eDiscovery has become increasingly common in North Carolina. eDiscovery refers to the process of obtaining electronic information to use as evidence in a criminal or civil case.
Discovery occurs in legal proceedings to allow opposing parties to exchange information that is relevant to each party’s case. North Carolina General Statutes addresses discovery rules for civil cases in Article 5 of Chapter 1A: Rules of Civil Procedure. Civil cases are lawsuits brought by one person against another for things like injury or breach of contract. Discovery in these cases is designed to allow plaintiffs and defendants to interview opposing witnesses and review certain important documents before a civil trial.
Many different kinds of information are exchanged during the discovery process, including electronic information. In recent years, eDiscovery has become a much larger part of the overall discovery process because so much is stored electronically today and because so much communication occurs over the Internet. Electronic data is also faster and easier to sort through and analyze, as compared with paper documents.
Many different types of electronic data can be exchanged as part of eDiscovery, including emails, calendars, databases, audio files, and more. Evidence obtained in eDiscovery can be invaluable to victims hoping to pursue compensation for losses and damages. For example, there have been product liability claims where emails were obtained during discovery to show that product manufacturers were aware of problems but released products anyway.
The discovery process, and particularly eDiscovery, can be complicated. If you are involved in a civil case, you should have an experienced attorney to provide you with guidance with eDiscovery and with other aspects of building a case for compensation.