I hope you had a fantastic holiday and are ready to face the coming year’s challenges. To assist with this, please enjoy these articles on eDiscovery, projected 2020 trends, and more.
Let’s have a productive year!
Mobile Lawyer Trends in 2020
By Nicole Black
We’re nearly two decades into the 21st century, and during those 20 years technology has changed at rates never before seen. The legal industry has not been immune to that change, and survey after survey shows that lawyers are increasingly incorporating technology into their day-to-day practices.
The rise of mobile and cloud computing
One of the technologies that legal professionals have been the most likely to embrace is mobile computing. This trend is no surprise since lawyers were already acclimated to using cell phones on a regular basis when the first smartphones were introduced in 2007. From there, smartphone adoption and mobile computing have become increasingly common in the legal profession.
Of course, it’s one thing to notice a general trend and quite another to back it up with statistics. That’s where the latest ABA Legal Technology Survey Report that was just released comes in. It provides lots of interesting and current statistics on how lawyers are using mobile tools in 2019 and beyond.
Reducing Discovery Burdens: Technology Alone is Not Enough
By Casey Sullivan
Three decades ago, the discovery process was fairly straight forward. An attorney conducting document discovery could simply confer with the client, determine the documents at issue, collect them from filing cabinets, and begin reviewing. The relative dearth of paper documents meant that even inefficient approaches to document review, such as linear, eyes-on review of each and every document, typically weren’t too burdensome. And they were, at least, reasonably intuitive.
Then the personal computer ushered in the digital age—and the massive proliferation in electronically-stored information which, even as early as the 1970s, was making its way into litigation. (The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to reference electronic data in 1970, for example.)
Suddenly, discovery was much more complex—and expensive. In the early days of eDiscovery, the legal industry responded to the growth of ESI by treating it just as they had paper documents before: printing out emails, redacting them with giant markers, applying Bates stamps with actual stamps, and employing armies of doc review attorneys.
Soon the first eDiscovery software allowed for the review of electronic documents electronically. It was a revelation. But though paper was gone, many inefficiencies remained. That early software was slow, hard to use, and often extremely expensive.
A whole industry of eDiscovery vendors emerged at the same time, initially as glorified copy shops and then eDiscovery specialists, handling everything from data extraction to OCRing to keyword searches—and charging hefty line-item fees for each step along the way. The cost of discovery had grown so much that, by 2015, one celebrated federal judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the D.D.C. (Ret.) lamented that “The costs of discovery may, in the long run, drive an entire economic class out of the federal court for lack of means to engage.”