Electronic discovery, or e-discovery, refers to the information, data and communications that exist on your computer, cell phone, text messages, emails and more. E-discovery is the process in which this information is gathered during the investigation of your case. With the majority of our communication now done through electronic devices, e-discovery can have a major impact on your case.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were changed in 2006, to reflect the need to determine what electronic stored information (ESI) is, and how this information should be collected. Further, rules were amended to establish how this information would be stored and used in litigation. What is critical to understand is that text messages, emails, and other forms of electronic communication can be used in litigation, and can either help or hurt your case.
The Length of the Discovery Process
The discovery process is usually 30 days in most cases, and with large amounts of data to be reviewed in e-discovery, streamlining the process through the use of data review applications becomes important. Proper litigation requires that e-discovery is processed within the time limit, and redistributed to the other side as necessary.
E-Discovery in Your Case
All access to e-discovery must be granted to both sides in any litigation. This includes photos, emails, text messages, faxes and more, meaning that one side can’t leave out pieces of information that might be incriminating.
With the constant use of technology today, it’s impossible to leave out electronic communications in litigation. This can be dangerous for some defendants, as most people don’t think about electronic communication in the event of possible charges being filed. Many people will write statements in emails and texts in the heat of the moment, information that can be highly incriminating and useful for the plaintiff.
Specifically in the case of a personal injury lawsuit, all of your electronic medical records can be used in the litigation process. This means that previous medical records for similar conditions can be accessed, if they are part of your electronic health record.
If you find yourself searching through personal injury attorneys in Atlanta in search of legal advice, it’s time to contact an experienced personal injury firm that can answer your questions.
When you come to your initial consultation, bring with you all pertinent records that you have, including a list of e-discovery that you believe is important to your case. The more information you can provide at your initial consultation, the easier it will be for the attorney to determine if you have a viable personal injury lawsuit or not. Preparation is the key to a successful initial consultation with your attorney.