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Five Questions to Ask Before…You Bring e-Discovery "In-House"

Corporations and law firms alike strive for ways to control costs and access of litigation, particularly as it relates to e-Discovery.  While some have successful brought aspects of e-Discovery in-house, many have learned the hard way that this is no small task.  Here are five questions to ask yourself before you try bringing e-Discovery into your house.

  • 1. What are you bringing in-house?

There are many aspects of e-Discovery that you may consider to bring in-house.  Each needs to be addressed individually with the below questions, but here is a suggested way of breaking it down (surprise surprise, it mirrors the EDRM).

  1. Collection
  2. ECA / Analytics
  3. Processing
  4. Hosted Review
  5. Productions

Keep in mind, you don’t have to bring everything in-house and certainly, not all at once.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

  • 2. What are your limits?

Just because you are bringing in some capabilities, doesn’t mean you can handle everything.  Those who have successfully brought e-Discovery in-house have identified thresholds of what they handle in-house and what they still lean on trusted partners.  For example, a firm brings a basic data processing suite to augment their workflow into an in-house review tool.  As a general rule, they identify that any data set that exceeds 25 GBs or 10 GBs within 72 hours will be outsourced.

  • 3. What’s your budget?

Whatever your initial thought of a budget is, double (or triple) the amount.  Basic costs such as software and maybe some hardware are easy to identify; however, the amount of software and hardware that will be needed is often underestimated as well as other costs such as talent, support, etc.

  • 4. What’s your experience?

e-Discovery is not simply an IT task and it is not purely legal.  It takes a unique set of skills and understanding to successfully deploy an e-Discovery solution.  It can be led by a team or an individual, but either way having somebody with substantial experience to lean on and drive this process is critical.  Make sure that you don’t skimp in this area and hire a team of junior level talent hoping that they will mature.

  • 5. What’s your ROI?

..At the outset, clearly define how you are going to quantify your ROI.  This can be money saved, efficiencies gained, lowering of risk, etc.  Knowing what the goal is will help clarify the amount of investment and also, if an increased budget is warranted when the time comes.

When in doubt, consult an expert and ask for help!