Electronic Discovery Cost and Benefit


Legal discovery can impact your organization in signifi cant ways.nThe direct costs of expert assistance add up quickly. Thenindirect costs of disruption impair the focus on the businessnmission. A key consideration is where to position your organization in the spectrum from an ad hoc largely outsourced solution to a purely in-house enterprise solution.nTo help the discussion, I will use the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) as a framework. The ongoing EDRM project develops guidelines and standards for e-discovery consumers and processes vs. in-house discovery processes. This article provides a structure for legal and technology stakeholders to anticipate and quantify e-discovery costs and benefi ts. By balancing the trade-offs in the legal, technology and business domains, organizations can identify e-discovery solution pathways that make migration toward a comprehensive in-house information management system both feasible and worthwhile. nnOrganizations today accumulate unimaginable amounts of information. Although partly driven by external factors (e.g., regulatory oversight and legal demands), the major contributor is internal: Ineffective management of electronic information, exacerbated by the declining cost of informationnstorage. Attempts by information technology (IT) departmentsnto impose storage limitations meet strong resistance. In most cases, IT departments have simply accommodated the explosive increase and excessive retention of information. The crux of the problem: Organizations retain information not because they expect to use it, but because there is no compelling reason to discard it.

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