What Is Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)?

What is Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)?

What is Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)?

What is Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)?

Welcome to the “DEFINITIONS” category, where we break down complex terms and concepts to help you understand them better. In this edition, we’ll explore the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) and its significance in the world of digital data management and litigation support.

Key Takeaways:

  • EDRM is a widely accepted framework used to guide electronic discovery processes.
  • It provides a structured approach to manage electronic data in legal proceedings.

The ever-increasing use of digital documents and electronic data has given rise to the need for efficient methods to handle electronic discovery during legal cases. The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) serves as a comprehensive framework that outlines the key stages and activities involved in managing electronic evidence throughout the litigation process.

The EDRM model consists of various interconnected stages, each with its own set of processes and objectives designed to ensure legal compliance and reduce the risks associated with electronic data management. Let’s dive into the components of the EDRM model:

EDRM Components:

  1. Information Governance (IG):

    At the core of the EDRM model, IG focuses on establishing policies and procedures to govern a company’s electronic information. This includes data retention, preservation, and data privacy practices to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

  2. Identification:

    In this stage, relevant electronic information that may serve as evidence is identified and collected. This includes searching for and locating potentially relevant files, emails, and other data sources.

  3. Preservation:

    During preservation, measures are taken to safeguard identified data to prevent its alteration or deletion. This ensures the integrity and authenticity of the information during the legal process.

  4. Collection:

    Electronic data that has been identified and preserved is collected and extracted for further analysis and review. This may involve utilizing specialized software tools to streamline the collection process.

  5. Processing:

    Once data is collected, it undergoes processing, including data reduction, deduplication, and data format conversion. These processes help organize and optimize the data for efficient review and analysis during litigation.

  6. Review:

    In the review stage, legal teams examine the processed data to evaluate its relevance, privilege, and potential for use as evidence in the case. Advanced analytics and search techniques are often employed to assist in sorting through large volumes of information.

  7. Analysis:

    During analysis, possible patterns, relationships, or trends within the reviewed data are identified. This can help form a case strategy and aid in the decision-making process.

  8. Production:

    In the final stage, relevant information is produced in a format agreed upon by all parties involved. This may include creating document sets or producing data for use in court proceedings.

  9. Presentation:

    In this stage, the produced electronic evidence is presented in court or other legal forums. This includes presenting the information in a clear, understandable manner that effectively supports the case.

The EDRM model provides a roadmap for organizations and legal entities to efficiently manage electronic discovery, ensuring compliance and reducing potential risks. By following the EDRM model, companies can streamline their discovery processes, ultimately saving time and resources.


Understanding the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is crucial for organizations and legal professionals dealing with the challenges of managing electronic data during litigation. By adopting this standard framework, entities can effectively navigate the complex world of electronic discovery, making the process more efficient and accurate.