Don't Put E-Discovery on the Back Burner

Lora Bentley

A recent survey from Clearwell Systems and Enterprise Strategy Group reveals that a significant majority of companies are contemplating bringing e-discovery in house this year in an effort to decrease costs. Clearwell Systems marketing and project management VP Kamal Shah notes:

The findings of this survey validate a handful of trends that we've suspected based on ongoing conversations with customers and industry experts. Bringing e-discovery in-house and focusing on early case analysis has been proven to quickly and effectively lower e-discovery costs.


The increase in costs appears to be driven by an increase in the amount of litigation with which respondents are dealing, as well as an increase in the number of regulatory requests for documentation. "Repercussions from the financial crisis" were also cited.


Enterprise Strategy Group senior consulting analyst Brian Babineau says:

The vast majority of cases at large enterprises involve some form of e-discovery, underlining the importance for legal departments to become more strategic about how they manage the processing, analysis and review of [electronically stored information].


Recommind's Craig Carpenter agrees. In a recent blog post, Carpenter warned readers that courts are still taking e-discovery violations seriously. In fact, given the time companies have had to adjust to ESI discovery requirements, as well as the wealth of technology available to help them discover and produce documents efficiently, some will probably come down harder on companies that drop the e-discovery ball. He says:

Sanctions are just as relevant in 2010 as they have ever been, perhaps even more so. ...[G]iven that we are now more than three years removed from the revised FRCP, courts seem increasingly likely to not give litigants the benefit of the doubt - especially litigants who can afford to hire someone to tell them they should know better.

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