In the bad old days before e-discovery, when lawyers had to read through thousands of pages of paper, distribution lists and phone logs determined who was in the loop and who was unaware of issues material to a case. In the same way that e-discovery allows attorneys to find that needle-in-a-haystack document, the use of forensic analysis of the metadata associated with those documents can show who put the needle there, when it was placed and who knew ahead of time.

And while a certain amount of metadata and its uses are well known to lawyers, such as using creation dates to filter document discovery requests, there is much more to metadata than what you can find by looking at the “properties” tab in Microsoft Office.

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