Accelerating Efficient eDiscovery Through Operational Awareness – Two Key Questions

Consequences Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.Having an efficient and proportional strategy has always been critical to keeping cases on track against budget and deadlines. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented disruptive impact on many cases and schedules. Better and more efficient eDiscovery management will be key to ensuring that cases can get back on a reasonable schedule, and that the costs and effort are proportionate. Knowing the cost and timing implications of every eDiscovery decision will be critical to managing through the crisis.

Operational awareness empowers great eDiscovery decision-making. Each eDiscovery decision has cost and time ramifications. As decisions are made, they have distinct downstream consequences. This is similar to constructing a house. Once the foundation is set, it is very costly and time consuming to change the footprint of the structure. EDiscovery is no different. Every decision has downstream consequences. For eDiscovery management and operations, each decision has both an immediate time and cost impact, as well as implications for the overall project cost and completion. Because this affects proportionality and the ability to execute, both must be understood and managed cohesively and strategically. (more…)

Where Do I Start? Finding the Right Case for eDiscovery Cost Reduction

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Not all eDiscovery cases are created equal. The path to a more cost-effective eDiscovery management strategy starts by identifying the individual matters that need increased focus. This blog post is devoted to identifying the cases where an eDiscovery strategy can make the most meaningful difference.

In the last blog, we covered current pandemic-driven realities – namely, disrupted case schedules and new budgetary pressures. The economic uncertainties mean eDiscovery budgets should be examined for additional savings, while meeting litigation priorities and obligations.

Ediscovery costs can affect all investigation and litigation matters involving data. But, the larger and more significant matters have unique characteristics that make them likely candidates for cost-saving measures. These matters usually involve some mix of significant monetary or business impact claims; large data sets, many affected employees, and/or difficult searching criteria; and expansive production requests covering many topics. (more…)

Budget Cuts? Re-evaluating eDiscovery Strategy to Maximize Cost Savings

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The coronavirus means significant new litigation realities. It is not too early to start preparing for litigation on the other side of the pandemic. This series of short blogs will provide practical solutions for managing your eDiscovery strategy and getting large case litigation back on track.

Several major themes have developed in the wake of the crisis. Courts have suspended deadlines or made other changes extending litigation schedules. Many case schedules are now uncertain, including some that are paused. Companies are looking to cut costs anywhere and litigation budgets will be prime targets. Litigation departments will be forced to do more with less, necessitating a re-evaluation of virtually everything that has a price tag.

In eDiscovery, not all cases are created “technologically equal.” For smaller matters that have simple standard data footprints, a smart technology “fit” should be a key goal. If your case requires a straightforward search and production, the technology solution must be simple, easy to budget, and put the trial lawyers as close to the data as possible. Recently, Baker Donelson prepared a case study on this issue with one of its trusted partners for these types of matters.  We will be making that available shortly. (more…)

The EDiscovery Outcome Economy Part Two: How to Uncover Value After a Production

To ensure value, eDiscovery projects should look to both provide a compelling narrative to the trial team, as well as continuously improve case outcomes by facilitating case management.

The goal of eDiscovery should be to provide value in enabling better client outcomes. As we talked about last week, value implies more than just a defensible production, which is the bare minimum. Value from eDiscovery comes in two additional ways: (a) providing a compelling case narrative as work product after the review, and (b) facilitating the trial team’s interaction with the data by a thorough understanding of the needs. Last week, we talked about why this is important. This week, we will cover some practical impediments that exist in the eDiscovery industry at large, and then cover some practical solutions to the challenge of providing better eDiscovery value.

Impediments to Facilitating Better Outcomes

Why has so much of the eDiscovery industry stopped short of delivering real client value?

Part of the answer is that eDiscovery’s intrinsic nature as a “manufacturing process” activity has been poorly understood across the legal industry, directly leading to high costs and inconsistent results. Stated differently, if each eDiscovery project is treated as a special snowflake, ignoring that eDiscovery is a repeatable process, the variability of the results/outcomes will get the attention. If eDiscovery is seen clearly as a manufacturing process, however, process deviations will get the attention. (more…)

The Elements of What eDiscovery Should Be

So what are we suggesting?

We have covered a lot of ground over the past five LeanDiscoveryTM blogs (and our one guest blog). Let’s pause to consider how the concepts we’ve discussed enable us to address what our collective expectations for eDiscovery should be. If you are new to this conversation, this will summarize where we have been so far.

Our core mission as an eDiscovery team is simple: to enable better client outcomes. That is our singular goal for effective eDiscovery and should be what our clients expect. To enable better client outcomes, we rely on three interrelated principles: strong foundation, (process and project management); coordinated teamwork (experience and concentration); and clear value (getting beyond compliance). (more…)