Understanding Electronically Stored Information

A working knowledge of electronically stored information (ESI) is foundational for effective, efficient, and comprehensive planning and execution of all electronic discovery tasks. This short, non-all inclusive overview highlights key definitions, descriptions, and attributes related to ESI and may be beneficial for legal and information technology professionals as they consider ESI in the conduct of data and legal discovery.

en flag
nl flag
fr flag
de flag
pt flag
es flag

An overview by Rob Robinson

Understanding Electronically Stored Information – The Elements of ESI (1)

What is Electronically Stored Information?

Electronically stored information, or ESI, is described by the EDRM as information stored electronically on enumerable types of media regardless of the original format in which it was created. (2)

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 34, effective as of December 1, 2006, use the broad term “electronically stored information” to identify a distinct category of information that, along with “documents” and “tangible things,” is subject to discovery rights and obligations. (3)

What is Information?

From a technology perspective, information is defined as the summarization of data. Technically, data are raw facts and figures that are processed into information, such as summaries and totals. But since information can also be the raw data for the next job or person, the two terms cannot be precisely defined, and both are used interchangeably.

What Is Data?

  • Factual information, especially information organized for analysis or used to reason or make decisions.
  • Computer Science. Numerical or other information represented in a form suitable for processing by a computer.

Data Scope (What is the scope of the data in question?)

  • Entity Scope – Entities that may have had individuals involved in the creation, review, or response of data that may contain relevant information for the matter at hand.
  • Custodian Scope – Individuals who may have been involved in the creation, review, or response of data that may contain relevant information for the matter at hand.
  • Data Steward Scope – Individuals who have Information Technology management responsibilities for the entities and individuals determined to be related to the matter at hand or individuals who maintain access rights to the applications and equipment used by these entities and organizations.
  • Geographical Scope – The geographic locales of the entities and individuals that may have been involved in the creation, review, and/or response of communications and/or documents relevant to the matter at hand as well as the locales of the equipment used to support creation, transmission, review, and storage of these communications and/or documents.
  • Time Frame Scope – The period of time in which relevant information may have been created, reviewed, or responded to for the matter at hand.
  • Volume Scope – The estimated volume of data that may contain relevant information for the matter at hand.

Have a Request?

If you have information or offering requests that you would like to ask us about, please let us know and we will make our response to you a priority.

ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights cyber, data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding cyber, data and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of cyber, data and legal discovery organizations. Focused primarily on supporting the ComplexDiscovery publication, the company is registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. The company operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

From Russia (and China) with Love? The UK National Cyber Security Centre Annual Review

According to the NCSC Annual Review, China remained a highly sophisticated...

New Federal Government Cybersecurity Incident and Vulnerability Response Playbooks

According to Matt Hartman, Deputy Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, "The...

A Surge in Cybercriminality? The Annual ENISA Threat Landscape Report – 9th Edition

According to EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar, “Given...

Considering Zero Trust? November 2021 Cyber Events Report from NATO CCDCOE

Computer security professionals love to say that there is no such...

Epiq Acquires Simplex

According to the release, the acquisition will increase the overall scale...

A Long Runway? KLDiscovery Files for Initial Public Offering

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, KLDiscovery took a strong step toward...

Modus Secures Working Capital Facility from J.P. Morgan

According to Steven Horan, Chairman, and CEO of Modus, “Having the...

Driven and Innovative Discovery Merge

According to the announcement, Silver Oak Services Partners, a private equity...

An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: 2021-2026 Worldwide Software and Services Overview

From market retraction in 2020 to resurgence in 2021, the worldwide...

A New Era in eDiscovery? Framing Market Growth Through the Lens of Six Eras

There are many excellent resources for considering chronological and historiographical approaches...

An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: 2020-2025 Worldwide Software and Services Overview

While the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for worldwide eDiscovery software...

Resetting the Baseline? eDiscovery Market Size Adjustments for 2020

An unanticipated pandemeconomic-driven retraction in eDiscovery spending during 2020 has resulted...

Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for November 2021

From worldwide eDiscovery market sizing and discovery intelligence to cybersecurity playbooks...

Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for October 2021

From artificial intelligence and predictive coding to eDiscovery business confidence and...

Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for September 2021

From countering ransomware to predictive coding and packaged services, the September...

Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for August 2021

From the interplay of digital forensics in eDiscovery to collecting online...

Alternative Reality? Winter 2022 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

Based on the complexity of data and legal discovery, it is...

Calm Before the Storm? Eighteen Observations on eDiscovery Business Confidence in the Fall of 2021

In the fall of 2021, 71.2% of survey respondents felt that...

Help Wanted? Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance: A Fall 2021 Overview

In the fall of 2021, 27.4% of respondents viewed lack of...

Harvest Time? eDiscovery Operational Metrics in the Fall of 2021

In the fall of 2021, 67 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey participants...