Legal Services Brief

Reducing E-Discovery Costs: Part 2

by Ken Neal
January 8, 2018

This is the second post in a series that spotlights two solutions that can help meet the challenge of reducing e-discovery costs. In this post, we will examine some of the reasons why e-discovery is so expensive.

“Part of what makes e-discovery so expensive is the volume of information,” said Maura Grossman, principal at Maura Grossman Law and computer science professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. Grossman has written extensively on e-discovery and the use of technology-assisted review processes to manage discovery costs.

The broad reach of digital content and big data sources has also created an enormous challenge when searching for responsive information. The list of potential discovery sources is endless: mobile devices, cellular and internet-based voice conversations, marketing databases, business applications, audio and video files, instant messaging, social networking, cloud computing platforms, financial transactions, computers and flash drives, multiple servers, and so on. Finding ways to review this kind of information can be costly and time-consuming for a discovery team.

Rising costs can further be attributed to weaknesses in the corporate IT structure. Many companies preparing for litigation find that their own technology systems cannot be easily searched. Pete Pepiton, e-discovery director of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, said outdated information systems pose a major hurdle in the e-discovery process.

“E-discovery is so expensive because IT environments are complex,” Pepiton said. “Companies started gathering information decades ago, and they’ve incrementally added technology that they’ve needed. Very few companies start off with a brand-new set of infrastructure that’s all going to behave well together.

“Even companies that have a well-integrated information technology structure bought that infrastructure so that it could respond to their business needs. The infrastructure isn’t built with the notion of responding to discovery requests.”

My next post will spotlight how managing e-discovery costs doesn’t only lie in harnessing the volume of digital data that’s now a key consideration in litigation. It’s also an issue of assessing and refining corporate and legal governance. In the meantime, feel free to visit the Legal Services page of our website for further information on industry trends and best practices including case histories, white papers and more.

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