How to Cut E-Discovery Costs

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01Oct2013

How to Cut E-Discovery Costs

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By Michele Lange

In today’s world of electronically stored information (“ESI”), it is increasingly costly to preserve, identify, and collect data for discovery – let alone analyze, review, and create a production. According to a 2012 e-discovery costs study by the RAND institute, e-discovery expenses are adding up. For every dollar spent on ESI production, collection consumes $.08, processing consumes $.19, and document review consumes $.73. Don’t miss a new infographic created by Kroll Ontrack: 7 Tips to Cut E-discovery Costs. During preservation and collection, involve corporate IT resources early. On average, preservation and collection constitute about 8% of ESI production costs. The best practice for controlling collection costs: both legal and IT need to work hand-in-hand in order for e-discovery to work. To accomplish this:

  • Involve corporate IT resources early and throughout e-discovery.
  • Identify key players and promptly preserve their data. By working with IT, accidental deletion of data can be avoided.

Limit e-discovery processing. E-discovery processing accounts for about 19% of ESI production costs. While processing data, be sure to keep the budget in check by monitoring volume and calibrating the budget accordingly. This can be done by:

  • Finding a balance between using in-house resources versus external vendors and consultants. Many cases require both in-house and external resources.
  • Limiting e-discovery processing by search terms, date range, and custodians. If information is limited before review, later document review and production is simplified.

During review and production, use modern technology. Review is roughly 73% of all ESI costs and has to be the most carefully monitored to conserve the budget. In Da Silva Moore, Judge Peck condoned predictive coding software to be used in conjunction with human personnel due to the sheer volume of data. Limiting the documents handed to attorneys for review by using innovative technology is a sure way to stay on target with the budget, so:

  • Don’t review every document with traditional linear methods. This is a black hole for costs.
  • Decide what’s not relevant and remove it with EDA or analytics.
  • Let predictive coding do the heavy lifting: it can categorize and prioritize documents before attorneys review them.

About the Author Michele Lange On the topics of e-discovery and technology’s role in the law, Michele is among the nation’s most knowledgeable experts. Most notably, she co-authored the American Bar Association book, titled “Electronic Evidence and Discovery: What Every Lawyer Should Know.” Fully knowledgeable in Legal Technology solutions and trends, she delivers thoughtful information through blogs, newsletters, webinars, videos, and podcasts. © 2013 Kroll Ontrack. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared on the Kroll Ontrack blog.

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