When the Game is Afoot – eDiscovery Investigations Series, Part 1
A multi-part series discussing the realities of eDiscovery in the context of investigations
by Matthew Verga, JD, Xact Data Discovery
“Come, Watson, come!” he cried. “The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!” – Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”
The majority of eDiscovery work takes place in the context of litigation, but a significant amount of it takes place instead in the context of investigations. Although the available ESI and the available eDiscovery technologies are the same, the realities of handling investigations are different in some ways worth discussing.
Common Types of Investigations
Broadly speaking, there are three main categories of investigations in which corporations commonly become involved outside of, or before, actual litigation: (1) internal conduct or compliance investigations; (2) due diligence investigations; and, (3) regulatory enforcement investigations.
Internal Conduct or Compliance Investigations
Any organization of sufficient size will find it periodically needs to conduct an internal investigation of employee conduct or organizational compliance. Larger organizations and organizations in highly-regulated industries may find it to be a frequent occurrence. For example:
- Investigating alleged misconduct by an employee or manager (e.g., fraud or theft, data exfiltration, interpersonal misconduct)
- Investigating the circumstances surrounding the termination of an employee (e.g., was a termination for proper reasons properly documented)
- Investigating potential legal or regulatory violations in the conduct of business (e.g., was a particular transaction an attempt to manipulate a market)