Corporate legal departments are continually under pressure to control their costs. As the expense of litigation continues to increase, it is becoming increasingly important for corporate counsel to manage and control the costs associated with e-discovery, which comprise the majority of their litigation costs.
For far too long, legal departments have not been able to budget – time or cost – appropriately for e-discovery. Legal departments can and need to take control of the e-discovery process related to their litigation by driving the choice of the solution used by outside counsel. Thomson Reuters eDiscovery Point delivers greater control to corporate counsel while helping to manage and reduce legal spend by taking advantage of early data assessment (EDA) capabilities, an easy-to-use interface and simplified pricing.
In order to maintain control of your e-discovery process, it is important to have a tool that provides cost-effective EDA capabilities. EDA tools allow teams to reduce the amount of data that requires review, reducing time spent combing through irrelevant information. Additional efficiencies are gained when the EDA tools are integrated with the review tool in one platform, allowing for the seamless transfer of data. This has the added benefit of reducing the risk of spoliation of data that can occur if data needs to be transformed and moved between separate applications.
Many legal departments are controlling costs by conducting this early data assessment internally before moving the actual document review to outside counsel. Conducting an internal data assessment enables the legal department to save time and money by allowing outside counsel to focus their review on a more limited set of data. The platform should allow the legal department and outside counsel to seamlessly collaborate by sharing data, as insight into the matter may reveal new custodians or new data that needs review.
Another important consideration when deciding which review tool to use is ease of use and related ramp-up time for the review team. Legal departments should not have to incur the cost for the law firm and its review team to learn how to use a complicated review tool. The expectation is that the review team should be able to hit the ground running using a solution that requires minimal training and allows for efficient document review. An easy-to-use tool helps lead to corporate counsels’ ultimate goal – an efficient, cost-effective and compliant review.
And there may be times when certain litigation matters are large or complex enough to require assistance from a managed review services provider. When and if the decision is made to engage document review services, the review platform being employed needs to accommodate additional users without driving up costs and allow for an efficient and effective review.
In the past, legal departments have typically relied on their outside counsel to provide an estimate of e-discovery costs, only to be surprised as new costs and fees are added throughout the litigation process, sometimes driving up the total cost of the e-discovery project exponentially. Legal departments should insist on a solution that provides clear insight into pricing and does not charge separate fees for activities, such as physical media handling, processing or data analytics. Thomson Reuters eDiscovery Point, for instance, has this pricing model.
Investing time to understand the best solution that fits your legal department’s e-discovery needs can help save time and money, and strengthen your relationship with outside counsel. Both parts of the team will benefit from a process that is simplified, delivers definitive answers of how much data will need to be reviewed and provides greater clarity around e-discovery costs. Taking control of this process can give in-house counsel and legal department operations professionals the added confidence they need to address their litigation needs.
Steve Schneider, Director of Product Management for Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services, is responsible for eDiscovery Point development and directs new product development initiatives.
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