Reducing E-Discovery Costs: Part 3
by Ken Neal
January 15, 2018
In this and my next post I will spotlight two solutions that can help meet the challenge of reducing e-discovery costs. The first solution is information governance.
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 – how law firms and corporations approach the process of managing that data; their strategies for organizing, processing, and storing information; and how they factor cost considerations into the equation.
E-discovery costs can escalate with duplicate and unknown repositories; a lack of system integration, executive oversight, and legal hold process; and inconsistently named and structured data. In response, costs can be lowered by implementing sophisticated information governance systems, moving data to the cloud, and maintaining appropriate retention schedules and litigation holds.1
Organizations that implement information governance maintain an accountability framework that allows them to create, store, use, and dispose of information in accordance with regulatory, legal, risk mitigation, and business workflow requirements.2
On the other hand, firms without strong information governance policies often do not have guidelines on where electronic matter content is to reside. At present, “there’s relatively little information governance at many corporations,” Grossman said.
“They don’t know what they have and where it’s located. Not everyone saves everything in a file that says, ‘X Contract,’ or ‘Y Deal.’ If there’s a dispute in which a company must look in many places for many different kinds of data, and there’s a tendency to over preserve, then a huge amount of data is going to be processed, searched, and reviewed. Each step incurs costs.”
As a result, more organizations today are evolving their systems of records management to an information management framework as a way to streamline business operations and protect customers and stakeholders. An enterprise-wide, integrated set of procedures allows organizations to better track where relevant information is housed. This knowledge can help reduce e-discovery costs while also addressing operational, privacy, and security needs.
This can be done by expanding the traditional definition of records management to encompass more categories of information, and by integrating management of those data stores with regulatory and operational requirements, corporate culture, and privacy and security rules. To succeed, such a dramatic transition also requires executive buy in and adequate budget.
My next post and final post in this series will spotlight how our second solution—technology assisted review (TAR)—can help meet the challenge of reducing e-discovery costs. 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.
1. Michael Greene, “Federal Judges Offer Take on How to Trim E-Discovery Burdens,” Bloomberg Law Insights, November 23, 2017
2. Bob Larrivee, “Minimize Business Risk: Top 5 Information Governance Obstacles You Must Tackle Now,” AIIM and Canon Business Process Services, 2017