The Electronic Discovery Reference Model

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (or EDRM) may be old news to some but it really is a great visual tool when starting an eDiscovery project.  According to, the EDRM diagram represents a conceptual view of the eDiscovery process and each box represents a major stage of the process.  Intended as a basis for discussion and analysis – and not as the ONLY way to do things – it can help both the legal team and service providers assess the scope & timeline for a case and provides a logical path for collection, review & processing of ESI.


Below is a basic explanation of each of the EDRM steps and where Rainmaker fits into the process:

1.  Information Management – Getting your electronic house in order to mitigate risk & expenses should e-discovery become an issue, from initial creation of electronically stored information through its final disposition.

  • Creating a data mapping plan and knowing where your data resides is an essential step to take BEFORE litigation occurs.

 2.  IdentificationLocating potential sources of ESI & determining its scope, breadth & depth. 

  • Rainmaker’s partnership with the experts at Digital Discovery allows us to assist clients in gathering ESI from all potential sources, not just the obvious ones.  We can also help identify custodians and relevant sources of data, which in the long run can save costs by reducing the amount of data that needs to be reviewed.

 3.  PreservationEnsuring that ESI is protected against inappropriate alteration or destruction.

 4.  CollectionGathering ESI for further use in the e-discovery process (processing, review, etc.).

  •  Proper forensic collection is essential  and we can provided the knowledge and tools necessary to collect data the right way the first time, using defensible methods. 

5.  ProcessingReducing the volume of ESI and converting it, if necessary, to forms more suitable for review & analysis.

  •  Known file identification, date range and keyword searching all help to reduce the amount of data to review. Searching capabilities are available by file type, file extension, date range, keywords and other metadata fields. Once the relevant documents are identified they can be tagged for production or further review.

6.  ReviewEvaluating ESI for relevance & privilege.

  •  One popular option for this stage is an E-load, which allows our clients to review their data natively before they produce. E-Loads can lead to a significant reduction in the number of relevant documents and can reduce clients’ review workload and save them thousands of production dollars.

7.  AnalysisEvaluating ESI for content & context, including key patterns, topics, people & discussion.

  •  This stage is performed by counsel.

 8.  ProductionDelivering ESI to others in appropriate forms & using appropriate delivery mechanisms.

  •  Rainmaker’s EDD solution supports dozens of file types, easily converting your native documents to black and white or color images, capturing full text from text based files and all document metadata from the electronic files.  We offer a variety of electronic labeling options, as well as OCR.
  • Our technology makes load files effortless so they work perfectly the first time. We support all popular formats including, but not limited to, Summation, Concordance, IPRO, CaseLogistix, Introspect, CaseMap, Ringtail, Sanction, Trial Director, iCONECT, OmniDox, JFS Litigator’s Notebook, Doculex, BlueTrace, DocuMatrix, LaserFiche, TotalVzn, PDF’s and PDF files with bookmarks. We can provide standard load fields or customize them to your exact specifications. 

9.  PresentationDisplaying ESI before audiences (at depositions, hearings, trials, etc.)  to elicit further information, validate existing facts or positions, or persuade an audience.

  •  We can assist you in creating and labeling images for use in the courtroom, as well as preparing visual aids such as presentation boards.

 For more information on how Rainmaker can assist you and your team with the EDRM process, please contact us at 512.426.9911.

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