Industry News

Electronic OCR Discovery

As an increasing amount of information is being created, shared, and accessed via electronic means technology that is capable of handling such information becomes valuable to organizations. Offices in every industry are making the transition from paper documents to electronic files to varying degrees. The legal industry itself is experiencing this, leading to the relatively new concept of “electronic discovery”, which is the requesting and exchange of electronic documents between parties during the pre-trial phase.

Discovery is an important part of the legal and trial process, as it allows each party to gather relevant evidence. The prevalence of electronic data, or electronically stored information (ESI), has led lawmakers to make amendments concerning ESI to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under the new amendments data such as email, instant messages, databases, websites, and documents all fall under electronic discovery. The data is converted into searchable image files to facilitate and enhance research.

One of the primary technologies behind electronic discovery is OCR. OCR stands for optical character recognition, which has the ability to convert scans into text searchable files. Many aspects of the legal industry, ranging from the law firm office to the trial workings, have to deal with an enormous amount of information. Batches of lengthy documents can be made instantly accessible with OCR. Legal staff can save an immense amount of time by eliminating the need to manually search for paper.