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.

In-house litigation lawyers can usually identify those matters that deserve additional attention. If so, that insight is where the analysis usually ends. Where the decision is less clear, the following qualifying factors should be considered:

  1. 80/20 Rule. A handful of matters represent more than 80 percent of your monthly or annual litigation budget or eDiscovery spend.
  2. Motion Practice. There has been material motion practice focusing on eDiscovery issues.
  3. Technical Charges. The eDiscovery technical costs from an eDiscovery vendor or law firm for technical expenses are significantly and noticeably more than your other matters.
  4. Telltale Signs. Cases that have had more extensive eDiscovery negotiations or numerous and/or large requests for data collections conducted by your IT department.

Procedurally, a qualified case must also have significant eDiscovery work remaining to be done. If the case is on a path to trial with discovery fully completed, the eDiscovery expenses will usually be in the past, with merits-based work ahead.

If you have a specific case that qualifies for the factors above, and with eDiscovery work left to be done, then this blog series is designed for assisting you in finding new and creative solutions to lowering the budget and saving time.

In the next blog, which will be published Wednesday, May 6, 2020, we will discuss how to most effectively use any litigation deadline extensions to find more effective eDiscovery priorities.