Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Definition of Electronic Discovery Reference Model

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines the standards and guidelines for the e-discovery process, a legal procedure involving the identification, collection, and analysis of electronically stored information (ESI) for litigation or regulatory purposes. EDRM consists of nine stages spanning from information management to production and presentation of ESI. This model aims to streamline the e-discovery process, improve collaboration among stakeholders, and reduce time and costs associated with litigation.


The phonetics of the keyword Electronic Discovery Reference Model are:Electronic: ih-lek-tron-ikDiscovery: dih-skuv-uh-reeReference: ref-er-uhnsModel: mod-l

Key Takeaways

  1. The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines the various stages of the electronic discovery process, helping legal professionals manage and streamline their work.
  2. The EDRM highlights the critical steps in electronic discovery, such as information governance, identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, production, and presentation of electronically stored information (ESI).
  3. By utilizing the EDRM, legal and IT teams can collaborate more effectively, reduce costs, minimize risks, and enhance the overall efficiency and accuracy of the electronic discovery process.

Importance of Electronic Discovery Reference Model

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a crucial framework in the field of legal technology, as it outlines the structured process of discovering, managing, and exchanging electronically stored information (ESI) during litigation or investigation.

It serves as a comprehensive guide for legal professionals, ensuring a standardized and efficient method for handling ESI, while simultaneously minimizing costs and reducing potential errors associated with handling massive data sets.

By addressing key stages such as identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, and production, the EDRM not only simplifies digital forensics for legal use but also supports consistent communication and adherence to best practices, ultimately fostering a more reliable, cost-effective, and legally defensible electronic discovery process.


The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) serves a significant purpose in the realm of legal proceedings and information governance. Its primary function is to provide a comprehensive framework which helps facilitate the entire electronic discovery process, encompassing the identification, preservation, and processing of electronically stored information (ESI). This is essential in addressing the critical components and stages in litigation and internal investigations, where it is crucial to have orderly access to relevant ESI.

The EDRM model not only lays the foundation for the development of e-discovery tools and technology but also acts as a vital reference for organizations and legal professionals dealing with large volumes of digital data to ensure that the collected information holds up in court proceedings. When it comes to understanding the utility of EDRM, a key aspect is that it streamlines and standardizes the complex e-discovery process.

By following the EDRM guidelines, legal counsel, IT teams, and records management departments can move through various stages methodically, such as data identification, collection, processing, review, and analysis, ultimately leading to the production and presentation of admissible evidence. This systematic approach not only reduces the likelihood of errors or oversight during digital data handling but also increases transparency and collaboration between the involved parties, resulting in more efficient and accurate e-discovery outcomes.

Moreover, the adoption of EDRM leads to significant cost savings for businesses and law firms, as it mitigates the associated risks, ensures compliance with legal regulations and reduces delays while efficiently managing ESI.

Examples of Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines the process for e-discovery, which involves the identification, collection, processing, review, and production of electronically stored information (ESI) for legal proceedings. Here are three real-world examples of EDRM technology in action:

Litigation support for a large corporation:A large multinational corporation was involved in litigation and needed to manage vast volumes of electronic documents and communications related to the case. Their legal team relied on the EDRM model to efficiently identify, collect, and process the relevant ESI. The EDRM technology allowed them to streamline the review process and efficiently meet court deadlines for document production, ultimately saving time and resources.

E-discovery in a government investigation:A government agency conducted an internal investigation into potential corruption and required ESI from several departments within the organization. By implementing EDRM technology, the agency was able to efficiently collect, process, and review various types of documents, emails, and databases. As a result, the agency gathered enough evidence for a successful prosecution and minimized disruption to the organization during the investigation process.

E-discovery for a large-scale data breach lawsuit:After a high-profile data breach involving a major retailer, several class-action lawsuits were initiated by customers and financial institutions. To identify and produce relevant documents and communications related to the data breach, the retailer’s legal team utilized EDRM technology. Through EDRM, the team was able to effectively manage the extensive process of identifying, processing, and reviewing relevant ESI. This helped the retailer build a defensible e-discovery process and efficiently manage the complex litigation, ultimately reaching a favorable settlement for all parties involved.

Electronic Discovery Reference Model FAQ

1. What is the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)?

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines the process of e-discovery, which involves the identification, collection, processing, review, analysis, and production of electronically stored information (ESI) in legal cases. EDRM provides guidance to legal professionals, helping them navigate complex e-discovery tasks more efficiently.

2. What are the main stages of the EDRM process?

The EDRM process comprises nine stages: Information Governance, Identification, Preservation, Collection, Processing, Review, Analysis, Production, and Presentation. Each stage is essential for the successful management and handling of electronically stored information throughout the e-discovery process.

3. How does EDRM help in legal cases?

EDRM helps legal professionals in several ways, such as providing structure to the e-discovery process, reducing the risk of errors, increasing productivity, simplifying the communication between stakeholders, and minimizing the time and cost associated with e-discovery tasks. By following the EDRM framework, legal teams can ensure the consistent and efficient handling of ESI, which positively impacts case outcomes.

4. How has the EDRM evolved over the years?

Since its introduction in 2005, the EDRM has undergone several updates and revisions to account for advancements in technology, the growing volume of digital data, and shifts in legal requirements. As a result, the model has evolved into a practical and adaptable guide that caters to the continuously changing landscape of e-discovery and the legal industry as a whole.

5. Is EDRM specific to certain industries or jurisdictions?

No, the EDRM framework is not limited to specific industries or jurisdictions. It serves as a flexible guide that can be applied across various sectors and legal systems, wherever electronic evidence plays a crucial role. While the model provides a general outline of the e-discovery process, legal teams can tailor it to their specific workflows and comply with relevant laws and regulations in their jurisdictions.

Related Technology Terms

  • Information Governance
  • Identification
  • Preservation
  • Collection
  • Processing

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