Reduce, re-use, recycle: Our favorite environmentalist catchphrase has found a significance of its own in the e-discovery and document review space. A need for efficiency, cost savings and sanity has led to an organized effort to re-use data in e-discovery, recycle final work product and to drastically reduce the overall amount of data that is collected and reviewed. The most obvious way this has been accomplished is by re-using data and work product from one litigation or investigation matter in another, provided the subject matter and data collected are interrelated.
We could stop here, content with the ways technology and experience are making our job a bit easier. Or we could think outside the realm of efficiency and look to broaden the scope of our mandate. Does the data we collect over the course of litigation need to be used solely for the same purpose for which it was collected? Are there ways that we can use data collected for litigation to benefit our organization as a whole? Are there benefits to be had outside of the litigation world?