Modernizing Your Business Model To Include eDiscovery
If you're writing-off eDiscovery-related costs, it's time to modernize your business model.
eDiscovery is a strategic solution that should be considered part of the core services that you offer. Think of it this way; you wouldn't stop billing the client for time spent on their case, right? Why? Because you’re providing a service.
Chances are if you’re reading this, conducting discovery is an essential part of what you do. Did you ever write off copy charges associated with a document review? Probably not. Why? Because it’s a necessary expense to conduct discovery. Just as writing off copy charges minimizes the importance of the cost, the same applies to eDiscovery services. Write offs (or write downs), specifically for eDiscovery devalues your work and what you offer to the client.
eDiscovery is the modern way of "doing" discovery. You are still conducting discovery, but now there is an "e" in front and finding what you need just got that much easier. Make no mistake, discovery costs remain, but the allocation is different. Instead of paying for boxes of hard copies, you are paying to process and/or host data.
Discovery is notorious for being the most expensive phase of litigation. Utilizing a document review tool, whether in-house, SaaS, or vendor-hosted, WILL reduce time and money spent on review and analysis versus the good ol’ fashion way – yes, this includes manual review and the “high-tech” alternative (pdf).
Whether you use keywords or TAR, it will be more efficient and best of all you have created an iterative and defensible process rather than sitting with a stack of paper that has a bunch of flags and sticky notes hanging off the edge hoping that they don’t fall off your smoking guns.
This transition won’t happen overnight and may take time to wrap your head around modernizing your business model. When it does happen though, please, for the love of cheese, don’t perform a linear review in a database!