Too often companies reinvent the wheel when dealing with e-discovery for each case. When one claim arises and then subsequently when similar claims arise, they conduct the similar, but often slightly different processes all over again, separately. Conducting e-discovery just once can be time-consuming and costly enough. But doing it inconsistently and separately each time gives way to a myriad of inefficiencies and risks. Change is difficult, but it is time for organizations to modify their processes for e-discovery and take a more holistic approach to handling all their matters.
Many organizations perform left-side e-discovery functions (legal hold, collection, preservation) with on-premise software and then outsource right-side functions (analysis, review and production) to a service provider. Outsourcing these functions can make sense due to the need for expert resources not on the in-house team, as well as meeting staffing capacity needs through the peaks and valleys of an organization’s litigation docket. One of the key problems with outsourcing, even today with service provider bills going direct and not through the law firm, is the lack of transparency. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So to alleviate this problem, many organizations are using a secure, hosted review platform while still leveraging outside platform management and expert e-discovery staff. This provides the best of both worlds . . . the staff and expertise that you get from outsourcing with the transparency and oversight to measure and manage your overall e-discovery business process. It’s tip number one in the recent Inside Counsel article “5 tips for using the cloud to conduct e-discovery”.
Abandoning the siloed and fragmented approach to e-discovery can significantly reduce cost and legal risk. Similar cases can have significant overlap of custodians, ESI, and attorney work product. And, even if they do not, there is significant advantage to applying the same, consistent and repeatable process to each new case. Granted the technology wasn’t available years ago, but it is today and organizations should look to execute a holistic e-discovery approach, utilizing case templates, leveraging collected ESI and attorney work product from previous cases. By preserving the work product and reusing it in another case where appropriate, an organization can save thousands in costs. Additionally, legal and IT personnel can save themselves days of time-consuming labor, thus freeing them up to work on other aspects of the case. Watch the short video “Delivering In-House E-Discovery Value Beyond the Basics” to see how re-using work product can help reduce cost and risk.
Building a more repeatable and efficient e-discovery business process that provides the transparency to better manage your e-discovery efforts will ultimately lead to significantly reduced cost and legal risk.