EDRM (electronic discovery reference model)

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines standards for the recovery and discovery and of digital data. 

The EDRM is designed to serve as guidance for gathering and assimilating electronic data during the legal process, including criminal evidence discovery. The EDRM framework is a conceptual standard for the  E-discovery process. This means that those following EDRM could engage some, but not all, of the steps outlined in the model and still successfully discover relevant data. The steps can be carried out of order as well. 

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model consists of nine steps for electronically stored information (ESI) management.

Information management: Implement data governance processes that alleviate risk and expenses in the event of an electronic discovery request.

Identification: Locate sources of information to determine exactly what the data is, and how it needs to be managed.

Preservation: Ensure potentially e-discovery-relevant ESI is properly stored using measures such as retention and deletion schedules.

Collection: Gather information for e-discovery use.

Processing: Reduce the volume the relevant ESI and convert it for review and analysis.

Review: Determine the data's e-discovery relevance.

Analysis: Evaluate the ESI for content and context, including key patterns and topics.

Production: Deliver the ESI to relevant parties.

Presentation: Display data findings at depositions, hearings, trials, etc., to elicit further information, validate existing facts or positions or persuade a jury.

The EDRM was developed in 2005 by George Socha Jr., founder of St. Paul, Minn.-based Socha Consulting LLC, and Tom Gelbmann, managing director of Gelbmann & Associates in Roseville, Minnesota. The standards are distributed by EDRM, LLC, a coalition of consumers and providers that develop e-discovery and information governance resources.

This was last updated in January 2014

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