How finding an eDiscovery trusted advisor can save you time and help you get ahead of your competitors
Written by: Neeraj Chand
For the astute litigator, finding the right eDiscovery professional or team to assist you may put you ahead of your competitors.
Most lawyers are busy. More often than not, they don’t have time to get on top of technological issues, as well as run their practices. However, in this day and age, they need to understand what’s going on in eDiscovery.
One shortcut you can use as a lawyer is to build a professional relationship with someone working in the industry who can explain, succinctly and quickly, where eDiscovery is headed and how it can help your practice. This person can then act as your trusted advisor.
Don’t just approach your existing supplier, the biggest supplier, or the first person you find in a Google search. Do some proper research. Talk to people. Find out who is the best person to advise you on your eDiscovery issue.
You are looking for someone who:
- Understands the basic principles of evidence
- Grasps the technical side of eDiscovery software
- Explains technical concepts in clear and concise language
- Thinks outside the box in terms of selecting the appropriate software
- Approaches matters in a commercially pragmatic way
- Has project management skills
- Has the ability to put together the right team for your matter.
When I say ‘grasps the technical side of eDiscovery software’, I don’t mean that it should be mandatory that your trusted advisor is an IT guru. In the past few years, the software behind eDiscovery has become a lot more sophisticated and much more user-friendly. We now have purpose-built applications that can process large amounts of data very quickly, meaning they can deal with big data. There are fewer steps involved and the whole process is much more intuitive, so it’s no longer necessary to have a degree in IT to use the software efficiently and effectively.
You may find that your eDiscovery trusted advisor has legal training because a lot of lawyers have moved into the industry in the past few years. Although this may be helpful, as a lawyer who has worked in the industry for a long time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the principles behind discovery don’t require a legally trained person to understand them. I’ve seen plenty of people pick up the necessary legal knowledge on the job and become excellent eDiscovery professionals. So, even if your preferred eDiscovery expert isn’t a lawyer but you are impressed with their other skills, you should still consider using them to advise you. After all, you are well equipped to check whether they have the requisite legal knowledge.
Once you’ve built a relationship with an eDiscovery expert you trust, they can keep you in the loop in relation to where things are headed, and work with you to find the best eDiscovery solutions for your clients on a case-by-case basis.
After all, the objective with eDiscovery is to provide a bespoke service, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution, that will achieve the best result for your client while saving them money.
Contact me if you need assistance. I am a qualified lawyer and will work with you to build a solution for your matter.