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Alextronic Discovery
An Electronic Discovery Blog covering News, Articles
and Thoughts for the Legal and Corporate Community Author: Alexander H. Lubarsky, LL.M., Esq. - alubarsky@enterusa.com - Tel. (415) 533-4166 OR 800-375-4222 THIS BLAWG IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE WEB SITES WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.ORG OR WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.COM


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Native native, oh my!  

When I was growing up, native was not yet a pc word for indian and it was used primarily by my brothers and I when we were trout fishing along the Sacramento river in and around Dunsmuir. "Hey Aaron, I think I've got a native on the line!" The native trout put up a much more diginfied and strident fight than did them lazy rainbow plants from the hatchery.

Today, the word native continues to dominate my vocabulary but it is not used in the context of pristine streams and splashing steelhead. Today, the term native is muttered in the war room on the 20-0dd something floor of some sterile, large law firm.

Native native review is the ability to review electronic data right from its actual source. We aint' talkin' print/scan/ocr here nor are we even talkin' bout tiffin' ... Nope. We're looking at the file via a file viewer or pulling the application up from its bootstraps inside of its own application. Some folks call the review process which utlizes .tiff's produced by the ED vendor a native review, but take tiffs out of the picture and you're sitting pretty with a native native review. That's the kind of review that would make Sitting Bull look like a half breed.

A native native review is not quite as exciting as having the seven pound brown on your hook while trying to navigate it around the breakwater and into a deep pool, but it is still somewhat well... could I use the word, interesting?

The lack of a tiff is a cost saver and often a time saver. The tendency to open a document in its own application allows the user to learn more about it (track changes in MS Word, hidden formulas can be exopsed in Excel etc...). Of course, this can lead to claims of spoliation and evidence tampering if you are tinkering with the exact file as harvested from the original custodian, so there are a few land mines out there.

Perhaps the biggest detriment to a native, native is the inability to redact. Programs such as Summation and Introspect can let the user create the tiff more or less "on the fly" so the file can be appropriately redacted, stamped etc... Usually this beats the alternative of just paying to tiff everything even though a very small subset of the native data reviewed will actually be subject to redaction or other stamping/labeling overlays.

Of course, when it comes time to produce that which is not completely privileged or irrelevant, many would welcome the ease of a completely tiffed population so that the data can be exported to a CD or the like. However, native files themselves can be exported without a tiff, but this opens up the file to metadata exposure, history tracking and other little evils that could come back to haunt the producing party. Decisions, decisions!

If you are waffling back and forth trying to figure out if you will indeed go native with your next production, your indecision is understandable. You are not alone. There are several ways to land that fish.

posted by Alexander | 4:34 PM

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