Within the context of litigation, electronic discovery (e-discovery) refers to discovery of information in electronic format. Information preserved in electronic format often contains metadata, which is invisible to the naked eye. Metadata mining involves uncovering metadata, such as draft revisions, tracked changes, hidden text. Businesses should implement adequate procedures to remove metadata through the process of “scrubbing”.
Still yet, higher costs may arise due to an organization’s document retention policies. During litigation, opposing counsel might seek an obscure email created years ago that would entail restoring and searching of backup tapes. And yes, generally, the responding party must bear the entire cost of producing the requested documents. Sanctions may be imposed if any evidence is destroyed (not retained), even negligently. The sanction allows the judge to instruct the jury to draw the conclusion that the relevant evidence was destroyed because it was unfavorable.
Businesses should review their document creation and retention policies in light of the shift to a paper-less workplace.