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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

E-Discovery Guru Not Yet Wed to XML

want XML the dragon slayer: all the functionality of native electronic
evidence coupled with the ease of identification, reliable redaction and
intelligibility of paper documents. The promise is palpable; but for now,
XML is just a clever replacement for load files, those clumsy Sancho
Panzas that serve as squire to addled TIFF image productions. Maybe
that's reason enough to love XML... In e-discovery, we deal with
information piecemeal, such as native documents and system metadata or
e-mail messages and headers. We even deconstruct evidence by imaging it
and stripping it of searchability, only to have to reconstruct the lost
text and produce it with the image. Metadata, header data and searchable
text tend to be produced in containers called load files housing delimited
text, meaning that values in each row of data follow a rigid sequence and
are separated by characters like commas, tabs or quotation marks. Using
load files entails negotiating their organization or agreeing to employ
a structure geared to review software such as CT Summation or Lexis Nexis
Concordance. Conventional load files are unforgiving. Deviate from the
required sequence, or omit, misplace or include an extra delimiter, and
it's a train wreck... There is no standard e-discovery XML schema in wide
use, but consultants George Socha and Tom Gelbmann are promoting one
crafted as part of their groundbreaking Electronic Discovery Reference
Model project. Socha (a member of LTN's Editorial Advisory Board) and
Gelbmann have done an impressive job securing commitments from e-discovery
service providers to adopt EDRM XML as an industry lingua franca... A
mature e-discovery XML schema must incorporate and authenticate native
and nontextual data and ensure that the resulting XML stays valid and
well-formed. It's feasible to encode and incorporate binary formats
using MIME (the same way they travel via e-mail), and to authenticate
by hashing; but these refinements aren't yet a part of the EDRM schema.
So stay tuned. I don't love XML yet, but it promises to be everyone's
new best friend.See also Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) XML: Click Here

1 comment:

Ben Wright said...

E-discovery reflects the natural collision of technology and legal practice. As an enterprise creates an ever-growing mountain of records, adversaries of course want access to it. Knowing that litigation and e-discovery are inevitable, an enterprise can use technology proactively to make records more benign. What do you think? --Ben