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E-Discovery: Justifying the investment in an e-discovery consultant

Why bringing in an outside expert can help bolster your in-house team

In previous columns, I have considered how the addition of an e-discovery consultant to your company’s litigation team can materially strengthen your company’s defense in complex litigation. In this column, I address the perception that retaining an e-discovery consultant may conflict with your company’s objective to develop and utilize in-house resources.

As in-house counsel, you probably have been an advocate for increasing your company’s internal e-discovery capabilities. Does retaining an outside consultant undercut the message you have been delivering? The reality is that an outside consultant can complement your in-house resources and allow you to utilize those resources more effectively.

Similarly, in-house personnel who are accustomed to addressing the same categories of files in repetitive, low-value litigation may be challenged to effectively address a more complex litigation. Simply having a fresh perspective with broad experience to provide input on the e-discovery work plan can protect your company from costly mistakes.

Working with the outside consultant also should be viewed as a learning process for your in-house team. In-house counsel should continually reassess the technical competence of the company’s internal team as they work on increasingly complex matters and develop additional experience.


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Matthew Prewitt

Matthew Prewitt is a partner in the Chicago office of Schiff Hardin, where he concentrates in complex litigation and also co-chairs the firm's Trade Secrets Client Services...

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