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

EDT promote a fresh approach to eDiscovery

July 29th, 2014

Last week I facilitated the EDT lunch forum in Auckland that also launched their New Zealand eDiscovery hosting services. There was an excellent turnout with a mix of law firms, regulators and the presence of New Zealand’s leading technology Judge – His Honour Judge Harvey.

Like the lunch forums EDT ran last year, this year had some in-depth discussions around what was happening in the marketplace. The forum focussed on the importance of Early Case Assessment (ECA) as well as EDT announcing its new hosted solutions for the New Zealand market.

Many of the points discussed could easily be applied to any jurisdiction.

Key discussion points

Many attending shared examples of the increasing volumes of electronic information that they now face. There was consensus about how these volumes had increased substantially even noticeably over the past couple of years.

Judge Harvey reinforced how the Discovery Checklist is triggered within the new District Court Rules that commenced on 1 July 2014. We will wait with interest to see how discovery issues are dealt with in the District Court, especially with the proportionality and cooperation focus of the Discovery Checklist.

There were experiences shared of using keyword search terms as part of a tailored discovery order. It was apparent that the keyword search terms were not as successful as intended, largely as a result of the lack of testing and refining of search terms, or as a result of the limitations of the software they were deploying.

There has been significant change in the eDiscovery software market, with a number of new options now available in New Zealand. The increasing number of eDiscovery software options is providing organisations with an opportunity to re-evaluate their options. It was clear that many organisations are facing issues with their legacy software tools, which appear to be no longer meeting their requirements,  especially with increasing volumes and sources of electronic information.

The point that discovery rules are software neutral and that all products now talk to each other was reinforced. As a result it is now easy to transfer data from one product to another.

The importance of investing more time at an early stage to develop a discovery strategy was highlighted. The requirement is a basic necessity to manage the increasing volumes of electronic information, whilst also being crucial in embracing the High Court discovery rules.

Strong focus on ECA

During the forum Jo Sherman highlighted the increasing importance of having an ECA strategy. To illustrate how ECA can assist lawyers and their clients at an early stage Jo Sherman delved deeper into some of the functionality of EDT’s software.

To illustrate the importance of ECA, Jo Sherman talked through a recent case study to illustrate how law firms in the US have used EDT to provide lawyers with early insight into collected data to help them develop an informed strategy for the eDiscovery exercise. As I have discussed previously, ECA capabilities can provide a significant strategic advantage in preparation for the first Case Management Conference.   

The EDT point of difference

Throughout the forum Jo Sherman reinforced the fresh approach of EDT, which moves away from traditional practices that can contribute to needless expense and burden. The focus of EDT’s proposition is that they provide one integrated platform, without the need for multiple tools. Utilising the one tool can provide organisations with the opportunity to reduce their legal spend and issues experienced of moving data between multiple platforms.

EDT’s software can either be installed internally within an organisation, or available as a hosted solution. The forum launched their new hosted solutions, which did spark interest with the knowledge that organisations didn’t have to outlay considerable expenditure or have resources on hand to maintain the software.

Local New Zealand support

During the forum, Jo Sherman introduced EDT’s new local representative, leading industry expert, Felicity Pletz. Felicity has been engaged to provide local support for New Zealand clients and grow the EDT business on the ground in New Zealand.

Felicity shared many of her experiences from many years working in the US with leading eDiscovery firms. Of particular interest was Felicity’s experience of managing the Enron case in the US, which needless to say was the dataset that Jo Sherman used to demonstrate the EDT software.

Those attending left were left in little doubt that there were alternatives to legacy options and the value of using the software more effectively to be more informed at an earlier stage.

It will be interesting to see how the EDT fresh approach to eDiscovery takes off.



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