What is E-Discovery?
Technology is constantly changing, and those changes affect us all. That is certainly the case in the legal world. For example, technology has drastically changed how the discovery process is facilitated. A paralegal is often involved in the discovery process; so, it goes without saying that any technological change in that process will affect a paralegal’s job.
E-discovery is the term used for electronic discovery. It is a newer field within the legal community, and a potentially lucrative one for those who are proficient in this technology.
E-Discovery – A Definition
Discovery, a formal procedure established by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and corresponding state procedural rules, allows the parties involved in a lawsuit to exchange information and documents in order to discover facts relevant to the lawsuit and to identify potential witnesses and evidence.
E-discovery is the electronic version of discovery, and allows the legal professional to identify, gather, process and produce electronically stored information (ESI) on computers, etc. for use in litigated matters.
The Role of a Paralegal in E-Discovery
Specific paralegal tasks will vary from job to job; however, a paralegal might perform the following e-discovery tasks:
- Evaluate a client’s electronically stored information (ESI)
- Assist in creating client ESI preservation policies
- Serve on e-discovery teams
- Ensure compliance with the new federal rules regarding ESI
- Inform clients of e-discovery policies
- Draft and communicate litigation hold procedures
- Use technology to manage discovery
- Assist in the collection, processing, review, analysis and production of ESI
- Serving as a liaison between the legal team, IT personnel, vendors and records management personnel
Employers of E-Discovery Professionals
Law firms lead the legal industry in hiring e-discovery professionals, with many of those professionals being paralegals. Following are some other hirers of e-discovery paralegals and professionals:
- Corporate legal departments
- State government
- Federal government
- E-discovery vendors
- Educational institutions
The Importance of Paralegal Training
One of the most important keys to finding a paralegal job is to possess paralegal training. The benefit of attending a paralegal school, such as the AIPS 100% Online Paralegal Certificate Program, is that you will learn specific and applicable paralegal skills. Couple that training with e-discovery training and you have unique skills that will set you apart from others. The possibilities, traditional or alternative, are numerous.
Beneficial AIPS Courses
- Criminal Law
- Business Law
- Tort Law
- Family Law
- Trial Practice and Evidence
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