Self-Collection and Its Risks – Collection Fundamentals Series, Part 6
A multi-part series on the essentials practitioners need to know about ESI collections
by Matthew Verga, JD, Xact Data Discovery
In “Collection and the Duty of Technology Competence,” we discussed lawyers’ duty of technology competence and the importance of understanding collection to fulfilling that duty. In “The Broad Scope of Collection,” we discussed the potential legal and technological scope of collection. In “How Computers Store ESI,” we discussed the operation of computer memory. In “Collecting and Recovering ESI from Computer Memory,” we discussed the technical process of collection. In “The Intersection of Technical and Legal Realities,” we discussed the intersection of that technical process with the legal requirements. In this Part, we start our review of available collection approaches with a discussion of self-collection and its risks.
Collection Approaches: Self-Collection
Self-collection refers to a collection approach in which the custodians themselves undertake the identification and collection of relevant documents from their own materials. Typically, they are doing so pursuant to some instructions and oversight from in-house or outside counsel. For example, they might review their physical records and turn over any relevant paper files to a designated recipient in the in-house counsel’s office, or they might review their stored electronic files and place copies of relevant materials in a designated storage area on the organization’s network (or move relevant emails to a designated folder in Outlook).