Recent articles in the media report growing dissatisfaction of in-house counsel with their outside counsel’s handling of electronic discovery issues. As a result of this dissatisfaction, legal departments are placing equal emphasis on analyzing the credentials of their outside counsel’s e-discovery abilities as their substantive abilities to handle the dispute. In this article, we provide five practical tips to help in-house counsel identify the lawyers best equipped and prepared to efficiently and capably handle their e-discovery issues.
1. Search for a firm with a captive or in-house e-discovery practice and vet its history.
3. Ask the potential firms to identify all the fees and costs they charge in connection with their handling of your e-discovery needs.
Once you have narrowed down the list of qualified potential firms to handle your e-discovery matter, you should then make a serious effort to identify how the firms charge for handling your e-discovery preservation, collection, processing and production. Some outside law firms have jumped into the e-discovery game, sensing a new profit center, and the fees and costs that they charge reflect just that. Many firms that might not be so skilled at preventing over-collection of raw data from custodians or likely witnesses in the case will then go on to charge you a per-month storage fee per gigabyte of information collected and stored. Unfortunately, their mistake in collecting terabytes of irrelevant data is compounded when they then charge you to store that data during the pendency of the dispute.