Periodically, I strive to pen something practical and compendious on electronic evidence and eDiscovery, drilling into a topic, that hasn’t seen prior comprehensive treatment.  I’ve done primers on metadata, forms of production, backup systems, databases, computer forensics, preservation letters, ESI processing, email, digital storage and more, all geared to a Luddite lawyer audience.  I’ve long wanted to write, “The Annotated ESI Protocol.” Finally, it’s done.

The notion behind the The Annotated ESI Protocol goes back 40 years when, as a fledgling personal injury lawyer, I found a book of annotated insurance policies.  What a prize!  Any plaintiff’s lawyer will tell you that success is about more than liability, causation and damages; you’ve got to establish coverage to get paid.  Those annotated insurance policies were worth their weight in gold.

As an homage to that treasured resource, I’ve sought to boil down decades of ESI protocols to a representative iteration and annotate the clauses, explaining the “why” and “how” of each.  I’ve yet to come across a perfect ESI protocol, and I don’t kid myself that I’ve crafted one.  My goal is to offer lawyers who are neither tech-savvy nor e-discovery aficionados a practical, contextual breakdown of a basic ESI protocol–more than simply a form to deploy blindly or an abstract discussion.  I’ve seen thirty-thousand-foot discussions of protocols by other commentators, yet none tied to the document or served up with an ESI protocol anyone can understand and accept. 

It pains me to supply the option of a static image (“TIFF+”) production, but battleships turn slowly, and persuading lawyers long wedded to wasteful ways that they should embrace native production is a tough row to hoe. My intent is that the TIFF+ option in the example sands off the roughest edges of those execrable images; so, if parties aren’t ready to do things the best way, at least we can help them do better.

Fingers crossed you’ll like The Annotated ESI Protocol and put it to work. Your comments here are always valued.