January 01, 2012

E-Discovery: The Elusive Search for the Ideal Search

William Hamilton

The hunt for the ideal e-discovery search method has been a long, winding road. Search software now indexes, digests, organizes, and selects critical documents from the unimaginably large mountain range of electronically stored information (ESI). But has the steady conversion from tomes to gigabytes really taken us to the point where the search will lead to truth as quickly and cheaply as possible? Perhaps not yet. But we are getting closer.

Early in the evolution of our digital society, a first principle of e-discovery emerged: the keyword search. Soon, simple keyword searches were refined with Boolean connectors, stemming, “within” ranges, stop words, and wild cards. But what we all thought was the Rosetta stone of the digital world turned out to be mere illusion.


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