Special Announcement: Understanding the Business of eDiscovery


We are excited to announce a new video interview series: Sitting with the C-Suite. In each segment, I will be talking with a chief executive officer of an eDiscovery company. We will explore how each is addressing the COVID-19 crisis, what clients are doing to manage through the crisis, and generally covering the past, present and future. Naturally, as we are dealing with the pandemic, we will be doing this via remote interviews to comply with any applicable social distancing mandates. 

The pandemic means companies are doing more with less and dealing with case delays and tightening budgets. Now more than ever, it is critical to understand the eDiscovery industry generally (and your partners specifically). This video interview series will help anyone start to explore the eDiscovery industry from the perspective of its top leadership. (more…)

Grilled Cheese and ESI Productions

Grilled cheese sandwich in a skilletOne of the last trips that my wife and I made prior to the social distancing guidelines was to Franklin, Tennessee. We had lunch at The Grilled Cheeserie, a restaurant devoted to gourmet grilled cheese melts. The components and options for a grilled cheese—bread, cheese and add-ons—are not complex. Depending on your preferences, mood and dietary restrictions, execution will be the difference between an adequate and excellent experience. (Our experience was excellent!) A production protocol is very similar. The component parts are simple, but how you put them together in a matter makes a big difference.

Document productions are a culmination of the various steps taken to that point throughout your eDiscovery processes. This is a key point in any lawsuit. For the larger matters, with a significant volume of ESI, the keys to a document production are stability and a good overall fit in how you match the ESI Stipulation to the actual matter requirements. (more…)

Spoiler Alert. Starting at the End.

Early in my career, I worked on an arbitration that challenged the effectiveness of a claims administration company.  I sent our client’s expert witness five audits of the company, a fact I noted in the cover letter.  Unbeknownst to me, there were six audits—and the last one was not favorable for our positions.  While this error was later corrected, my “five audits” expert letter was a very popular exhibit for the opposing counsel.  This was my tangible object lesson to avoid the process getting tangled up with the merits.

The eDiscovery process is designed to uncover the relevant case facts.  Everything progresses toward this presentation of the material factual disputes to a factfinder.  Because this is eDiscovery’s ultimate purpose, we are going to start our discussion of eDiscovery phases at the culmination of the process: the presentation of the evidence. (more…)

Buzzword Mania: Taking Your eDiscovery Strategy to the Next Level

Success in eDiscovery is determined largely by the ability to synergize “people, process and technology.” Okay, we hear your collective groan. The phrase is trite, tired and overused, which is what it is. Since it works so well for eDiscovery, however, this blog will lean in on buzzwords. Many of the “26 Annoying Phrases You Should Stop Using at Work” are included—with a few additional ones thrown in for good measure. Can you find them all? Happy searching!

The COVID-19-related changes are innumerable, as courts have been out of pocket for many weeks and litigation budget cuts are par for the course. The global pandemic will require a clear paradigm shift, requiring many teams to think outside the box on the go-forward eDiscovery case strategy and, ultimately, do more with less. (more…)

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…)

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

What's Next, business motivational inspirational quotes, words typography top view lettering concept

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…)