Reducing the costs of eDiscovery
The cost of doing eDiscovery continues to rise as the amount of electronically stored information (ESI) a company has rapidly increases. If you find yourself facing litigation, eDiscovery is likely to use up a large portion of your legal budget. Costs can be reduced – along with the stress of meeting discovery requests – with advanced planning.
Darryl E Shetterly from the law firm LeClairRyan has come up with a five step plan to ensure you are eDiscovery ready:-
1. Implement a defensible document retention and destruction policy – companies shouldn’t have a policy of storing all ESI. Not only is the cost of storage likely to become very expensive very quickly, but it also would all have to be retained and possibly analysed if litigation is expected. To sort through an entire history of a company’s ESI to search for relevant documents for litigation can be very time consuming and expensive. ESI can be better handled with a schedule for automatic purging, operating within the laws of the respective industry the company operates within.
2. Know where your documents are located - the deadline for producing relevant documents is usually quite short in the litigation process. A company is unlikely to be able to meet this deadline without an already existing data management policy. It is too late to introduce a document retention policy after a lawsuit begins.
3. Build the right team - IT personnel untrained in discovery shouldn’t be left to independently undertake the eDiscovery process. The cost of training IT staff in the eDiscovery process might seem expensive to some, but it is likely to far outweigh the costs of sanctions if a company is found to be noncompliant.
4. Use technology wisely - technology and people can’t stand alone in the discovery process. Done well, the two can compliment each other with technology used to sort potentially relevant documents, which can then help reviewers to be more efficient.
5. Have a ‘quarterback’ - Nominate someone with legal experience to oversee the discovery process to help with consistency and cost effectiveness.