The NZ E-Discovery Blog  Facilitating proportionate and efficient e-discovery

But, we have always done discovery this way…

June 16th, 2015

A common response I come across with new clients, when I ask why they carry out discovery in a particular way is usually we have always done it that way.

And then in almost the same breath the response is “eDiscovery is expensive and time consuming”.

What is expensive and time consuming is not eDiscovery, but the reliance on traditional paper based methods to manage information that can be more effectively managed electronically.

Many firms are needlessly spending thousands of dollars on an eDiscovery process that is not required. They are effectively just replicating how they have always managed discovery in a traditional paper based world. In today’s digital world with the proliferation of electronic information, these practices only add cost and burden to the exercise.

Many law firms continue to spend considerable time and money scanning and listing documents. Essentially a practice may include collecting (or receiving) information by printing electronic information, scanning the paper documents, manually listing the documents and then producing them electronically. Practices that I have highlighted in earlier posts Dont Press Print and Why do we still manually list documents?

All steps that are no longer necessary.

But it worked in the past

What may have worked 10 years ago, last year, or last week may no longer be the most effective path tomorrow. In the past we did not face the volumes of electronic information that is now present in most organisations.

We are all communicating differently than we did in the past, whilst the devices we use to communicate and store information are evolving exponentially. It is estimated that the data volumes are increasing every 2 years, so this is going to continue to be an issue.

These all pose challenges for the legal profession, but even more so if traditional methods are used to manage eDiscovery.

Take the time – develop a strategy

I have mentioned in detail in earlier posts about the importance of devising a discovery strategy. The strategy should be developed at an early stage to ensure you are best prepared to manage the challenges of eDiscovery. An effective strategy will help you get to the most important information quickly, cost effectively and accurately. 

Just because you have always carried out discovery in a particular way, it doesn’t mean that there are not more effective practices available. With the proliferation of electronic information and the impact of technology on all of our lives, it is important for lawyers to realise how technology can assist them in practicing law. 

If you are finding discovery expensive and time consuming, then it is at least worth investing an hour at the outset of a matter to try and work out the best way to approach the discovery exercise. The time invested at the outset could save thousands down the track, not to mention lessening the burden for you and your firm.

Ask for help, ask if there are any more effective ways to reduce the burden and cost of discovery.



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