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This page summarizes Electronic Discovery Advanced Paralegal Certification program. Use the links below to review the items, register or login to the course. If you have not already registered as a user on the NALA APC web site, click "Register for the Course." If you have already registered for this or another APC course, you have already created a user account, click "Login."

Paralegals who are not seeking the Advanced Paralegal Certification credential are welcome to register and take any APC courses as advanced continuing education programs. CLE credit is available upon completion of the courses from NALA for Certified Paralegals, and from various state CLE programs.

Prerequisite Knowledge Learning Contract Register for the course
Fee:   $250 Members; $300 Non Members

Course Description

Electronic discovery is the process of identifying and producing relevant, electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation. Advances in technology and exponential growth of reliance on ESI over traditional paper documents are continually increasing the scope, expense, and prominence of e-discovery in litigation. As the volume of ESI continues to expand, the costs to preserve, collect, review and produce it in litigation will only increase in the future. Developments in ESI technology and discovery have created a dynamic field posing significant challenges to courts, legal professionals, IT professionals, and litigants.

In this course, you’ll learn all the essential concepts of e-discovery and the obligations imposed on litigants to preserve, collect, review, and produce ESI in the discovery process. You’ll examine the types and characteristics of ESI, along with methods and systems for complying with each step in the e-discovery process. Building on what you’ve learned, you’ll research developing issues and trends in rules and case law and apply them to fact-based exercise scenarios and case studies.

Course modules are:
  1. Electronically Stored Information (ESI)
  2. Preservation Obligations
  3. Discovery of ESI
  4. Collection and Processing of ESI
  5. Review of ESI
  6. Production of ESI
  7. Records Management
  8. Spoliation
  9. Admissibility of ESI at Trial
  10. E-discovery in Criminal Cases
  11. Electronic Discovery Ethics
Click here to open "Role of the Paralegal" in e-discovery. This is the basis for this advanced course.

 Prerequisite Knowledge

Those taking this course should be familiar with the following:
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Evidence   
  • Basic Discovery
  • Trial Practice
  • Basic Torts and Contracts
  • Practice & Procedure Forms
  • Computers and Electronic Information
  • Internet Research
 Module Descriptions

1. Electronically Stored Information (ESI)
Module 1 begins the course with an overview of ESI and information technology relevant to e-discovery. Topics include ESI characteristics, types of ESI, file anatomy, data structure, storage and location of ESI, backups and backup systems, rules and best practices, changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to accommodate e-discovery, and The Sedona Guidelines on the Management of Electronic Information.
2. Preservation Obligations
Module 2 discusses the obligations of litigants and their lawyers to preserve ESI under certain conditions. Topics include early case assessment, triggering the duty to preserve ESI, scope of preservation obligations, duty to preserve metadata, duty to preserve transient data, legal holds, monitoring compliance with the legal hold, documenting the legal hold process, lifting legal holes, plaintiff’s duty to preserve ESI, and third parties duty to preserve.
3. Discovery of ESI
Module 3 examines the process and procedure of requesting production of ESI in the case discovery phase. Topics include formulation of a discovery plan, meet and confer obligation, required initial disclosures, pretrial conference and scheduling order, interrogatories, requests for production and inspection, responding to requests for production and inspection, requests for admissions, responding to requests for admission, requesting discovery from nonparties, limitations on discovery, protective orders, and supplementing disclosures and responses.
4. Collection and Processing of ESI
Module 4 discusses the collection and processing phase of e-discovery. Topics include defensible collection, forensic images and logical collections, forensic images versus logical collections, chain of custody, collection methodologies, choosing a vendor for collection, collection steps, processing collected ESI, keyword searches, selecting keywords, Boolean operators, advanced search methods, choosing a search method.
5. Review of ESI
Module 5 examines the process of reviewing ESI after it has been collected. Topics include categories of electronic discovery formats, tiered review, privileges, quick-peek and clawback agreements, reductions, document review platforms, tagging, clustering, privilege logs, predictive coding, and creating a defensible review strategy.
6. Production of ESI
Module 6 focuses on methods and requirements for producing ESI and delivering it to the opposing and other parties. Topics include production rules, defensible production planning, projecting costs, delivery methods, rolling production versus complete delivery, sample set data, sample dataset, searchable text, fielded data, load files, production logs, quality control, and receipt of production.
7. Records Management
Module 7 addresses ongoing records management and programs for routine preservation and disposal of ESI. Topics include records management programs, need for records management, developing a records management program, data mapping, retention times, automated records retention, types of retention schedules, guidelines for creating a retention schedule, and records management quality assurance.
8. Spoilation
Module 8 discusses spoliation of evidence and claims related to intentional and unintentional destruction of ESI records. Topics include elements of a spoliation claim, methods of raising spoliation claims, courts power to sanction, avoiding spoliation claims, defending against spoliation claims, good-faith exception, pretrial and post-trial cost shifting, and case studies.
9. Admissability of ESI at Trial
Module 9 discusses issues of admissibility of ESI at trial of the case, after discovery has been completed. Topics include evidentiary issues, relevance, authenticity, self-authentication, pretrial authentication hearsay, best evidence rule, unfair prejudice, and ethnicity will be held expert testimony.
10. E-discovery in Criminal Cases
11. Electronic Discovery Ethics
Module 11 examines ethics rules and issues related to e-discovery and ESI preservation obligations. Topics include competence, diligence, confidentiality, expediting litigation, candor toward the tribunal, fairness to opposing party and counsel, communications with the client, and unauthorized practice of law.