Metadata and E-Discovery

the data behind the people is an information resource by e-discovery attorney Ralph Losey to help bridge the gap between Law and IT. One big disconnect is the subject of metadata, the data behind the data. This page links to a chapter in a new book that explains recent case law on metadata, and when it should be produced.

E-Discovery, a Thompson West Report and Guide to the New Rules

I was asked by West to contribute the section on "Metadata," one of my favorite subjects, to its new book on e-discovery entitled: E-Discovery, a Thompson West Report and Guide to the New Rules. This will be a compendium by several authors, including yours truly. West has given me permission to post this section of the book here. So down load or view the PDF file below.

Metadata and E-Discovery:
Reprinted From E-Discovery: A Thompson West Report

The book was released in early 2008 and can be purchased from West at their online store.

After I wrote the chapter a new case came online that provides a good example of when metadata should be produced. Ryan v. Gifford, 2007 WL 4259557 (Del. Ch. Nov. 30, 2007). This is a stock backdating case where the metadata showing the time of document creation could be outcome determinative. In the words of the Chancellor in Delaware who wrote this letter opinion:

For the following reasons, I grant plaintiffs' motion to compel. First, metadata may be especially relevant in a case such as this where the integrity of dates entered facially on documents authorizing the award of stock options is at the heart of the dispute. This relevance is further illustrated by the fact that Maxim's special committee, as well as Deloitte and Touche, undoubtedly reviewed metadata as part of their investigation into the backdating problems at Maxim. This latter fact also undermines the asserted burdensomeness of producing documents in native file format.



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