Self-Collection In E-Discovery — Risks Vs. Rewards

Law360, New York (August 28, 2017, 10:43 AM EDT) -- Allowing custodians to search for and collect their documents for use in litigation is a risky proposition that is frowned upon by courts. Judges have declared that "most custodians cannot be 'trusted' to run effective searches"[1] and that it is "insufficient ... to vest total discretion in the employee to search and select what the employee deems relevant."[2] As judges become better educated about the complexities of collecting electronically stored information (ESI), in particular the inefficacy of keyword searching, they are increasingly skeptical of self-collection.

And yet, for many good reasons (and a few bad ones), custodian self-collection is still prevalent...

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