What is an ESI agreement or discovery protocol?

An ESI agreement, also known as a discovery protocol, is an agreement between two or more parties in a lawsuit. Specifically, it deals with the processes, procedures, and timeline for how to exchange electronically stored information (ESI). Ideally, the best time to enter an ESI agreement or discovery protocol is at the outset of litigation while complying with Rule 26(f) meet and confer requirements. Commonly, the agreements will cover which devices or accounts, relevant date range, search terms, and data types subject to forensic collection.