Why You Should Export Whole Mailboxes For eDiscovery (Not Select Emails)
Takeaway: When you export emails in small batches (e.g., emails with specific labels) for email eDiscovery, you risk leaving behind crucial data. Instead, export whole mailboxes upfront and dump them into your eDiscovery application. This way, you don’t risk missing emails and will have a suite of eDiscovery tools to review and cull your mailbox.
Email eDiscovery is like detective work, and you need a system to find all the right clues.
Imagine you’re a detective, but instead of sifting through physical evidence and interrogating suspects, you’re navigating through an intricate web of digital communications. Your magnifying glass? eDiscovery software. Your crime scene? Email inboxes. Welcome to the world of email eDiscovery, where the objective is to identify, collect, and analyze electronic information (often emails) for legal cases or corporate investigations. Just like a detective wouldn’t want to miss a single clue, you wouldn’t want to overlook any critical emails that could be the smoking gun in your case.
One way of dealing with emails is to export small groups of them for review.
You might think the best approach is to find relevant emails and export these in small groups. So, you might use Gmail labels to select batches of emails to export. Or you might use your email client’s search engine to find responsive emails. (Learn how to export files using Gmail, or learn how to export files using Yahoo!)
The problem with this is you might mistakenly leave some emails behind.
When you’re only exporting select emails, you risk mistakenly overlooking crucial data. Emails can be mislabeled, poorly categorized, or simply lost in the sea of other communications. (For instance, some newer emails in a thread might not inherit the thread’s labels. So, you might assume you’re exporting all emails in the thread but are actually leaving some behind. Consider a corporate lawsuit where Company A was accused of violating a contract with Company B. Company A exports only select emails for eDiscovery, confident that they’ve covered all their bases. However, they miss an email accidentally labeled “Miscellaneous” instead of “Contracts.” This email contains information that could prove them innocent, but they realize the mistake too late and have to face severe legal consequences.)
Sure, it might be worth the risk if you’re protecting sensitive information. But you can always redact that information later on.
You could argue that exporting only select emails is a good way to protect sensitive information. However, modern eDiscovery services have advanced features that allow you to redact sensitive information. So, you can still export your entire mailbox without worrying about exposing confidential data.
The best option is to export your entire mailbox and upload it to your eDiscovery software.
Instead of being selective upfront, consider exporting your entire mailbox and dumping it into your eDiscovery software. It’ll make your reaction to an eDiscovery notice more rapid because you’re scooping up everything. Then, later on, you can sort through it all systematically.
The bonus here is that you can use dedicated eDiscovery tools like an advanced search engine, email tagging, and more.
Once you’ve uploaded your entire mailbox to your eDiscovery software, you can use various tools to sift through the data efficiently. Think of it as having a state-of-the-art metal detector while on your archaeological dig. Advanced search engines can help you find specific emails based on complex queries. Email tagging allows you to categorize emails for easier review later. A redaction tool will allow you to erase sensitive information. And a production wizard will help you arrange and present your emails professionally.
Importantly, top-tier eDiscovery services offer free email processing and uploading to help with this workflow.
The cherry on top? Many leading eDiscovery services offer free email processing and uploading, making the entire process cost-effective and efficient. (Remember, most eDiscovery cases constantly shrink and expand. So, if your software charges for uploads, you’ll lose a lot of money unnecessarily. For example, imagine you upload 10 GB, delete 5 of those GBs – as they’re irrelevant to the case – and then upload 5 extra GB of replacement emails. If you’re charged for uploads, this process just wastes your money on those 5 unnecessary GBs. Luckily, top-tier eDiscovery services charge only for storage space used – not for uploads and data processing.)
For instance, GoldFynch is set up perfectly for email eDiscovery.
- It costs just $25 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know exactly what you’re paying for: its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
- It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing files is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up-front how much you’ll be paying. You can upload and cull as much data as you want as long as you stay below your storage limit. And even if you do cross the limit, you can upgrade your plan with just a few clicks. Also, billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
- It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free trial case (0.5 GB of data and a processing cap of 1 GB) without adding a credit card.
- It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch, and you’re good to go. Plus, you get prompt and reliable tech support (our average response time is 30 minutes).
- Access it from anywhere, and 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.
Want to find out more about GoldFynch?
For related posts about eDiscovery, check out the following links.
- A Complete Glossary of Essential eDiscovery Terms
- A Quick Primer on GoldFynch’s eDiscovery Software
- A Free PST Analyzer to Check If Your eDiscovery PSTs Are Intact
- Use This In-Browser PST Viewer to Explore Your eDiscovery Emails For Free
- The Secret to Choosing the Best Low-Cost eDiscovery Software for Your Small Law Firm
- How To Make Your eDiscovery Productions Less Hackable
- Is Social Media the Future of eDiscovery?