Bringing eDiscovery In-house
Designing a playbook for your organization
Over the past few years, in an effort to control the well-publicized skyrocketing increases in electronic discovery costs, a number of companies have responded by bringing portions of their eDiscovery processes in-house. One challenge they face is that eDiscovery is complex and requires specialized knowledge of legal procedures, information technology and the flow of information within the company. It can also be demanding because courts and regulatory organizations often set tight deadlines and do not accept excuses for being late.
To improve effectiveness, companies should develop and codify a set of procedures into a formal document; an eDiscovery playbook. The playbook’s purpose is to create a process that is articulated, predictable and repeatable so that it is defensible. It should reduce ad-hoc decision-making and help employees understand their roles and responsibilities. Since eDiscovery costs can escalate rapidly and mistakes can lead to sanctions, the rationale for creating a playbook is no different from other investments that companies make to reduce risks and facilitate quality outputs. Companies using these guides should respond more easily and rapidly than those who use a bespoke approach.
This article is intended to help provide practical advice on the development of a playbook. It focuses on how to preserve and collect data when responding to eDiscovery demands which can be a first step to controlling costs. There are a number of other areas including automation, vetting service providers and approaches to reducing document review costs which a company should consider when taking steps to control costs.
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