SharePoint’s Local E-Discovery Capabilities Help Make Finding Legal Evidence Easier

In order to find digital information that is suitable for evidence in the event of a legal issue involving your company, you’ll need to perform something called “e-discovery.” This process can be arduous; fortunately, Microsoft’s SharePoint solution can help.

eDiscovery Center is SharePoint’s answer to making e-discovery easy. While there are other products on the market that can help you accomplish this goal, many companies who already have SharePoint find that it’s a perfect fit since it is so user-friendly.

eDiscovery Center is even capable of defining more than one case at a time, which is especially helpful for law firms since the average legal office doesn’t run on a case-by-case basis. SharePoint goes one-step further and will actually search for information for more than one case at a time and keep them separate from one another.

In addition to handling multiple cases at a time, eDiscovery Center can also handle different data types at once. Acceptable data types include:

  • SharePoint lists and pages
  • Objects for the Exchange Server 
    • Messages and attachments
    • Calendar items
    • Tasks
  • Archived Lync conversations
  • Documents

eDiscovery Center is also capable of working as an in-place hold, ensuring that SharePoint content is not only available to users for searching but also allowing users to use the content during search processes. Even though using a SharePoint in-place hold seems like it would take up many of your computer’s resources, in most instances it won’t. This is because SharePoint usually doesn’t have to make a second copy of any of the data.

Where SharePoint Can Improve

No product on the market is absolutely perfect—SharePoint is no exception. One such shortcoming is that eDiscovery Center is not a default setting in SharePoint. In order to use eDiscovery Center, an administrator needs to develop and implement the feature. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to create.

eDiscovery Center also needs to expand the kinds of data that it can index. Unless data exists on the SharePoint server, a Lync server, a file share/web server or an Exchange server, eDiscovery Center can’t index it.

Image files are also incompatible to eDiscovery Center search. Images can be added to the data collection; however, SharePoint can’t index them. If your company needs to be able to have images indexed, you’ll need to incorporate a third-party product.

Since eDiscovery Center is a part of SharePoint Search, this opens up a plethora of opportunities for indexing content, but more so for crawling through non-SharePoint data. Some businesses find it helpful to set up their SharePoint to crawl through websites external to their own, as well as other websites that weren’t created using SharePoint.

eDiscovery Setup

In order for eDiscovery Center to achieve its maximum potential, administrators need to index everything before searches can be made. In addition to setting up indices, you also need to ensure that the people who need to run searches have the correct permissions to access the data. You have to be careful here, but in-place holds may not be possible.
There is any number of situations where an admin must be able to make more than one eDiscovery Center. One such situation is when a business is using both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online.

Innovative Architects can help your business with all of your SharePoint or cloud computing needs, including setting up the eDiscovery Center. If you’re interested in learning more about how our technology solutions experts can harness cloud capabilities to work for your company, then contact us today.

Also, take some time to browse our SharePoint knowledge center and blog for additional advice and insights on using Microsoft technology for your benefit.