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What is Electronically Stored Information or ESI?


Electronically stored Information (ESI) or digital data includes any record, file, source code, program, computer manufacturer specifications, and other imprint on a computer storage device. Because of the almost limitless application of computers in our society, electronic evidence takes many forms. It can encompass sensitive word processing documents, personnel records, customer lists, financial information, e-mail routed via the internet and local Intranets, electronic scheduling systems, computer operation logs, and voice mail transcriptions, whether or not they are transferred to a printed page. For the purpose of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) ESI is information created, manipulated, communicated, stored and best utilized in its electronic or digital form using computer hardware and software.


Discovery of ESI allows litigants to search, organize and target information using text and associated data. Courts have recognized over time that the discovery of ESI can be both costly and subject to delay. Given the potential volume of the information involved courts are expecting that litigants cooperate on issues that pertain to the preservation, collection, search, review and production of ESI.













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Center for Computer Forensics

21800 Melrose Ave

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Southfield, MI 48075

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