How can eDiscovery be better?
This critical question has occupied the vast majority of the Baker Donelson eDiscovery Team’s time and attention for many years.
EDiscovery requires the careful coordination of the substantive law firm, the client’s Information Technology (IT) resources, and the necessary outside service providers that provide technology and staffing support. To make eDiscovery “better” requires the close coordination of these participants, much the same as a construction project requires careful planning and excellent execution.
But, “better” is harder to define. It is a loaded and subjective word. (more…)
As a lawyer, I attend many, many conferences. On my last conference road trip, I was grabbing dinner at the end of the evening and catching up on my basketball news at the hotel restaurant. As I was wrapping up, a few guys came in and we struck up a conversation. Like me, they were in town for the Sixth Circuit Judiciary Conference and we had a conversation which I might characterize as standard conference stuff.
Everything was perfectly “conference standard” until they heard I was going to present on eDiscovery the next morning. All of them had the same reaction: “We hate eDiscovery.” (Thanks, guys. You really know how it pumps me up when I realize everyone in the audience “hates” my topic.)
Of course their comments didn’t come as a complete surprise. This isn’t the first time I’ve spoken to a roomful of attorneys who would rather talk about anything but eDiscovery. As a trial lawyer, I am still surprised when seasoned attorneys, who excel at mastering every detail of complex litigation, view eDiscovery as a nuisance. (more…)
I spend a lot of time in Music City. On a recent trip I stopped by Hattie B’s to try their famous Nashville hot chicken. I placed my order with a guy while he simultaneously jammed to a rock anthem. After hearing my Western Pennsylvania accent, he warned me off of the hottest flavor – “Shut the Cluck Up”. The food came out fast, really hot, and delicious.
The key to great eDiscovery is the same as great Nashville hot chicken: repeatable excellence. Anybody can make a good dinner once. Restaurants like Hattie B’s become local legends by knowing how to deliver a great meal every time. (more…)
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…)
Who is responsible for managing an eDiscovery project?
My brother, Jason, is an experienced project manager who also happens to be building a new house. In this age of social media, I can watch the progress of his house on a private Facebook page, even though it is 2,500 miles away.
Frankly, I can’t imagine having him as a client, and I mean that in a very positive way.
Jason is the perfect storm for his general contractor. He’s a great handyman and has all the necessary skills to build his new home by himself. Also, as a project manager he’s developed many detailed plans and schedules for completing complex projects. He checks in on the progress of construction every single day and makes notes of where everything stands.
Most importantly, Jason absolutely owns the project. He is unabashed about standing up for schedule compliance, the construction budget and the quality of the work. In this “simple” residential construction project, he makes sure everything is going according to the process he defined with the general contractor before work started. His diligence has paid off. (more…)