The rising costs of eDiscovery are of concern to virtually everyone in the legal profession. Yet, electronic discovery is an essential part of today’s litigation processes. How can the possibility of unexpected costs be mitigated in order to contain litigation fees? Here are five tips which can help reduce the costs of electronic discovery.
1. Choose the right tool for the right job.
There are many different types of e-discovery tools and software available, but not each application is appropriate for each job. Small, straightforward requests can be handled simply, while those involving more complex data will require a more robust search functionality and extensive capabilities. Through choosing the right approach, firms can see significant savings.
2. Reduce data volume.
When faced with a major case, it can be tempting to dive right in and start looking for evidence. However, the more raw data is examined, the higher electronic discovery costs will rise. Today’s sophisticated software tools can more effectively narrow data sets prior to submitting anything for a deeper review. Effective early case assessment through this manner allows for a smaller total volume of data to be examined, which again lowers eDiscovery costs.
3. Streamline procedures.
Streamlining procedures will greatly reduce billable hours spent reviewing case data, allowing counsel to instead focus on more substantive core issues relevant to the case. Advanced technology is able to combine different tools to provide advanced review and data analysis. These will increase the speed and accuracy of document management, and also provide greater consistency. Improving this process at the initial review will set the stage for lower costs moving forward.
4. Establish repeatable processes.
Every hour invested in establishing a process is wasted unless you’re also focusing on ensuring those processes are repeatable and defensible. Implementing an eDiscovery strategy which incorporates the benefits of advanced technology and sophisticated analytics builds repeatable processes along with filtering and review functionality. Once this system is established, future data can be moved through more quickly and selectively, preventing time and money wasted by responding to any disputes claiming an incomplete approach to electronic data collection.
5. You get what you pay for.
Regardless of how sophisticated the available technology may be, the end results of your eDiscovery will only be as good as your litigation support team. Looking for an initial bargain can cost big later on, if processes are not repeatable and data is not defensible. Re-processing the same data because of inefficient initial results is a tremendous waste of time and resources. Commit to quality litigation support up front to prevent unexpected costs down the road.
In the end, although the possibility for inflated bottom lines is making many legal teams nervous, there are several strategies available to reduce the potential for higher costs. The technology for cost-effective eDiscovery exists; the next step is hiring a litigation support team who is able to efficiently implement that technology.