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The proliferation of electronic documents makes electronic discovery imperative for the legal and corporate world, and mishandling such documents could spell danger for the success of your case.This was the overarching sentiment shared during the virtual launch on 30 March 2021 of Africa’s first legal text on eDiscovery, entitled A Guide to eDiscovery in South Africa.
The world is awash with data and has officially entered the Zettabyte era. Hundreds of billions of emails are sent/received on a daily basis and it has been calculated that more than 97% of business documents are created electronically. South Africa is not immune nor exempt from the digital revolution. In short, the very nature of what constitutes information and documentary evidence, types and sources, and how they are dealt with has changed.
As we well know, the volume of data being generated is growing rapidly. eDiscovery involves almost all information capable of being stored electronically, across multiple formats. It is not limited to conventional formats such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and email. It includes text messages, social media interactions on WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype and Zoom meetings. Add in LinkedIn, FaceBook and Google searches. In short it is the electronic aspect of identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information (ESI) in a litigation case or investigation.