Orginally Published in Law360 on February 23, 2012.
Litigation discovery has evolved. Once, discovery meant calling up your client and asking her to look through her files to locate relevant information, resulting in a few boxes of documents to review to find the subset of relevant, nonprivileged documents to produce. And lawyers expected to receive a similar volume of documents from the opposing side.
Cases with such limited discovery are now the exception rather than the rule. With the advent of the digital age and electronic communication, lawyers can now expect to receive gigabytes or even terabytes of electronically stored information (ESI), which, if printed, would amount to thousands of boxes of documents. The magnitude of information can, and often does, overwhelm the litigation process and significantly increases the cost of dispute resolution.
Recently, many law firms have enhanced their in-house electronic discovery capabilities by employing a combination of people, process and technology to manage the costs and risks associated with complex discovery. As a result, clients now have a choice between their outside law firm or an e-discovery vendor to provide legal technology services.
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