Discovery is the court-related process during litigation through which the parties exchange information relevant to the dispute, including "documents" and "things." In 1970, the rule was amended to add "data compilations." As digital methods of communication and data storage became increasingly common, the discovery rules changed again. They now include a separate category called "electronically stored information" (ESI).
In some ways, discovery of ESI is the same as any other discovery. The rules about relevance and proportionality apply, as do the rules about privilege. Nevertheless, there are some qualities of electronically stored information that present unique issues. It is these special characteristics and associated rules that are the focus of this lesson.