The document collections may be handled by the client's IT staff and this can be a little concerning if the IT staff does not understand electronic discovery protocols. It is better if the document collections are handled by a service provider that specializes in this area.
Hardcopy documents will be removed from file drawers, sent to a scanning vendor and then returned. Electronic documents will be collected from various sources, depending upon the information that was shared during the custodial interviews, as well as any discussions with the IT staff.
Some of the most common sources are:
Network shared server hard drives
Desktop computer or laptop hard drives
Microsoft Exchange server (Outlook email)
Enterprise databases (structured data)
Most of the time, the data from these sources is forensically collected, by forensic experts. The data will most likely end up in a computer image file using a tool like EnCase or FTK Imager. The file extensions for these files can be similar to *.ad1, *.e01, *.ex01, *.l01, or *.lx01.
It is very important to track the document collection process carefully. You will need to know exactly what was collected for each custodian and from what source. Future decisions will be made by the attorneys based on this information.