The discovery phase of litigation usually is not something we all look forward to. And even when prepared, it can quickly become the most costly, time-consuming, and stressful part of litigation. With tens of thousands of documents to sort through, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can handle this task alone. While it is possible to handle eDiscovery in-house, not everyone has the resources to do so. Organizations can be caught off guard and overwhelmed fast, leading to unexpected time consumption and costs. This is where an eDiscovery partner can step in. Establishing a relationship with an eDiscovery partner early on allows you to have the resources available when you need to scale up quickly, with a team familiar with your organization and workflows. With a little bit of preparation, a partner can seamlessly step in and give you back the bandwidth to focus on more important things and keep your budget predictable and controlled.
Think of eDiscovery as an Investment, Not a Cost
Budget concerns are a major concern for every business, coupled with the uncertainty of this past year. You may be wondering how the cost of using an eDiscovery company can actually save you money. Often, people fixate on the line item or upfront price tags. The process should not be looked at as a cost but an investment to manage your overall, long term budget.
The first thing to think about is the amount of work your team would be doing if they were to complete the discovery process in-house. The easiest way to think about this is in terms of the total cost of review, notably one of the most expensive parts of eDiscovery. With the use of different technologies constantly expanding in the workplace, the amounts of data needed in litigation are only going to keep increasing. With investments upfront in an eDiscovery partner and/or technology, you can utilize efficient workflows, narrowing and refining your data at the onset. Yes, initial costs go up, but litigation typically isn’t a quick process. When looking at the proceeding months, we minimized our recurring data that needs to be hosted and ultimately our final set of documents needing reviewed. Something as small as 2,000 documents, will save us a week of work. Which leads us to our next consideration, Time.
Time Is an Asset
Time is another factor that usually gets overlooked when making these investment considerations. For example, if we say it only takes my team 20 hours review these documents, why would I pay someone else to help with this process? But we need to consider how much your team’s 20 hours is worth. Factoring in their salaried hourly rate, as well 20 hours not performing revenue/value generating activities, suddenly the costs become much more comparable.
But let’s say your team has the bandwidth to spare. We all know how difficult it can be to search for one email among the thousands in our inbox. Now, think of how difficult it becomes to search through hundreds of thousands of emails that might pertain to the information you need to prepare for trial. Using an eDiscovery platform, the same team member could spend just 15 minutes in an eDiscovery platform and be able to find the identify the relevant data and bypass all the “junk”. This is especially useful when you have many cases to work on at once, and every minute is valuable. Your team has more valuable activities they can focus on instead of treading through emails. So, we discussed all these great hypotheticals and efficiencies, but how do we make them a reality?
Find a Solution That’s Right for You
Before we dive into this section. Let us first state, there are many solutions out there and even if ours isn’t right for you, we strongly encourage you to still find one that is a good fit. The solution we leverage, RelativityOne, allows you to seamlessly collect, process, and review your documents. Whether that’s an email account, text messages on a phone, O365 documents, or Microsoft Teams conversations, RelativityOne allows us to easily obtain and review any data no matter where it resides.
It also allows us to detect information that you would not have been able to find otherwise, with advance searching capabilities and tools such as conceptual and contextual analytics. Removing the redundant process of combing through documents from your workload will streamline the eDiscovery process, allowing you to spend your time on the documents that actually matter.
Not only does it save you time, but additionally keeps all your relevant documents centralized, organized, and secure. Organization is important in any field, but is extremely critical when you’re working with large amounts of sensitive data. When piecing through the documents needed for trial, you want to make sure you have them all in one central, organized place which is readily available at your fingertip. By conveniently being able to centralize your documents and organize them with saved searches and tags, you can do just that.
Is It Worth It?
Discovery is one of the most challenging parts of litigation, and it can either be seamless, or require countless hours of work and stress. An eDiscovery platform like RelativityOne can turn discovery into a quick and easy step in the litigation process by minimizing your data burden, increasing your speed of identifying and reviewing documents, and keeping your data organized and accessible.
If you haven’t had these conversations yet, or haven’t in a while, now is a good time to understand how a partnership could improve your operations. The Acorn team is always happy to discuss and educate our community to ensure they are handling the discovery phase as efficiently as possible. Whether a case is 10GB or 1,000GB, the discovery process doesn’t have to be something we dread anymore.
Acorn is a legal data consulting firm that specializes in AI and Advanced Analytics for litigation applications, while providing rigorous customer service to the eDiscovery industry. Acorn primarily works with large regional, midsize national and boutique litigation firms. Acorn provides a high-touch, customized litigation support services with a heavy emphasis on seamless communications. For more information, please visit www.acornls.com.