I do understand that costs of discovery are more upfront now, but I would argue that the “enormous costs” of discovery are because lawyers still aren’t doing it right. What you aren’t seeing is that the process you need to use has changed, and the costs you see are just upfront versus further down the line in a case.
Let’s go back ten years and talk about process. Before ESI, did we call discovery “paper discovery”? No, we didn’t. But we asked for it, and we got it. We didn’t have to discuss scope and complex issues the way e-discovery forces us to do.