The buzz around the eDiscovery of social media continues unabated in 2012, and for good reason. I challenged the team here at X1 Discovery to identify a numerical “2012 top trends in eDiscovery” list such as this one that did not include social media. Overall we identified 12 such projection lists from established vendors. This post from The eDiscovery Daily blog has a good compilation and links to 10 of those 12. We identified only one list (from Applied Discovery) that did not mention social media at all as a key trend for 2012 (we didn’t count CaseCentral’s 2012 entry as they wisely foretold the rise of social media eDiscovery a year earlier in their 2011 predictions list).
In addition to these lists of prognostication, which are fun reads, attorneys, consultants and other scribes generated a wealth of content in 2011 on social media and eDiscovery. It seems most of the discussion emphasized the need for corporate social media policies, procedures and readiness plans. Those are important first steps, but what we have sought to achieve on this blog is to outline actual solutions in terms of technical, legal and investigation techniques. For example, we identified over 20 various metadata fields unique to Facebook items and a similar set for Twitter. We instructed how to properly follow jurors and witnesses on Twitter without generating indirect communications that would violate attorney ethics rules. And we analyzed up to date case law concerning social media evidence.
But policies and procedures are important and for that we recommend compliancebuilding.com published by attorney Doug Cornelius. This site has an excellent and comprehensive collection of social media policies from a variety of industries, types of companies (public or private), industry and approach to social media (proactive, prohibitive or neutral). There are well over 200 example policies and forms from many Fortune 500 companies, law firms and non-profit organizations, including the Association of Corporate Counsel.
As far as our approach, in 2012 will continue to report on key case law and other legal developments regarding the cloud and social media. In the next few weeks, look for more metadata analysis, case law and the intricacies of public Facebook search. Thank you for supporting this blog in 2011 — more great things are to come in 2012!