Most corporate legal teams and their outside counsel realize the importance of preparing for the inevitable run-in with electronically stored information (ESI) in investigations and litigation. In fact, corporations and law firms are increasingly working to in-source some aspect of e-discovery to save money and gain control. According to the 2011 DIY Discovery Trends Survey, 86 percent of corporations and law firms are conducting some aspect of electronic discovery in-house or in-firm.
Though few attorneys question the need to be prepared, new and innovative ways to address e-discovery challenges leave many feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of do-it-yourself (DIY) and service provider choices available in the marketplace. Many corporate legal teams are in a state of constant re-evaluation when it comes to e-discovery, asking themselves questions such as:
To complicate the equation, law firms and corporations disagree over who decides whether to in-source or outsource e-discovery. According to the 2011 DIY Discovery Trends Survey, 90 percent of in-house counsel state that the primary decision maker is the corporation. On the other hand, 43 percent of law firms say that it is their decision, not their client’s. Differences in e-discovery tools and processes between law firms and their corporate clients are driving this discrepancy, as each team seeks to leverage its own technology investments or support established processes and provider relationships.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all method to determine when to use DIY discovery tools and when to consult an outside service provider or law firm expert. Each company needs to reflect on the unique nature of its type and volume of matters, tolerance for risk and resources needed to perform the work. Here are some key questions to help guide your decision-making: