Extract from Justin Reynolds, Akshita Singhal & Lianna Vaughan’s article “Early Case Assessment: An eDiscovery Primer”
Before you go to court for a legal proceeding, you first need to understand what you’re up against and what resources you have at your disposal. This process—the early case assessment (ECA)—is critical when it comes to building a case or defending a client.
At first glance, ECA may seem like a routine procedure and a waste of time. But it’s actually one of the most important parts of the eDiscovery process and something that legal teams need to take seriously. After all, putting effort into ECA improves court outcomes and eliminates costly mistakes drastically.
Read on to learn what ECA entails during eDiscovery, as well as some best practices to keep in mind when going through the process.
What Is an Early Case Assessment?
Just as the name suggests, ECA involves discovering and processing electronically stored information (ESI) before a legal case starts. ECA applies to items like emails, text messages, blogs, audio, and video files. It also applies to physical evidence like paper documents and forms.
At a high level, ECA helps legal teams understand risk and form a legal strategy. Legal teams use ECA to build the most effective case. This process also helps save time during court and ensures a fair, speedy, and efficient trial.
During ECAs, legal teams attempt to clarify a range of important items. Here are some examples.