E-discovery: The dying art of early case assessment

The machines are winning, and your company may be the loser

This column is the first in a series addressing the challenges of early case assessment in the era of e-discovery. In this column, I attempt to define the problem; in the columns to follow I will offer some suggestions for how in-house counsel should work with the company’s trial counsel in the early stages of litigation to ensure that e-discovery issues do not become an impediment to effective strategic analysis.

Before the term was co-opted by e-discovery vendors, early case assessment was a concept that captured the essence of the trial lawyer’s craft, quickly analyzing and synthesizing evidence from multiple sources, collaborating with the client to develop an initial case strategy and formulating a preliminary discovery and litigation plan that will advance that strategy on the road to a successful resolution. In short, early case assessment encompassed the full skill set that an experienced litigator draws upon to seize the initiative from her adversary and develop a proactive strategy for winning the case.


author image

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...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.