Organizations building defensible, in-house e-discovery processes quickly learn that their success requires people, well-documented processes and technology. Whatever is driving the request for collecting and producing electronically stored information (ESI), the goal is to provide responsive information in a consistent, timely and cost-effective manner. This effort takes a discovery response team (DRT) that is staffed with the right kind of people.
Every organization is different and there is no standard when it comes to creating a DRT—it should be shaped by the needs and resources of the company. Large, multi-national companies will require a larger and more geographically diverse team than smaller, national or regional organizations. However, certain universal roles are important for a successful DRT, and it is important that each team member’s role is well-defined, documented and recognized by the organization.
IT and IT security are responsible for operation and maintenance of the infrastructure, enterprise content management that contains the responsive ESI and, therefore, are essential to any effective e-discovery process. The primary IT/IT security representative on the DRT—sometimes referred to as the discovery technology coordinator—is the liaison to the IT specialists that utilize the organizations’ technology for collection of relevant ESI and, therefore, must be equipped to perform the key role of translator between lawyers’ “legalese” and the technical personnel’s’ “geek speak.” They often serve a project management role for the technical aspects of the e-discovery process in each matter, and manage the personnel who perform the preservation and collections. They must have a general knowledge of IT systems including e-mail systems, messaging, active directory, databases, HR and backup systems, as well as an understanding of legal requirements for ESI preservation and production, including quality control of those processes.