to automate the process and ensure accuracy.
“Convert [a document] to PDF” means to transform the document into a Portable Document Format file. PDF is a file format developed by Adobe Systems that is widely used for electronic documents. It allows documents to be viewed and printed consistently on a wide range of devices, regardless of the software or hardware used to create them. To convert a document to PDF, you can use a software program or online tool that supports the PDF file format. The process typically involves selecting the “save as” or “export” option in the software program you used to create the document, and then choosing the PDF file format as the output. Some programs may also allow you to set options for the PDF file, such as the level of compression or the inclusion of metadata. Discovery Genie automatically converts documents to PDF, unless the user elects to produce the document in native format.
“Custodian” of ESI (electronically stored information) is a person who has control over, or responsibility for, electronic information that may be relevant to a legal proceeding. This may include individuals who create, receive, or maintain electronic documents, emails, or other types of electronically stored information. The term “custodian” is often used to refer specifically to a person who is responsible for maintaining electronic records or documents for an organization. In this context, a custodian may be responsible for ensuring that electronic records are properly stored, organized, and backed up, and for providing access to them as needed.
“Disclosure” refers to the process of disclosing or revealing relevant information and documents to the other party or parties involved in the legal case. Disclosure may be required by law, court rules, or a judge’s order. It is an important part of the litigation process because it allows the parties to fully understand the case and to prepare their arguments and positions. Disclosure may involve the production of documents or other materials, such as electronic records or physical objects, that are in the possession of a party or a third party. It may also involve the exchange of information about witnesses, experts, and other matters relevant to the case. Disclosure typically occurs at an early stage of the litigation process and may be ongoing throughout the case. See also Discovery.
“Discovery” refers to the pre-trial phase in which each party to a lawsuit has the opportunity to gather information and evidence from the other party and from third parties. The goal of discovery is to allow each side to fully understand the facts and issues in the case, so that they can prepare for trial and attempt to resolve the dispute. There are several methods of discovery, including written discovery (such as requests for production of documents and interrogatories), depositions (oral testimony given under oath), and inspection of physical evidence. The rules governing discovery vary by jurisdiction, but the general principle is that each party has the right to obtain information that is relevant to the case and reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
A “Document” is typically defined as a written or printed paper, or a digital file, that contains information that is relevant to the case at hand. This can include a wide range of materials, such as emails, contracts, legal briefs, court orders, reports, and other types of written or printed materials. In the context of electronic discovery (e-discovery), documents may also include electronic files of various types, such as PDFs, word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other types of digital files.
“Document Management” refers to the process of organizing, storing, and managing the lifecycle of electronic and physical documents. Document management systems are designed to support the creation, capture, indexing, storage, retrieval, and disposal of documents in a consistent and efficient manner.
“Document production” refers to the process of exchanging relevant documents and information between the parties involved in a legal case. This may include the production of documents by one party to the other, or the production of documents by a third party, such as a government agency or a business, in response to a subpoena or other legal request. The purpose of document production is to allow the parties to review and analyze the documents and information in order to prepare for trial or to support their arguments and positions in the case. Document production may occur at various stages of the litigation process, and may be governed by rules and procedures set forth in the applicable laws and court rules.
A “Document Production Request” is a formal request made by one party in litigation to another party for the production of specific documents that are believed to be relevant to the case. Document production requests typically specify the types of documents being requested, and may include requests for both physical and electronic documents. In response to a document production request, the party receiving the request is typically required to review their documents (both physical and electronic) and produce any that are responsive to the request.
“Due Process of Law” or “Due Process,” in the context of civil litigation, refers to the fair and just procedures that must be followed in order to protect the rights and interests of the parties involved in the case. This includes the right to notice, the right to be heard, and the right to a fair and impartial decision by the court. These rights might include, for example, the right to be served with a copy of the complaint and other court documents, the right to respond to the complaint, the right to participate in discovery and other pretrial proceedings, and the right to a fair trial.
“eDiscovery,” or “Electronic Discovery,” refers to the process of identifying, collecting, and producing electronically stored information (ESI) during the disclosure and/or discovery phases of litigation. This includes documents, emails, and other types of electronically stored data that may be relevant to a case. The process of eDiscovery is governed by rules and regulations, and it typically involves the use of specialized software and other tools to search, review, and produce the requested ESI.
“Electronically stored information” or “ESI” refers to any information that is stored electronically, including documents, emails, images, audio and video files, and other types of data. ESI can be stored on a variety of media, including computers, servers, hard drives, cloud storage, and other electronic devices. In the context of litigation, ESI is often considered to be discoverable, meaning that it may be relevant to a case and subject to requests for production or inspection. The process of identifying, collecting, and producing ESI is known as electronic discovery (eDiscovery). ESI can be a valuable source of evidence in a lawsuit, but it can also be complex and costly to manage. As such, rules and guidelines have been established to govern the process of eDiscovery, in order to ensure that it is conducted fairly and efficiently.
“Indexing” refers to the process of creating an organized list or catalog of the documents and other materials that are produced or disclosed in litigation. The purpose of indexing is to provide a clear and concise overview of the materials that are being produced. An index of discovery materials typically includes information such as the date and author of the document, a description of the document’s content, and certain relevant metadata. The index may also include information about any privilege or confidentiality claims that are being made with respect to particular documents. Indexing discovery materials can be a time-consuming and complex process, especially in large cases where there are many documents to review. It is typically done by lawyers or paralegals, who review the documents and create the index based on the relevant criteria. Where required by court rules, or by agreement of the parties to litigation, the index may be provided to the requesting party as part of the discovery process.
A “Key Document” in litigation means a document that has the potential to affect the outcome of a case, as opposed to a document that is legally relevant but is unlikely to affect or determine the outcome of a case.
“Load File” typically refers to a file that contains electronic documents that are being loaded or imported into a document management system or e-discovery platform. These files may contain a variety of electronic documents, such as emails, PDFs, word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other types of files. The purpose of loading these documents into a document management system is typically to organize, index, and search the documents in order to support the litigation process. A load file may be formatted as a .csv (comma separated values) file, which is compatible with spreadsheet programs like Excel, which contains the metadata and other information contained in an index of the production. In small cases, a spreadsheet may serve as an index of documents produced in litigation, even if the documents themselves are not ultimately loaded into a database.
“Mastery of Evidence” means the ability of a lawyer, paralegal or law clerk to locate and access evidence in real time, as the needs of the litigation demand, generally through the creation and use of an index or searchable database. In most instances, mastery of evidence means avoiding wasting time searching for documents already known to the attorney or paralegal—i.e., having the document at one’s fingertips when needed.
“Metadata” is data that provides information about documents or other data. It is often used to describe the characteristics of a piece of data, such as the date a file was created, the author of a document, or the size of an image. For emails, metadata is information such as the sender, recipient(s), cc or bcc recipient(s), date, subject, and attachments. Metadata is often used to organize, manage, and locate data. For example, metadata can be used to search for a specific document based on the author’s name, the date it was created, or keywords in the title. In the context of eDiscovery, metadata is often considered to be a type of electronically stored information (ESI) that may be relevant to a lawsuit or other legal proceeding. As such, it may be subject to discovery and production requests.
“Native Format” of a document is the format in which it was originally created or saved. For example, if a document was created using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, its native format would be a word processing format such as .docx. If a document was created using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, its native format would be a spreadsheet format such as .xlsx.
“Objective Coding” refers to the process of categorizing or labeling documents or other materials in a consistent and unbiased manner, based on the content or characteristics of the materials. Objective coding is often used in the context of legal discovery, where it is used to help identify and organize relevant documents in a case.
The “Predictor” is an algorithm developed and patented by Discovery Genie to facilitate a privilege review. The Predictor collects all of the email addresses in a document set, which the user classifies according to the owner’s role: attorney, client, third party or adverse party. The algorithm then analyzes each email according to the sender and recipient(s), and predicts the likelihood that the document is to be privileged or produced.
“Privilege” refers to a legal right or immunity that protects certain types of information or communications from being disclosed or used as evidence in a lawsuit. The most common types of privilege in the United States are the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine, and the spousal privilege.
- The attorney-client privilege protects communications between a lawyer and a client from disclosure to third parties, including other parties to a lawsuit. This privilege encourages clients to be candid and honest with their lawyers, which is necessary for effective representation.
- The work product doctrine protects the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney that are prepared in anticipation of litigation from being disclosed or used by the opposing party. This doctrine is intended to protect the attorney’s thought process and allow them to prepare their case without interference from the other side.
- The spousal privilege, also known as the marital privilege, protects certain communications between spouses from being used as evidence in a lawsuit. This privilege is intended to protect the confidentiality of the marital relationship and encourage open communication between spouses.
A “Privilege Log” is a document that lists and describes the documents or other materials that a party in a legal case is withholding from production or disclosure on the grounds that they are privileged. (See Privilege) When a party asserts privilege over a document, they are required to provide a description of the document on a privilege log. The privilege log should include information such as the date of the document, the author and recipients, a brief description of the document’s subject matter, and the legal basis for the privilege claim. The purpose of the privilege log is to allow the other party to understand the basis for the privilege claim and to challenge it if they believe it is not justified.
“Proportionality” refers to the idea that the scope and nature of the discovery process should be reasonable and appropriate in relation to the needs of the case. This means that the parties involved in the litigation should only request and exchange information that is relevant to the issues at hand and proportional to the importance of the case. Proportionality is intended to balance the needs of the parties to obtain relevant information with the burden and cost of discovery on the other party, by preventing parties from engaging in unnecessarily broad or burdensome discovery requests, which can be costly and time-consuming to respond to. Courts may consider a number of factors when determining whether discovery is proportional, including the amount in controversy, the complexity of the issues, and the importance of the requested information to the case.
“Relevant” refers to information that has a bearing on the issues in a lawsuit. Relevant information may include documents, emails, witness testimony, and other types of evidence that pertain to the factual or legal issues in the case. During the discovery process, parties may request the production of documents from the other side in order to gather evidence for their case. In order to request this information, the party must show that it is relevant to the case. The standard for relevance is typically quite broad, as the goal of the discovery process is to allow parties to fully explore the issues in the case and gather all relevant evidence.
“Rules of Civil Procedure” are a set of rules that govern the process of conducting a civil lawsuit in a court of law. These rules cover every aspect of the litigation process, from the filing of the initial complaint to the final judgment or settlement. The rules of civil procedure vary by jurisdiction and may be established by federal or state law, or by local court rules. Some common topics covered by the rules of civil procedure include the service of process, the pleading and amendment of pleadings, discovery and disclosure, the conduct of pretrial conferences and hearings, the use of expert witnesses, and the trial and appeal process. The rules of civil procedure are designed to ensure that civil cases are conducted fairly, efficiently, and in accordance with due process of law.
“Sedona Principles” are a set of guidelines that provide best practices for e-discovery, the process of requesting and exchanging electronic documents and other electronically stored information (ESI) in civil litigation. The principles were developed by the Sedona Conference, a nonprofit research and educational institute focused on legal issues related to electronic communication and commerce. There are eleven principles in total, organized into four categories:
- Cooperation: Encouraging cooperation and communication between parties and their counsel to facilitate the efficient and cost-effective discovery of ESI.
- Proportionality: Ensuring that the scope and nature of discovery is proportional to the needs of the case, taking into account the amount in controversy, the complexity of the issues, and the importance of the ESI to the case.
- Reasonableness: Requiring parties to take reasonable and good faith steps to preserve, collect, and produce ESI, and to cooperate in the process of discovery.
- Best Practices: Encouraging the use of best practices and guidelines for the discovery of ESI, including guidelines on the use of technology-assisted review and other forms of automated review.
“Small firm eDiscovery” or “small case eDiscovery” means the application of the discovery concept of Proportionality to small cases—i.e., reduced discovery in cases involving small dollar amounts or limited complexity.