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E-Discovery Insights – Clearwell Systems, Inc.

Top Ten Trends in Electronic Discovery Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Since I’ve finished off the last of the Halloween candy and tossed out the moldy, squirrel ravaged pumpkins, it occurred to me that now might be a good time to think about what 2010 will hold for the electronic discovery industry. My 2009 list seems to have been fairly prescient and many of those notions still hold true since the legal industry (as we know) doesn’t move at the most blistering pace. Again, doing my best Nostradamus impersonation, here are my top ten trends for 2010: 1. Early case assessment (ECA) moves from a “nice to have” to a “must have” requirement for any matter involving electronically stored information (ESI). In 2009, we saw ECA move into the mainstream as a methodology to quickly understand case facts, assess risk and lower both review and data processing costs. But, in 2010, with the advancement of the tools and the increased socialization within the bar and the litigation support community, ECA will graduate into a core methodology for savvy litigators regardless of matter type or size. Know More on Litigation Software. 2. Appetites for broad information lifecycle management initiatives diminish as organizations realize these programs are far too complex to solve specific pain points, and they often take too much time (measured in years) to execute. The economic reality is that these holistic, cross data, cross enterprise pipe dreams really can’t demonstrate the ROI that’s needed in today’s challenging economy. Know More on eDiscovery Litigation. 3. Staffing roles continue to evolve with a newfound focus on project management. The role of an in-house e-discovery coordinator will emerge as more of a project management and analyst versus pure legal or IT. This shift will become increasingly necessary as e-discovery evolves from an ad-hoc fire drill to a standard business process that is repeatable, measurable, and defensible. 4. Data analytics and statistical methodologies gain traction to augment the type of subjective decision making approaches that have historically formed the backbone of the e-discovery search and review processes. These objective methodologies have long been called on as best practices by the likes of the Sedona Working Group. In 2010, they now will start to move from theoretical to practical task as e-discovery tools increasingly move in-house and departments enhance defensibility and add elements such as sampling into the workflow. 5. Platform e-discovery solutions finally become a reality as customers finally graduate from painfully stitching point solutions together, thus requiring less physical document hand-offs (i.e., exports and imports) between applications, cutting costs and lowering the risk of data loss. 6. Associate-based review gradually goes extinct, as both clients and law firms tire of expensive, linear review processes. More review work becomes either insourced or is managed with specialized contract attorneys, who are both cheaper and better trained for this type of work. 7. Similarly, FRE 502 and “clawback” agreements will be increasingly used to reduce the need for any manual, eyes-on review, although many litigators will resist this trend because of the fears of “un-ringing the bell” when privileged information is disclosed in any context.

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E-Discovery Insights – Clearwell Systems, Inc. 8. While perhaps anathema, alternatives to the much lauded EDRM model will gain traction, as practitioners strive to find an even better, and perhaps more practical, project management framework, in many cases acknowledging the role that the EDRM has taken in forming *the* lingua franca of the e-discovery industry. 9. The push for cooperation in the e-discovery process, will make incremental progress despite reticence by old school litigators. Increasingly, this type of cooperation, as strongly advocated by the Sedona Working Group, will be ironically forced by judges and local rules. 10. “Cloud” computing starts to really impact how e-discovery data preservation/collection is done, both in terms of social media and traditional ESI. More and more companies block social media applications and file types in the workplace because of fears surrounding the inability to preserve and collect. Learn More On : Electronic Evidence Discovery.

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Top Ten Trends in Electronic Discovery  

Since I’ve finished off the last of the Halloween candy and tossed out the moldy, squirrel ravaged pumpkins, it occurred to me that now migh...

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