E-Discovery Day 2021: Putting the “E” in “E-Discovery”

GeneralDec 03, 2021

This year for E-Discovery Day we hopped in our time machine and went back to the days before the “E” was a part of E-Discovery.


Discovery is the process of disclosing to opposing parties every document that is in a party’s power, possession or control that is relevant to a lawsuit. This obligation is fundamental to the civil litigation process, and its core purpose is simple: to prevent surprise and trial by ambush. In past practice this obligation translated to the client gathering all the paper they had that they believe relate to the issue in a lawsuit and a lawyer would review each document and determine which of the documents must be disclosed in a list to the opposing parties with hard copies available at the opposing party’s request. At least, this used to be the case.


For E-discovery Day 2021, our team at INNOV-8 reflects on memories of that time when Discovery meant donning a pair of safety glasses and sifting through a warehouse full of paper documents.


E-Discovery has evolved into something entirely different from what it used to be, even in the last 5 years. E-Discovery became prominent in the U.S. primarily because of the Zubulake v. UBS Warburg case. In essence, a woman was terminated and sued her employer, a global bank. The bank did not take steps to preserve, review, or analyze documents to be “disclosed” and “produced”. As a result, Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered an adverse inference instruction against UBS Warburg and awarded Zubulake compensatory and punitive damages. In her decision, the judge went to great lengths to describe what E-Discovery should look like. U.S. rule makers took notice and made changes for future cases. The fundamentals of E-Discovery then crossed the border into Canada with the introduction of The Sedona Canada Principles on Electronic Discovery.


Today, our founder, Marlon Hylton, defines E-Discovery as “the practice of effectively managing data and information for legal proceedings by using appropriate, advanced technology and processes to satisfy legal obligations.” Discovery has changed to suit the modern “E” world and now goes well beyond litigation; we’re proud to be part of a team that has grown with this evolution.


Knowledge is power and we are always open to a conversation about trends in E-Discovery, or how we can help your organization with E-Discovery initiatives. Do not hesitate to reach out and happy E-Discovery Day 2021!


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