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

Efficiently Managing Paper in eDiscovery

November 17th, 2016

As I highlighted in my last post, paper still exists in the discovery process, however it is important that we explore efficient ways of managing it.

Regardless of whether paper is all you have or if you simply prefer to undertake discovery with paper, there are ways to do this more efficiently. If we don’t, then managing paper can quickly cause unwanted burden, delay and expense to your discovery process.

No one wants that !

Like all aspects of the discovery process it is important to take the time at the outset of the matter to consider how you will manage paper.

I am the first to encourage people to address discovery early, to try and look at more efficient and cost effective methods of managing your discovery obligations. Often forgotten is that this is now a requirement for all matters under the New Zealand High Court Rules.

Also a requirement of the Rules (which can also be overlooked), is for parties “to reduce unnecessary costs of listing documents”.

In today’s digital world, the first option (as the Rules say) should be for parties to “to use the extracted metadata from native electronic documents instead of manually listing documents”. I have written at length previously questioning why we still see considerable manual listing of documents. However, I appreciate that many may not have access to the documents in their native file format, as paper may be all they have, which means you have the unenviable task of manually listing those documents.

Most law firms will not (and should not) want to list the documents themselves as your expertise can probably be better deployed elsewhere. Listing documents is not an exciting task, but as leading eDiscovery consultant Terry Harrison pointed out recently, it is still very important that paper is managed properly.

To ease these pressures, many will decide to outsource to a local provider. However, you may find that these costs can sometimes be prohibitive, and on occasions the justification to continue to manage in-house.

An alternative that is not explored enough in my opinion is using an LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing) provider to list documents. Engaging a trusted offshore provider should deliver considerable cost savings, whilst reducing the burden of manually managing the paper documents yourself.

Low cost offshore options have been around for many years for coding documents, but it is important that you engage a provider that you can trust – especially when you are starting out.

Regardless of whether you have paper or electronic information, we need to continue to explore efficient ways of managing the discovery process. If you do have paper documents, then exploring the option of an LPO is one way that we can substantially reduce the cost and burden of your discovery process.

If you want to discuss the option of offshore coding then give me a shout.



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