E-discovery Tool


As a litigation paralegal, part of your case management duties may include getting the attorney ready for the Rule 26 Conference (the “Meet and Confer”).  This e-discovery checklist will help you get the attorney organized and ready for this important case deadline.


1.  Preservation

  • The dates for any ESI to be preserved.
  • The names and/or job titles or descriptions of custodians for whom ESI will be preserved.
  • The number of custodians for whom ESI will be preserved.
  • The list of systems that contain ESI (not associated with individual custodians) that will be preserved, such as network databases.
  • The description of data from sources that are not easily accessible and that will not be reviewed for responsiveness, but that will be preserved.
  • The description of data from sources that the party believes contains relevant information, but the party has determined it should not be preserved under proportionality factors.
  • Whether there will be a stop to any document destruction program.
  • Any disputes related to scope or manner of preservation.


2.  General System Information

  • Description of systems in which potentially discoverable information is stored.
  • Location of systems in which potentially discoverable information is stored.
  • How potentially discoverable information is stored.
  • Identification of systems from which discovery will be prioritized (e.g., finance, HR, emails).
  • How discoverable information can be collected from systems and media in which it is stored.


3.  Proportionality and Costs

  • The amount and nature of the claims being made by either party.
  • The nature and scope of burdens associated with the proposed preservation and discovery of ESI.
  • Costs that the parties will share to reduce the overall discovery expenses, such as the use of common electronic discovery vendor or shared document repository system.
  • Limits on the scope of preservation and other cost-saving measures.


4.  Search, Filters and Other Data Reduction Methods

  • The search method(s) that will be used to identify discoverable ESI and filter out ESI that is not subject to discovery.  Must include specific words, phrases, dates or other methodology.
  • The quality control method(s) that will be used to evaluate whether a production is missing relevant ESI or contains substantial amounts of irrelevant ESI.
  • Whether it is appropriate to conduct discovery of ESI in phases.
  • If phasing production, the description of the content each phase. (e.g., custodians, time periods).


5.  Production

  • The formats in which structured ESI (collaboration sites, databases, etc.) will be produced.
  • The formats in which unstructured ESI (email, word processing, presentations, etc.) will be produced.
  • The extent to which metadata will be produced, and if produced, which fields.
  • How the production of privileged or work product protected information will be handled.
  • Whether the parties can agree upon alternative ways to identify documents withheld to reduce the burden on the parties.
  • Whether the parties will enter into an agreement on inadvertent production.

We provide e-discovery training specifically focused on how a litigation paralegal can have a huge impact on managing e-discovery projects.  Learn more about the E-discovery Paralegal Boot Camp.

About the Author

Paralegal BlogAnn Pearson is the Founder of the Paralegal Boot Camp, specializing in training for paralegals that focuses on the important paralegal skills not taught in certificate programs. 

Ann started her paralegal career as a litigation paralegal and then was a manager of paralegals for many years prior to starting her own company in 2010.  When she’s not working, you can usually find her somewhere near an ocean – either scuba diving, boating, cleaning up a beach, or volunteering to help save sea turtles.

  Connect with Ann on LinkedIn.


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