Change is in the Air: Transforming Ediscovery From an Art to a Science


Spring is just around the corner (hopefully), and change is in the air! Likewise, change is in the air in ediscovery. The ediscovery process is far from perfect, but continues to evolve and change despite facing compelling challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge today is the vast amount of data that is being created. Fighting the frustrations of one project can be bad enough, but sweeping up the dust bunnies of multiple ediscovery projects at once can be overwhelming to manage. And, because this industry was founded on ediscovery matters being on a case-by-case basis, it is no wonder that changing the underlying technology, processes, and teams for each and every project typically results in both inconsistent and unpredictable ediscovery results.

At first blush, some may say it can’t be done. But it’s been done before… over and over in the technology industry… and the key is repeatability. David Yerich, Director of Ediscovery at UnitedHealth Group, agrees, stating that law is an art, but ediscovery shouldn’t be. “There are no two cases that are identical,” said Yerich. “However, ediscovery, which supports the practice of law, is a process that can be defined. Kroll Ontrack is on the path to helping customers refine this process to make it not only repeatable, but better with every project.”

From a process perspective, repeatability should be applied in three key areas:

1) First, organizations should be attempting to optimize their entire ediscovery portfolio – not each individual project;

2) Second, rather than directing projects through emails and phone calls, apply a more structured method of collaboration, one that is always available for quality checking and reuse;

3) And third, instead of viewing ediscovery as a series of linear steps where data is transferred from tool to tool, think of it as an integrated information continuum where the state of data simply changes depending on where you are in the process.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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