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.