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2012 Trends for eDiscovery Impact Family Law

New trends in eDiscovery, or electronic discovery, have emerged this year. Discovery is when the parties during litigation must provide various records and documents as evidence in a case. These documents are considered potentially relevant to the case. When these records are in an electronic format, they are known as eDiscovery.

This may include items such as emails, Word documents, spreadsheets, audio and video recordings, and websites. Once all parties submit this data, the eDiscovery is indexed and placed into a database. Then, the eDiscovery is coded so legal teams can access it quickly.

eDiscovery may be important during litigation for family law claims as well as others. As technology continues to leap forward, eDiscovery changes and expands too. Many of the new trends in eDiscovery this year affect family law practices.

Social Media Sites

Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have been seen as sources of eDiscovery. These sites may present challenges for clients when they want to obtain records of their former spouse's activities.

Nonetheless, the amount of information contained on these sites, and it's relevance to divorce and family law cases, makes it necessary that divorce attorneys will develop ever more sophisticated techniques to extract the information that is important for their client's cases.

The Cloud

The Cloud, as a term for offsite data storage managed by third party providers, may be both something searched for information by the parties in a divorce case, and a place where the divorce attorneys store the information obtained during eDiscovery.

While the cloud could provide a great deal of information on a party, say business records used to determine a proper valuation of the business. This valuation is essential for calculating the distribution of marital assets, and often it can be difficult to value a small business or medical practice, if accurate records are not available.

The presence of cloud storage could make eDiscovery easier, but it also carries the risk of making it easier to hide assets or profits in a different cloud.

Predictive Coding

One growing technology tool for eDiscovery management is predictive coding. Predictive coding is now being used for review. This technique hopes to replace much manual review efforts. Predictive coding may result in better accuracy as well as saving time and costs.

The Future of eDiscovery

As eDiscovery practices evolve with time, it is important for legal clients to work with a family lawyer that understands electronic discovery and how to gather all electronic evidence efficiently. Family law litigation cases often require eDiscovery, so working with a firm on the forefront of these changes will ensure that your case is in good hands.

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