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eDiscovery and Hyperlinked Files in Emails: Considerations for Collecting, Searching, and Producing Modern Attachments

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will consider how to deal with one of the newest challenges in eDiscovery: modern attachments. Panelists will review what these challenges are, highlight the unique problems that must be considered, offer guidance about ESI protocols, review common objections to producing them and how to overcome those objections, and discuss concerns such as “which version,” broken links, deleted documents, and the state of software solutions.


Most ESI discovery solutions deployed to collect, index, and search emails can capture traditional attachments because the file is embedded in the email. “Modern attachments” are not embedded in the emails, but refer to hyperlinks to a separate, external location, often in cloud storage, where the referenced file exists at the time the email was sent.

Most ESI discovery solutions will not see modern attachments. Cloud or linked files can be searched and produced but extra and inconvenient steps are often required to do so. According to Craig Ball and others, means that "relevant, responsive and non-privileged attachments to email aren't being produced because relevant, responsive and non-privileged attachments aren't being searched."

The version of the file that exists at the time of any discovery efforts, however, may not be the version that existed at the time the email was sent, giving rise to ancillary questions, such as which version(s) of the “modern attachment” should be searched or produced? These questions generate significant motions practice as parties object to production “modern attachments.”

Listen as this panel of eDiscovery experts discusses handling modern attachments.



  1. How and why the issue has arisen
  2. Relevant case law rulings
  3. Common objections to production
  4. Five assumptions to frame the discussion
  5. Current available solutions and challenges with each
  6. Current strategies and practical solutions
  7. Proposed language for modern attachments in ESI protocols


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the difference between modern attachments and links to the web?
  • What ancillary issues arise with hyperlinked documents?
  • What are common objections to producing modern attachments, and how are they overcome?
  • What does it mean to have possession, custody, or control of a modern attachment?


Austin, Doug
Doug Austin

eDiscovery Thought Leader, Editor
eDiscovery Today

Mr Austin is an established eDiscovery thought leader with over 30 years of experience providing eDiscovery best...  |  Read More

McCarroll, Monica
Monica McCarroll


Ms. McCarroll has extensive experience working as a trial attorney specializing in complex civil litigation, having...  |  Read More

Rosenthal, John
John J. Rosenthal

Winston & Strawn

With nearly 30 years of trial experience, Mr. Rosenthal litigates complex commercial, antitrust and false advertising...  |  Read More

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