It has been proposed that 80-90% of all evidence is electronic. More formally known as "Electronically Significant Information" (ESI), the requirements for handling this process are very complex and expensive. However, with the right tools and professionals in place, the entire lifecycle of this type of evidence can be handled effectively and within budget. Virtually every case in modern times will involve ESI. We work with individual clients, investigators and attorneys through the three stages of the lifecycle of ESI:


With collection, a client is typically at the beginning stages of an investigation or lawsuit. At this stage, a decision is made as to which data should be collected from laptops, desktop computers, network servers and similar data stores for the second stage. Data selection criteria applied at this stage can greatly reduce cost. Selection criteria are reviewed carefully with clients to minimize cost but optimize collection of relevant data.


Using online review tools accessible through an Internet browser, clients, investigators and attorneys can search, categorize and organize data. Reviewers can comment on data and share information with other reviewers. There are typically two purposes at this stage:

  • Legal theories and defenses can be assessed for investigations. This type of review does not typically involve the third stage of the ESI lifecycle.
  • Also common at this stage is the selection of data which must be supplied to an adverse party in a lawsuit as required by certain discovery laws. All data that is relevant, but not privileged or confidential, to a production request is selected. This type of data typically is sent to the production (third) stage.


At this third and final stage, the data selected for production in the second stage is "produced" to adverse parties as required by discovery laws. The proper handling of the production is key so as not to accidentally disclose privileged or confidential data which could prove disastrous. Productions can also be very expensive. Proper handling of data at this stage is crucial.

Optimal's team of professionals can properly handle, integrate and process ESI at every stage. We work with clients closely to be sure they understand what is happening and do so within a predefined budget.