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The wildly complex eDiscovery landscape
The widely complex eDiscovery landscape, punctuated by a series of mergers, shakeups, and buyouts continues to grow and evolve making it more necessary and more difficult for legal practitioners to maintain an edge on the competition. The following combines industry knowledge with surveys conducted with the help of AMLAW 200 participants to put our finger on the pulse of eDiscovery adoption and proliferation.
What we learned is not new: the need for eDiscovery services is growing with no end in sight. Those that aren’t utilizing the resources eDiscovery providers can offer may already be in over their heads.
Nearly half of the AmLaw 200 recently participated in surveys revealing 78% of respondents anticipate their eDiscovery/Litigation Support workload will increase in the next six months. Further, 38% of respondents expect their litigation support/eDiscovery group or department to increase in size. That’s right, while Discovery issues have almost always been top of mind for parties involved in litigation, the rise of big data has caused eDiscovery to become so significant that major players in the legal world are doubling down on their investments in the utility.
Siting the following pain points, AmLaw 200 respondents are seemingly not concerned at all about whether to embrace eDiscovery, but rather how quickly they can implement the most effective tools:
In fact, the surveys showed that in the next 6 to 12 months, over 90% of the AmLaw 200 respondents would like to increase their usage of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics in addition to growing their systems. Better usage of machine learning and AI dominates the eDiscovery horizon as it encompasses a broader category of tools including email threading and clustering as an example.
A strong outsourced eDiscovery partner can assuage concerns of over-investment, capabilities of the chosen system, end-user adoption and system architecture. Partners like IST Discover-E specialize in eDiscovery processing, analysis, and hosted review and can offer flexible infrastructure using the industry’s leading technologies without the need for firms to overcommit to any single eDiscovery system. Further, partners like IST Discover-E, bring a vast amount of experience using machine learning/AI functions within industry leading systems providing the advantages of expert project management without the massive expense to hire and manage an internal team.
Additionally, when asked what investments AmLaw 200 respondents are prioritizing, the top five are in perfect accord with the value proposed by eDiscovery outsourcing providers:
Where review technology and predictive analytics are technology/system based investments now offered as part of some eDiscovery partners’ A-Z solution, it is worthwhile to remember that the technology is only as good as the people using it. Which is why matter management and knowledge management are such noteworthy, and potentially costly, investments It has been said countless times that every major player in the legal industry needs to have an eDiscovery expert either on their team or on-call. As deft management of matters and the knowledge of key practitioners is a fluid process, it is best practiced by those with experience and who command a considerable salary.
However, it can be argued that the most important item on the AmLaw 200 respondents’ investment priority list is project management workflow software. There is a glut of outdated tools sold as new that could set your firm back as many as six years in your efforts to make a sound, quality investment for your firm’s future.
As such, many firms have already committed one way or another and are now transitioning data through a course of multiple systems and system specialists to get data to review. This tedious way of getting from point A to point Z requires project management workflow software – no doubt about it. However, the latest, most advanced systems, like those used by IST Discover-E, perform all eDiscovery functions within a single tool allowing workflow management along with a myriad of additional options like single Project Manager support, changes to searches midstream, off-line data hosting with instantaneous reactivation and limitation of copied or damaged data.
IST Discover-E provides a licensing for a unique instance of a Relativity processing and hosting environment, giving our clients the ability to create new cases, process an unlimited amount of data, utilize proven Early Case Assessment workflows, Image, bates label, redact and produce records hosted within Relativity. All server software and licensing is also included and maintained.
At IST Discover-E, we have years of experience helping our clients with their eDiscovery needs along with full scale legal support management systems. We are expert in creating and customizing eDiscovery processes that best fit our client’s needs and expectations. Our model is uniquely transparent, easy to understand and effective in aiding our clients get the decision they want for their clients.