In these economic times of continuing pressure on in-house legal departments to reduce costs, many departments are bringing certain phases of the e-discovery process in-house. According to a recent survey of IT, attorneys and litigation support professionals conducted by The Taneja Group, more than half of those surveyed are already performing both collections and issuing legal holds in-house.
Where organizations lag, however, is in moving data processing in-house with only one quarter of the respondents performing this phase. According to the survey, the reasons for continuing to outsource processing are numerous but center on two key issues: (1) Organizations perceive a lack of access to processing technologies, and (2) they lack the functional expertise to perform the processing. Because of this complexity and perceived lack of accessible technology, corporate counsel customarily have relied on outside counsel, service providers, computer forensic consultants and others to perform data processing.
The reluctance to acquire processing technology may be due to the perceived lack of availability of the technology. Understanding data processing itself may demystify some of this misperception. At the most basic level, processing serves to reduce the volume of collected electronically stored information (ESI) in a defensible manner to only those documents that should move forward in the discovery workflow.