E-discovery: Metadata grows in legal significance

A very small thing called “metadata” is getting bigger, at least in legal significance.   Litigation attorneys say that lawsuits demanding the production of metadata — the digital DNA of a document that can prove who created it, when and who may have altered it over time — have increased in recent years. And courts are honoring many of those requests when they are made early on, and relevance is shown.

We thought the following information would be helpful to members of The Posse List, especially the growing number of electronically stored information (ESI) lawyers/experts joining the list, and the many Posse List contract attorneys becoming less involved in actual document review and moving into various positions and work managing ESI.

An upcoming issue of the National Law Journal (click here)  discusses the recent seminal Aguilar case and what it means to metadata and the legal issues involved.  Further comment on the Aguilar case can be found here, here and here.

There is a lot of information on the web about metadata.  To begin we suggest you start with these sources:

New Legal Ethics Minefield: Metadata

Metadata (from Wikipedia)

The Five Purposes of Metadata

Control metadata in your legal documents

Find and remove metadata (hidden information) in your legal documents

The Importance of Teaching Metadata Concepts in the Business Communication Course

To stay current on the myriad issues involving e-discovery we strongly suggest Gabe Acevedo’s blog Gabe’s Guide (Gabe will be providing daily feeds from LegalTech 2009 in NYC this year),  Ralph Losey’s site e-Discovery Team,  the EDD Blog,  and our other sources which you can link to in the lower right hand column under “Electronic Discovery.”

About the Author Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.

Gregory P. Bufithis is the Founder & Chairman of The Posse List. He has over 25 years of experience in intellectual property law and digital media in the U.S. and Europe.

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