It’s no secret that e-discovery is the lifeblood of modern litigation, the Swiss Army knife of legal research, and searchlight that illuminates the dark corners of a case. E-discovery is essential to modern litigation, but it can be a complex and time-consuming process. It includes identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, reviewing, and producing electronically stored information (ESI), like emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemail, audio and video files, social media posts, and web sites. However, outsourcing e-discovery services can help law firms save resources and achieve more effectiveness. Let’s explore why.
The sheer volume of data produced and stored electronically can make the e-discovery process challenging. Unlike hardcopy evidence, electronic documents contain metadata such as time-date stamps, author and recipient information, and file properties. Preserving the original content and the metadata of ESI is essential to eliminate claims of spoliation or tampering with evidence later in the litigation.
Outsourcing e-discovery services can help law firms manage the complexity and volume of ESI. Experienced e-discovery vendors have the expertise and resources to collect, process, and review ESI efficiently and effectively. This can free up law firms to focus on their core legal work, and it can help to ensure that the e-discovery process is handled properly.
Why Law Firms Should Outsource e-Discovery Services?
Rather than hire staff to manage these tasks, many firms both large and small are now outsourcing dedicated e-Discovery services to help law firms manage this complex and time-consuming task, save time, and improve the quality of their discovery.
Outsourced e-Discovery services can help law firms to process data to find evidence more quickly and effectively—this includes deduplication, resolving encryption, and indexing data for easier recall. These services can also help review data, search keywords, review and ascertain privilege, and redact privileged information to comply with confidentiality or protective orders. They also produce electronic data, which includes formatting and exporting data quickly and correctly.
In addition to these core services, e-Discovery services can also provide a range of other services such as case management, document review, trial preparation, compliance with the complex regulations that govern e-Discovery, and training to help lawyers and staff use e-Discovery tools effectively.
Other benefits of outsourcing e-Discovery services include:
- Saving money. By hiring out the expertise and resources of a dedicated e-Discovery team, firms that may not have the in-house resources can handle large or complex e-Discovery without having to create new departments or manage new employees.
- Increased efficiency. Because they use cutting-edge e-Discovery processes and tools, outsourced services can get better results faster.
- Authentication of communication. Electronic communication can be difficult to verify. Metadata embedded in the communication will reveal facts which create irrefutable evidence in a legal proceeding.
- Reduced risk. E-Discovery services can help law firms avoid unneccesary legal exposure by ensuring that they are compliant with the myriad regulations that govern the e-Discovery process.
- Better focus. With experts handling e-Discovery, firms can focus on their core competencies, such as legal research and analysis. This can help law firms to improve their efficiency and profitability.
- Better discovery. By hiring experienced, expert e-Discovery professionals, law firms can improve their efforts. These means they can better identify and preserve relevant data and avoid expensive mistakes.
- Better results. Better e-Discovery means early identification of key documents and issues, resulting in more effective early case assessment. This translates to less time wasted on cases, fewer cases that don’t meet a firm’s strengths, and better outcomes for those that do.
- Scalability. Outsourcing e-Discovery gives law firms the flexibility to grow their e-Discovery needs up or shrink them down as needed. This can be helpful for law firms that handle a variable workload.
- More bandwidth. Knowing that e-Discovery needs are being handled by a reputable vendor can free up firms to focus on other aspects of their business.
- Better state compliance. Some states, like California, require attorneys to use e-Discovery consultants to make sure that the data collected is collected safely and ethically.
E-discovery can be a daunting challenge, especially in large, complex, or groundbreaking cases. However, outsourced e-discovery services can help your firm save time, reduce costs, and improve the quality of your e-discovery results.
When choosing an e-discovery vendor, it is important to select a reputable company with the expertise and resources to meet your specific needs. You should also negotiate the scope of services, the fees, and the timeline, and get everything in writing.
Finally, even though you are outsourcing e-discovery services, you should still stay involved in the process. This will help to ensure that your needs are being met and that the process is being handled properly.