Four Steps to Maximizing Your Outsourced eDiscovery Dollar – Part 1

Traffic Sign "Outsourcing"For both in-house counsel and outside counsel, external litigation support vendors can act as an extension of their own legal department, creating extra value and a competitive edge for clients.

Much has been made of the argument as to whether to outsource eDiscovery (see Ralph Losey’s excellent article “Five Reasons to Outsource Litigation Support”, Law Technology News, November 2, 2012. Similarly, an excellent rebuttal was supplied by Bryon Bratcher and Tom Baldwin, “6 Reasons to Insource Litigation Support”, Law Technology News, January 18, 2013.

There are times when both scenarios make sense but there is a way to get the most out of every dollar spent on outsourcing eDiscovery and other types of litigation support.

Here are the major areas where an eDiscovery provider must show they are up to par:

Efficiently use Data for Multiple Cases

Especially for highly litigious companies, it is quite common that the same data spans across multiple cases, even if the legal issues central to those cases are completely unrelated.

Here is a simplified, fictionalized example based on real scenarios:

Jack Smith at XYZ Corporation is a primary custodian in the case NW Widgets v XYZ, and his files from 2002-2007 are potentially relevant. The eDiscovery provider collects and processes these files and makes them available for review. Jack Smith then becomes involved in an employment matter with a disgruntled former employee of XYZ. Jack’s files from 2005-2008 are potentially relevant. Should this custodian’s overlapping files from 2005-2007 be recollected, reprocessed and even re-reviewed in their entirety? Should XYZ pay the provider to host a separate instance of this data in this separate case?

It seems obvious that the answer to the above question is NO.  XYZ should not pay more than once for the same services on the same data. The truth is, however, that corporate legal departments and law firms do this every day. It is very common that the same data is handled by several different providers or even, in several instances, reprocessed by the same provider and re-reviewed for privilege.

The practice of collecting processing and storing the same data multiple times is a real issue for both law firms and corporate legal departments. The right provider can and should help put a stop to it.

Please look for Four Steps to Maximizing Your Outsourced eDiscovery Dollar – Part 2.  If you would like more information about eDiscovery or how TERIS solutions can assist you, please contact us!

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