E-Discovery Costs and Benefits, Part 6 of 6: Benefits of Bringing Electronic Discovery In-House

Part 6 of 6: Benefits of Bringing Electronic Discovery In-House

Information Security Gains
Security risks are frequently overlooked when an organization evaluates an e-discovery solution. Organizations must recognize that every time critical legal information is accessed by a third-party there is an increased risk that information will be compromised and misused. While it is obvious that a poorly implemented in-house solution may not compete with a well managed and efficient outsourced solution, the final decision must incorporate a thorough risk assessment of the information being handled. Security concerns may prevail over performance criteria, giving the edge to the in-house e-discovery solution.

Adaptability to Changing Regulatory and Judicial Discovery Requirements
In a time of increasing regulatory oversight and constantly evolving judicial discovery rules, a flexible (i.e., easily adaptable) in-house information management capability can accommodate changes more readily. By delivering more targeted and focused data sets early in the process, cost savings will multiply during the time-consuming review and analysis phases. An outsourced solution will struggle to extract relevant data from unmanaged and poorly cataloged data repositories.

In conclusion, the massive amount of information created and stored by an organization presents a challenge when a response to a discovery request is necessary. It then becomes more evident that most of its ESI is unstructured and unmanaged. This is the environment that drives the escalating costs of e-discovery. Even the control promised by document management systems proves illusory. Because enterprise content inevitably remains outside such systems, they are unreliable solutions for e-discovery.

To realize cost efficiencies, an organization should manage its information assets once to meet all its internal needs and external demands. By effectively managing enterprise content — rather than emphasizing control — executives and staff can focus on strategic mission goals. That is why comprehensive in-house information management (Phase 1 in the EDRM) establishes the best foundation for a successful e-discovery response.

An in-house solution, utilizing suitable third-party software, provides an organization with several benefits as e-discovery requests are addressed:

• Direct and indirect cost savings in the legal, technology and business domains through increased efficiency and reduced disruption;
• Enhanced information security by internalizing more of the e-discovery processing tasks; and
• Improved agility when complying with changing regulatory and judicial requirements.

Each organization must determine the appropriate blend of in-house efforts and outsourced tasking at each phase of the e-discovery process. The EDRM provides one framework to make this assessment. A large organization experiencing recurring litigation may adopt a fully-integrated in-house solution while a smaller organization may outsource a greater number of tasks. Regardless, the goal is to transform an e-discovery request from an unwelcome pressure point to a demonstration of the organization’s capability to marshal its enterprise content with minimal disruption to ongoing business operations.

** This is the last part in a six-part series which comprise an abridged version of the article “eDiscovery Costs and Benefits,” written by Daniel Garrie and published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal. To request a PDF of the complete article, please contact Law & Forensics.