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Mercifully, the days of discovery that involved physically transporting bulky folder boxes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Now, lawyers are opting to keep electronic forms of discoverable evidence on their electronic devices. E-discovery has even been one of the main factors that cause "paperless office" predictors to hold the views they do.
But a new monster has taken its place: the problem of dealing with hoards of mountainous electronic data. Ironically, the shift away from mountainous physical discovery into bite-sized electronic chunks has only encouraged data expansion to include files that even are only remotely related to the case.
Doing It Yourself
Outsourcing e-discovery has long been the option for many stodgy dusty midsized firms that did not have the technical know-how to handle e-discovery, nor had the volume to justify even having a dedicated e-discovery Department. E Reference Model (EDRM) is its own burgeoning industry.
Lawyers today are faced with the decision whether to outsource their discovery process or not. But according to Brad Blickstein of the Blickstein Group, more firms should be able to handle E-Discovery in-house. Increased use and familiarity of cloud-based review tools that assist attorneys should make the process much easier -- once you can navigate the sea of programs that are out there.
Not as Easy as It Looks
The ballooning use of e-discovery has other costs as well. There is a push for law firms to settle their cases in order to avoid discovery and the cost and time associated with it, iPro vice president Sarai Guerra said. "Firms need to find tools to make this process more efficient and lower costs in order to stay competitive in the market," she said.
The selection of the available EDRM programs that are out there will be premised very much on what capabilities your firm will need. Even some of the most basic EDRM programs will most likely be an improvement on any midsized firm's basic standard model. Kim Taylor, also of iPro says that when it comes to EDRM, the four main factors that drive change are price per gigabyte, processing time, error rate in the processing, and the people to handle the work. The amount of data in question is massive -- so much so that is driving a march toward greater ease of use.
But if it seems that an "out-of-the-box" model has not yet become standard in the industry. So, the ease and use of current EDRM programs do not have the quick "there's an app for that" convenience that lawyers have increasingly demanded in today's ever more discovery laden model.