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

Raising awareness of electronic discovery

April 18th, 2013

As published in LawTalk, issue 816, 12 April 2013

NEW ZEALAND’S INAUGURAL eDiscovery Conference attracted over 100 participants from across New Zea­land’s legal fraternity, including senior lawyers, barristers, in-house legal counsel as well as electronic discovery service providers.

The event, held in Auckland on 13 February, was organised by Ernst & Young and E-Discovery Consulting.

The opening address by Judge David Harvey set the scene by providing a judicial viewpoint of the new rules, from both a legal and a technology perspec­tive. Judge Harvey left delegates in little doubt about the importance of electronic information. He reinforced that lawyers need to be aware of the technologies and the technological processes that are required to manage this information.

Leading eDiscovery experts and prac­titioners from across New Zealand and Australia provided valuable insights with practical experiences of the tips and pitfalls of conducting electronic discovery.

The key themes of the conference included:

Need to learn more

The eDiscovery process is now an unavoidable part of any litigation or investigation. To successfully conduct electronic discovery under the new discovery rules it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the entire process.

Proportionality is a major considera­tion with the new discovery rules, but to be able to accurately assess proportion­ality it is important to know more about the eDiscovery process. This includes being more informed about the specific costs involved with each stage.

Early planning

It is essential to thoroughly plan the eDiscovery exercise, and to do so at an early stage. Investing time at the outset can lead to considerable cost savings later in the process.

Assessing what information you have and where it is, is now more complex due to the escalating volumes of electronic information organisations have. Even on the smallest of matters, doing this work at the outset can have significant advantages later.

If you do not have the internal expertise to help prepare for eDiscov­ery, ensure you have access to someone with the required expertise.

Embrace the technology

It is important for legal professionals to embrace technology to assist in man­aging their eDiscovery requirements.

Many law firms still have a tendency to “hit print” with electronic information. This practice is adding unnecessary burden and cost to the eDiscovery process.

The perception that eDiscovery is expensive was dispelled. If eDiscovery is managed correctly (which means embracing the right technology and best methods for the matter), there will be a considerable cost saving compared to more traditional discovery methods.

The conference illustrated how there are tools that can assist in culling and filtering information, enabling informa­tion to be reviewed as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. There are many tools and practices available that can considerably simplify this exercise. Tech­nology is becoming cheaper all the time, with some eDiscovery products starting from just a few dollars per month.

The conference was an overwhelming success and plans are already under way for another event in 2014.


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