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

Turn your mind to discovery early

May 22nd, 2019

Far too often parties turn their minds to the practical requirements of discovery far too late in the process. If we are to reduce the time and cost of the discovery process, then it is essential that how to tackle discovery is considered at an early stage.

With today’s proliferation of information, coupled with Court requirements to be more proportionate and cost effective, it is essential to devise a strategy that can help you achieve a more effective discovery process.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for me to receive a request for assistance with discovery, that usually goes something like this –

How can I help ? – We need assistance with our discovery.

What was agreed in the discovery order? – Umm, we are to provide discovery electronically.

Did you work through the discovery checklist? – Yes, we are to provide discovery electronically.

Were there any practical requirements from the checklist discussed or agreed? – Yes, we are to provide discovery electronically. 

[Long sigh !!! – seeing the checklist and practical requirements have not been addressed]. 

OK, how much information do you have? – We have 5 boxes.

Is the information available electronically? – I don’t know, I just asked the client to send the documents to us, which they have. It is the 5 boxes.

How do you want me to assist? – Can you take care of discovery? We just need the documents scanned and listed, right?

And the deadline is this Friday…

For conversations like these, the practical requirements of discovery have been looked at far too late in the process.

If you do find the discovery process expensive, complicated and time consuming, then it is at the very least worth investing an hour at the outset of the matter to consider the best way to approach the exercise. This time invested could save thousands of dollars down the track, whilst also lessening the burden of discovery for you and your firm.

There are usually some ‘easy wins’ that can save you and your client considerable time and money.

On the next matter don’t leave it until it is too late, have the conversation early.  Pick up the phone at an earlier stage, it may be that I can help you devise a more effective approach to discovery.



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