Arguably one of the most prohibitive, complicated and expensive processes in litigation, discovery has seen related constraints balloon considerably over the past decade. A 2012 study suggests that discovery costs frequently make up around 20 percent of total costs associated with cases, second only to trial in billable hours. Add to that the exponential reduction of cost and increased access to data storage, the increase of data produced by the average law office and the fear of sanctions resulting from the destruction of potential evidence, and you’ve got a recipe for a legal disaster.
The reason why there has been such a tremendous surge in cost and complications is obvious, according to John Tredennick, founder and CEO of Catalyst, an e-discovery software provider. “It was only as we tipped the clock over into this millennium and entered the digital age that it became a big issue. The reason, plain and simple, is that the volume of digital content just exploded, leaving paper as the veritable ‘drop in the bucket,’” Tredennick explains.
Managing your e-discovery process
Proposed changes to the FRCP bring some challenges and some possibilities to corporate legal teams, but a plethora of technological tools to manage the surge of digital data and new requirements are at the ready. Evaluating technology options, in conjunction with strategies and organizational structures that support e-discovery efforts, will better prepare legal teams for the implementation of new rules as well as unavoidable litigation.