February 14, 2019 Articles

No Stone Unturned: Targeting Unknown or Unique Data Sources During Discovery

It can be difficult to predict where a company’s most relevant information lives.

By Thomas J. Gersey and Derek M. Duarte

You’ve filed an action alleging unfair business practices against a new competitor. Initial discovery requests should be easy—email communications, spreadsheets, marketing materials. But in a world of cloud applications and an abundance of Software as a Service (SaaS) options, it can be difficult to predict where a company’s most relevant information lives.

Without an effective discovery plan, an attorney is left choosing between two equally problematic options: (1) attempt to include every conceivable data source and run the risk of missing an important resource or (2) prepare overly broad requests and subject oneself to objections or data dumps. Depending on the choice, you may run the risk of an insufficient request for production, or you may create an unnecessary review burden and expense for your client. In the digital age, an attorney needs a discovery plan that is efficient and specific while identifying relevant data from a blind target. 

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