eDiscovery White Paper from George Socha Available for Download: Bringing e-Discovery in-house, risks and rewards.

Posted on January 13, 2010


This white paper provides a straightforward, pragmatic overview about how legal professionals and organizations confronted with e-discovery must be able to interpret e-discovery within the context of actual expected processes, inherent risks, and the available technical solutions that can support relevant activities. Many people may have some idea about what e-discovery is, at least thematically, but many do not have a full appreciation of how to effectively engage the setup and execution of the process. Even for those who have gone through an e-discovery process in the past, some of the acknowledged approaches to e-discovery are outdated, particularly when viewed against the current economic backdrop and the rapidly expanding technical challenges found in most organizations and legal firms.


Simply put, given the litigious nature of the marketplace and the disclosure and transparency responsibilities facing most organizations, no one at the front lines of their business can afford not to be well-versed about what e-discovery actually is and how it is actually conducted in a legal environment. (A more detailed situational overview is provided in the Chapter 2 of this document.) Moreover, the days of simply being able to hand off all of your e-discovery “problems” to a third-party has become less feasible due to exorbitant costs and increased legal risk associated with relinquishing control of information and discovery activities.

As such, organizations are desperate to find ways in which they can regain control of their internal processes in general – and e-discovery in particular – and minimize their costs and level of risk. A first step for organizations is to gain clarity about the actual issues that are in inherent in e-discovery. Chapter 3 of this paper provides an in-depth look at the key cost and risk-related issues that can compromise the effective execution of e-discovery processes.

After spelling out the basic risk and cost components of e-discovery, Chapter 4 follows with some best-practice approaches to remedying the most relevant e-discovery-related challenges. First and foremost, any effective e-discovery solution must have some reference point from which to understand the expectations and recognized process components that need to be engaged. This reference point is the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), which is widely acknowledged as the standard by which e-discovery activities should be structured. Any technology solution used to support e-discovery activities must align itself as much as possible with the components found in the EDRM.

The other critical remedy to minimizing risks and costs is bringing as much of the e-discovery process as possible “in-house”. Of course, this means that in-house staff must have a thorough working knowledge of the relevant processes, organizational archiving and data structure and enough technical know-how to choose and implement the right tools to support the required processes, which include (data) identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, production and presentation.

But these components, and the process as a whole, may have variable definitions in different environments. It’s important that anyone engaged in e-discovery understands the preferable way in which these components should be interpreted and executed in order to optimize the efficiency of their processes. In sections C, D, E, F, and G in Chapter 4, some very nuts-and-bolts information is presented about the reasoning and tools that need to be in place in order to ensure that the components of any e-discovery process are interpreted in the most appropriate and effective manner.

In terms of actual technical tools that can offer real impact to an e-discovery process, section H of Chapter 4 presents an array of important information about the need for a proper, legal-based search tool to drive the discovery process. Too often, e-discovery processes are compromised simply because the investigative professionals have defaulted to an inappropriate, Web-based search tool.

But when it comes to tools, it’s not just a question of having the right search engine in place. High-quality search and a detailed working framework are a solid foundation on which to conduct e-discovery activities. However, the complexity e-discovery requires a nimble and comprehensive set of tools to support all aspects of the process. Appendix A provides an overview of one of the most highly regarded solutions on the market, ZyLAB’s eDiscovery and Production System, which bundles a powerful, specialized search tool with a suite of technology and a fully documented best-practice methodology and working instructions. Utilizing this type of comprehensive solution is the only way those engaged in e-discovery can now ensure that their cases are aligned with expected processes and are thorough and accurate enough to stand up in court.

This white paper will also be distributed at the 2010 LegalTech in New York to participants of the educational track with the same title: “the Implications of Bringing e-discovery in-house”, sponsored by ZyLAB.

The White Paper can be downloaded here:

http://www.zylab.com/Default.aspx?Doc=wp/WP73 – Bringing e-Discovery in-house – risks and rewards.pdf



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