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Optimizing Resources for Efficient eDiscovery

For decades, legal discovery was performed through tedious manual processing and the reviewing of paper documents. With the rising use of electronic data, legal discovery activities have seemingly shifted overnight from physical warehouses to virtual databases. This process is known as eDiscovery.

In-house Limitations
Corporate general counsel offices, and the law firms that serve them, have a variety of views about eDiscovery. Often, litigators are hesitant to rely on their firm’s in-house resources because they do not keep up with rapidly evolving technology advancements that are not quickly scalable. Firms that manage the bulk of their eDiscovery operations in-house must continually invest in technology to improve efficiency. Since the market for eDiscovery technology constantly churns out new software and enhancements, an in-sourced eDiscovery program is never complete. By the time a firm designs, builds and implements an on-site solution, the program will fail to meet new eDiscovery standards.

Scalability also presents a significant challenge to in-house operations due to the size and variety of eDiscovery projects. Firms must manage small projects like state civil litigation with large and time-sensitive projects like white-collar criminal cases. Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach cannot scale projects quickly enough to match workflow processes. In addition to the perpetual technology chase and scalability demands, a vibrant eDiscovery process necessitates significant investment in specialized personnel, who must be constantly trained and motivated. These professionals are also in high demand, making them even more difficult to retain. Addressing these potential eDiscovery issues can result in large expenses. The amount of potentially discoverable documents can drive up costs well beyond budgets. The expenses of a million-document matter might take 17,500 hours for attorneys and support staff to collect, review, cull and process the documents, amounting to more than $1.5 MM in expenses without the additional cost of software licenses and hardware.

“...if a firm designs, builds and implements an on-site solution, the program will fail to meet new eDiscovery standards.”

Outsourcing
Having access to leading technology and project management is critical to keeping costs low and achieving optimum results. Outsourcing eDiscovery services to an expert in legal document management can help firms build and staff operations to provide a combination of on-site, near-site or off-site capabilities. The right outsourcing partner can provide:
  • World-class technology;
  • Current best practices in eDiscovery;
  • The optimum level of resources, while minimizing the need for capital investments or hiring additional staff.

An experienced outsourcing vendor can help firms satisfy all three requirements at a fraction of what in-house operations would cost, removing the burden of tedious and time-consuming eDiscovery implementation so firms can focus on their core business. Outsourcing also provides access to the latest technologies, processes and talent to help address the various stages of the discovery model, specifically data identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis and production. Experienced outsourcing partners can help design, build and execute practical, cost-effective and defensible eDiscovery plans that are highly secure and help to support compliance with industry regulations. The right outsourcing provider will lead to more accurate and insightful document review, reduce processing time and expenses and optimize its combination of services and technologies.

BestSite™ Services

Squeezing entire legal discovery projects through less scalable, on-site solutions is a precarious decision, especially when time and defensibility are most important. Overloading systems with complex file types, search queries, workflow and production criteria can impede workflows and processes, while sending eDiscovery projects to off-site centers becomes operationally inefficient and can create new risks.

A better approach to eDiscovery operations is a combination of on- and off-site services, known as BestSite™.

If a project changes in complexity or timing, a BestSite™ program can quickly adapt, designed to anticipate and help solve legal eDiscovery dilemmas. Simple projects can be easily scanned and converted on-site, while high volumes of time-sensitive documents could be securely managed at a powerful off-site center.

Case Study: Fortune 100 Tech Company

Challenge: This company had designed, built and implemented a combination of on-site and off-site eDiscovery processes. However, it was not receiving the results it wanted and needed to drive greater efficiencies. The company asked Novitex to optimize and automate many of these per-existing processes and workflows to help improve productivity.
Solution: Novitex leveraged its BestSite™ approach to further reduce processing and increase efficiency. Process improvements that helped to further reduce costs and enhance workflows included:
  • Streamlining ingesting, culling and processing specific views in an mail store instead of the entire Lotus Notes.
  • Refining the client’s exception resolution application that helps support exception types, flags new exceptions, stores resolution decisions and provides resolution instructions.
  • Creating wrapper applications to assist the importation of company files from other culling processing software

Results: Novitex saved the client 22 percent and automated workflows to create greater efficiencies throughout its per-existing eDiscovery services.

Conclusion
The right outsourcing partner can quickly scale its services to meet firms’ needs and act as a channel between the client and an eDiscovery solution. The benefits offered by outsourcing eDiscovery services render in-house solutions unnecessary or obsolete. BestSite™ solutions offer the flexibility and efficiency to meet a wide variety of demands while minimizing risk and receiving more than 50 percent in cost savings. In the last eight years, law firms have recognized the need for eDiscovery services. According to a survey conducted by The Cowen Group, 21 percent of firms are currently in the process of signing a managed services agreement with an outside vendor...
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