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Top 4 Best Practices of eDiscovery

5/8/2018 11:45:00 AM

ediscovery

The eDiscovery market hit just over $9 billion for 2017, and will increase to over $16 billion by 2021. That’s a pretty big deal. However, it’s no secret that eDiscovery can be a daunting and worrisome task, especially given the consideration that content production has significantly increased over the recent years.

No one wants to deal with the hassle of prolonged processes or mistakes – hiccups that can often become quite costly in nature. For businesses looking to reduce risk and enhance efficiency when it comes to the eDiscovery process, consider these four best practices.

1. Proactively Develop Your Strategy

Developing a strategy ahead of time can be an essential task to make the process of eDiscovery as painless as possible. Securing an established plan of action helps make the workflow process more efficient and can also help minimize any potential mistakes or costly setbacks.

A good place to start is to identify key staff who will be held personally responsible for driving the project. From there, ensure these individuals have the experience, knowledge, qualifications and the right tools available to properly handle the duties requested of them (e.g. planning for requests, data collection, processing, document review, etc.).

2. Stay on Top of Regulation Updates

Staying on top of the latest ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct updates is essential in order to ensure a smooth eDiscovery process.

It’s not only vital for executives and attorneys to stay on top of state regulations, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) as well as ABA standards. Since support staff such as legal assistants, secretaries, and IT professionals often play a critical role in the eDiscovery process, it’s essential that they too remain aware of and are held accountable to the same standards as those in leadership positions.

Regulations surrounding confidentiality of information, fees, respect for rights of third persons, and responsibilities of non-lawyer personnel are all outlined and updated periodically. These clear responsibilities for both attorneys and non-attorneys are extremely important and ensuring you and your staff meet the expectations in terms of competency in ethics and eDiscovery is critical.

3. Arm Yourself With the Best Tools for the Job

LexisNexis published an article a while back stating that electronic data volumes were doubling every three years. In 2015 Corporate Counsel magazine noted that corporate clients are literally doubling content every two years.

Needless to say, between documents, audio files, databases, emails, video files, websites, social media, and more, processing and evaluating electronically stored information can easily become overwhelming. Therefore, it is so important to have the right process, tools, and people in place to expedite the eDiscovery processes.

When it comes to finding the best tool for your data storage needs, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Many businesses are finding they can manage their eDiscovery process effectively in 2018 with Office 365, which is often deemed highly sufficient for certain tasks such as preservation and information management.

More recently many businesses have been switching to the Cloud for storage, but there are definitely still a handful of those out there who handle their eDiscovery procedures in-house are not comfortable with that step as of yet.

The specific tools are entirely dependent on your company’s particular needs, but ensuring speed, efficiency, ease of use, security, and cost are just a few vital factors that should be heavily considered.

4. Utilize Automation

When it comes to eDiscovery, automation can save you some major headaches. According to JD Supra, many corporations are investing in automation technology to align “business goals with legal operations and data governance strategy.”

This can be attributed to the latest development in eDiscovery technology, offering both vertical and horizontal automation. Vertical automation includes tasks such as collection, analytics, data and document processing, as well as review and production.

On the other hand, horizontal automation, also referred to as process automation, includes a combination of tasks such as technology assisted review and production, or ingestion and processing.

Be Prepared

eDiscovery is an intense and complex practice which requires a significant degree of proactive action and organization in order to ensure the process runs smoothly (and even then, many times it still does not).

The overall sentiment here is to be prepared when approaching your next project. Be proactive in your planning and ensure your processes are well-thought out and documented.

 

 

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