There is still a common misconception that eDiscovery is expensive. Even though eDiscovery can save you money long term, people are still hesitant to invest in these services. You or the IT department may try to complete discovery requests on their own, and this can be a viable solution but not always. However, eDiscovery professionals are equipped with a significant level of training and expertise that is unique to them and tailored specifically to handle discovery requests. Without this expertise, discovery can quickly become overwhelming or grow out of control. This is why it’s best not to think about eDiscovery in terms of line-item costs, but to consider the big picture, in which the total cost encompasses the expertise, time consumption, and security that is needed to move through the discovery phase most efficiently.
What Training is Required for eDiscovery Professionals?
Just as in any line of work, training is necessary to become an expert at something. For example, most of us could probably handle our own taxes and financials. But how about the taxes for our firm or company as a whole? Would we trust this task to anyone with a basic understanding, no probably not. We would expect at the very least the person was a CPA. The same principles should apply to eDiscovery. You or I could probably search and pull some emails from our accounts but would be the appropriate individual to handle searching various communication sources across 10s of custodians, probably not. These matters required specific understandings of the laws, requirements, and processes, which is why we should rely on the professionals that have dedicated their abilities to become experts.
eDiscovery professionals display most of their expertise through certifications offered by various organizations. Two of the most recognizable certifications are offered by ACEDS and Relativity. ACEDS’ Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS), a trusted global indicator of e-discovery competence, demonstrates an individual’s expertise across the entire e-discovery lifecycle, including e-discovery project planning, international discovery, and ethics in e-discovery. Similar Relativity offers various certifications such as Relativity Certified Administrator (RCA) and multiple Relativity Specialist certifications. After completion of a certain number of certifications, an individuals earns the title of a Relativity Certified Expert and then the scarce honor of Relativity Certified Master.
Your Time is Valuable
Oftentimes, junior associates oversee the discovery phase and could truly benefit from the technology an eDiscovery vendor provides. eDiscovery involves collecting and reviewing a significant amount of data, and it could take hours upon hours to complete this process manually, taking time away from other crucial work that needs to be done.
When it comes to trial, a lawyer often needs to produce a document for court quickly. With eDiscovery software, this is easy to accomplish, but if someone were to look for the document manually, it could take hours of time that many lawyers simply don’t have. Even smaller cases need significant evidence and require large amounts of data. Therefore, the cost of using an eDiscovery service to easily find documents makes the price worth it.
When working through the discovery phase, you are often working with sensitive personal data. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s becoming more common for computer systems and data to become compromised. Often times we don’t consider the many vulnerabilities we create for our data as we transfer it from one party to the next.
When using an eDiscovery vendor, you don’t have to worry about these security risks. At Acorn, we use RelativityOne built on Microsoft Azure – the most secure cloud on the market. Because of this, RelativityOne meets the industry highest security standards such as ISO 27001; SOC 2, Type II; HIPAA; and FedRAMP. So not only is your data centralized in the cloud, but is also protected to the highest degree.
Is eDiscovery Worth the Cost?
If you’re considering working with an eDiscovery vendor, you may not be viewing the cost in terms of the opportunity. Completing the discovery phase on your own can take countless hours that your team might not have. To successfully complete eDiscovery on your own, there is a level of expertise that is needed. If you want to avoid wasted time, miscommunication, and privacy risks, it may be the best decision to opt for an eDiscovery vendor.
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.