ediscovery costs

In today’s world of electronically stored information (“ESI”), it is increasingly costly to preserve, identify and collect data for discovery – let alone analyze, review and create a production. According to a 2012 ediscovery costs study by the RAND institute, ediscovery expenses are adding up. For every dollar spent on ESI production, collection consumes $.08, processing consumes $.19 and document review consumes $.73. Don’t miss a new infographic created by Kroll Ontrack: 7 Tips to Cut Ediscovery Costs.

During preservation and collection, involve corporate IT resources early.

On average, preservation and collection constitute about 8% of ESI production costs. The best practice for controlling collection costs: both legal and IT need to work hand-in-hand in order for ediscovery to work. To accomplish this:

  • Involve corporate IT resources early and throughout ediscovery.
  • Identify key players and promptly preserve their data. By working with IT, accidental deletion of data can be avoided.

Limit ediscovery processing.

Ediscovery processing accounts for about 19% of ESI production costs. While processing data, be sure to keep the budget in check by monitoring volume and calibrating the budget accordingly. This can be done by:

  • Finding a balance between using in-house resources versus external vendors and consultants. Many cases require both in-house and external resources.
  • Limiting ediscovery processing by search terms, date range and custodians. If information is limited before review, later document review and production is simplified.

During review and production, use modern technology.

Review is roughly 73% of all ESI costs, and has to be the most carefully monitored to conserve the budget. In Da Silva Moore, Judge Peck condoned predictive coding software to be used in conjunction with human personnel due to the sheer volume of data. Limiting the documents handed to attorneys for review by using innovative technology is a sure way to stay on target with the budget, so:

  • Don’t review every document with traditional linear methods. This is a black hole for costs.
  • Decide what’s not relevant and remove it with EDA or analytics.
  • Let predictive coding do the heavy lifting: it can categorize and prioritize documents before attorneys review them.

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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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