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

Myth 2 – The matter is too small for eDiscovery software

May 12th, 2021

Far too often when it comes to eDiscovery, the perception is that eDiscovery software is only suitable for large matters. Most matters are not too small for eDiscovery software.

This is simply not the case !

The rationale is usually that this is the way that discovery has always been approached. “We have never used eDiscovery software before, and should be able to get by as the volumes are not large”.

Too often a matter that should be simple and cost effective can quickly become complicated and costly.

We are not immune here in New Zealand either, as our volumes are also increasing exponentially. We are all communicating differently than we did in the past, while the devices we use to communicate and store information continue to evolve.

A lot more data than you think !

A matter that may be perceived as small may be a lot larger than you think.

Let’s take a dispute with a couple of individuals. Solely looking at their emails, it is not uncommon to see 4-5GB per person, equating to 10GB.  Most matters will have even greater volumes of data, including more custodians and sources, as many send and receive thousands of emails within a year, whilst the disputed period may be several years. This can easily equate to tens of thousands of documents, and into the hundreds of thousands of pages if anyone were to print them out.

Again, this is just the emails !

On most matters, the amount of key discoverable documents may not be too different to the numbers experienced previously. The key is: how do we get to them, as so much of the information will probably be irrelevant.

No one wants to have lawyers investing their time (and the clients’ money), looking at information that may be totally irrelevant. The skill is to come up with methods and leverage the use of technology to get rid of what you don’t need so that you can devote your energies at only looking at what matters most.

The smaller matters probably won’t always require the benefits of predictive coding, email threading or complex keyword searching, but they will benefit from having a platform that can assist them manage their documents efficiently and cost effectively.

Benefits are far beyond just the discovery process

So often the benefit of eDiscovery software is far beyond simply the discovery process, starting with simply having all of your data in the one place. Some of these additional (and often overlooked) benefits include –

  • Greater analysis i.e. who communicated with who and when?
  • Commenting on documents
  • Multiple access to documents, including 3rd-partys
  • Simplicity of creating list of documents and exchange
  • Multiple instances of Searching, sorting and grouping documents
  • Preparation of bundles (even the option to print if that is what you require) i.e. key witnesses, key issues and chronologies

There are some great eDiscovery solutions available that can help you no matter the size of the matter.

Even though the matter may appear small and simple, the value of eDiscovery software can provide significant value throughout the matter.

So eDiscovery software can be valuable for any matter, regardless of the size !



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