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What is the difference between a hierarchical database and a relational database?

A hierarchical database maintains a one-to-one correspondence between a document and a record of that document. A relational database typically involves multiple tables that relate to one another; in a relational database, multiple records could be "related" to one specific document, depending on the information contained.

What is the difference between the graphic formats PDF and TIFF?

PDF, developed by Adobe Systems, Inc., stands for Portable Document Format. PDF has become a de facto standard for the exchange of electronic documents and forms. It preserves the fonts, images, graphics, and layout of any source document, regardless of how the original document was created. PDF files can be shared, viewed, and printed with a viewer application, available free from Adobe Systems. Documents also can be converted to PDF using Adobe Systems software products. PDFs are compatible with a wide range of hardware and software platforms, and are fully searchable when scanned as "image and text."

TIFF ("Tagged Image File Format") is an electronic copy of a paper document that contains no embedded fonts, images, and graphics. TIFFs are supported by all major imaging, EDD, and litigation support service providers. The text contents of OCR'd TIFFs are fully searchable, although the accuracy of searches depends upon the condition of the original documents, the quality of the imaging technology used, and other factors.

What is an electronic document?

An electronic document can be delivered in two forms, either the native file in which it was created or an image file created by scanning an original paper document.

Why are electronic documents important?

It is estimated that over 70% of all corporate data exists solely in electronic formats. This is due in large part to the growing custom of e-mailing documents as e-mail attachments. Many of these e-mails and attachments are never printed to paper and thus exist solely in electronic form. In order to conduct comprehensive discovery, this information needs to be reviewed. Otherwise, over 70% of all potential evidence may be left un-examined. No two cases are the same and each case demands its own document management approach.

What is "Electronic Evidence"?

Electronic evidence is any computer-generated data that is relevant to a case. Included are email, text documents, spreadsheets, images, database files and deleted email and file back-ups. The data may be on floppy disk, zip disk, hard drive, CD or DVD.

What is "Electronic Discovery"?

Electronic discovery involves the following steps:

  • Identify likely sources.
  • Gather electronic evidence while avoiding spoliation and maintaining the chain-of-custody.
  • Make the collected data readable and useable.
  • Filter the data to achieve a relevant, manageable collection of information.
  • Make the information available in TIFF or PDF format as part of a database accessible from a Web-based repository.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is frequently described as data about data. An image or paper document does not provide you with significant information about its history. The Metadata in an electronic document, however, can provide valuable information about a document's history such as its author, creation date and modification date.

The following are examples of Metadata found in a typical Word document:

  • Author's name/initials
  • Author's company/organization name
  • Server name on which the document is stored
  • File properties/summary information
  • Non-visible portions of embedded OLE objects
  • Previous author's names and initials
  • Document version, editing time and revision information