Text Messaging Metadata Primer 1.0

EDRM Annunces Text Messagiing Metadata PRimer 1.0 project

About this Project

Short Message Communications (“Short Message”) such as Text Messagingand Instant Messaging have become the most commonly used communication method with 89% of service providers and 91% of corporations reporting mobile devices as their top source for collection. The collection, review, and production of short messages pose unique eDiscovery challenges, and the breadth of data and how metadata differs from one application to another has proven to be quite complex. As short messages continue to become more prevalent in eDiscovery, it’s important for Legal Practitioners and their clients’ to better understand (a) how to request and collect short message evidence with particularity, (b) review and produce relevant short messages properly, and (c) be able to organize and understand short message metadata properly to validate and appropriately challenge if needed in court.

This publication reflects inaugural efforts by the EDRM Short Message Metadata Primer Project Team led by Monica Harris and Matthew Rasmussen. The Project Team, comprised of eDiscovery professionals from various backgrounds, worked to identify and define the various short message metadata fields extracted from leading text and instant messaging platforms (e.g., WhatsApp, Slack, Teams). This Primer aspires to serve as a reference model to promote clarity and uniformity as it relates to the requests for text and instant messages and productions of these data types.

The EDRM Short Message Metadata Primer is a work-in-progress, a snapshot of the rapidly changing text and instant messaging environments. The Project Team anticipates the need to update the publication periodically to account for the fluidity of the text and instant messaging market, and in response to industry feedback . Please send your comments and suggestions to info@edrm.net.

Project Co-Trustees: Monica Harris, Cellebrite Enterprise Solutions and Matthew Rasmussen, ModeOne

The project is seeking new contributors. Feedback on the Public Comment document received by August 1, 2023 will be considered by the project team for the Final Version.

Please email info@EDRM.net for an invitation to the project team virtual meeting or with your feedback.

Please download the document here:

EDRM Short Message Metadata Primer 1.0 Public Comment Version


The project team (organizations noted for identification purposes only) includes:

  • Mark Anderson, Complete Discovery Source
  • George Felix Araujo, Deloitte
  • Craig Ball, Craig D. Ball, P.C.
  • Bilyan Belchev, Reveal Data
  • Joerg Biswas-Bartz, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Hannah Caywood, Relativity
  • Rick Clark, CloudNine 
  • Jarrett Coco, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
  • Danielle Davidson, Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Brent Dockter, Reveal Data
  • Colin Duncan, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
  • Kayann Fitzgerald, David Wright Tremaine LLP
  • David A. Greetham, PC Forensics
  • Jacob Hesse, CloudNine
  • Scott Kohlhoff, Relativity
  • Benjamin Llinas, Linklaters LLP
  • Martha Louks, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP
  • Mondee Lu, Everlaw
  • Terry Lundy, Saul Ewing LLP
  • Matt Mahon, Trustpoint One
  • Ari Mandel, Gulf Stream 
  • Quinton McElhaney, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Derek McNally, New York City Law Department
  • Betsy Morgan, Relativity
  • Andreas Mueller, DownSteem
  • Frank Perrone, Relativity
  • Nikolai Pozdniakov, Hashtag Legal
  • Niles Rath, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Michael Scholtz, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP