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The Electronic Discovery Reference Model

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (“EDRM“) is now owned and managed by Duke University Law Schooland has become the industry go-to model for describing the overall eDiscovery workflow and which has become the basis for eDiscovery as a standard corporate business process. The EDRM helps attorneys and parties ensure best practices in eDiscovery are followed because it acts as the accepted reference describing the stages of eDiscovery, from identifying the source IT systems where information lives to the production and presentation of that information. A single document such as an email or spreadsheet, or a group of documents flow through each stage of the EDRM as part of the document life cycle vis-à-vis its relation to a legal proceeding requiring preservation or discovery.

How is the EDRM related to eDiscovery?

The EDRM has been an accepted industry standard model for describing the high-level phases of the eDiscovery process. The EDRM creates a common language for attorneys, legal professionals, experts and the Courts to use when confronted with the technical challenges of gathering, searching, storing and producing electronic documents and data.

The EDRM identifies Nine Phases of the eDiscovery process, from Information Governance to Presentation of evidence in a legal proceeding. It was originally created by G. Socha and T. Gelbman in order to help attorneys and legal service providers better understand the new field of eDiscovery. Since its inception, the EDRM has been used by the industry in academic papers, industry marketing and as a backup for legal arguments made in court.