E-Discovery Costs and Benefits,Part 1 of 6

eDiscovery Costs and Benefits Part 1 of 6

Beginning with a large volume of raw information, the goal of the process is to present relevant information responsive to the discovery request. Any of the elements shown may be performed in-house or outsourced. Typically, the likelihood of outsourcing increases from left to right. For example, an organization may adequately manage its information assets in-house but look to outside experts to produce and present trial exhibits.

Electronic Discovery Reference Model
Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Because they lack sufficient resources to develop in-house enterprise solutions and/or receive infrequent discovery requests, smaller organizations may look to turnkey outsourcing. However, many organizations are deciding to bring e-discovery in-house. This strategy provides substantial tangible benefits. Direct cost-savings accrue year-by-year. Rigorous policy implementation and directed technology investments diminish business disruption and reduce legal risk in future years. As litigation exposure increases, costs are far better contained.

In either case, organizations must develop document retention policies that preserve essential internal information assets (enterprise content) while minimizing retention of information that serves no business purpose. Studies have found that 84% of information stored and archived by organizations actually has no business or legal utility whatsoever.

In deciding on a more effective information management solution, an organization must weigh the costs and benefits of outsourced discovery processes vs. in-house discovery processes. This paper provides a structure for legal and technology stakeholders to anticipate and quantify e-discovery costs and benefits. By balancing the trade-offs in the legal, technology and business domains, organizations can identify e-discovery solution pathways that make migration toward a comprehensive in-house information management system both feasible and worthwhile.

** This is the first 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.