Electronically Stored Information (ESI) represents any data that is created, manipulated and stored in digital form. ESI can consist of user-created files (native files) or files stored elsewhere in a computer’s memory (logical data). This includes backup media, legacy data, electronic communications (including E-mail) and ancillary data. To retrieve ESI, the use of specialized computer software, hardware, or both, is required.
In 2006, the Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (Section 26(f)) legally defined Electronically Stored Information for the purposes of creating proper procedures for maintenance, custody and discovery of Electronically Stored Information.
As the definition of ESI evolves, many matters have arisen as arguable issues, such as data preservation and spoliation in electronic discovery as well as form-of-production disputes and custodian issues.
As the top professionals in this field, it is incumbent upon us to handle E-Discovery with deference to existing laws, both legislative and tort, and to steer you and your firm away from potentially tortuous allegations related to the mishandling of potential evidence.