Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

E-Discovery spurs business for law firms and vendors

Posted by rjbiii on October 22, 2007

According to PC World, the recently enacted amendments to the FRCP dealing with ESI has confounded corporate legal departments to the point that they are looking outside for help? To whom are they turning? Outside counsel, and EDD vendors, of course:

The fourth annual “Litigation Trends Survey Findings” conducted by Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P, a global law firm based in Austin, Texas, found that corporate lawyers — over two-thirds based in the United States and the rest mainly in Britain — cited a big jump in use of outside vendors and outside law firms specializing in the e-discovery field. The industry sectors primarily represented are financial services, technology/communications, manufacturing, healthcare, energy and retail.

I’m not sure about the need to turn to outside counsel, frankly, unless you target a specific attorney based on particularized knowledge of the field. Otherwise, at least for the early stages of a dispute (and, for those companies with sufficient resources), in-house counsel should develop sufficient expertise to lead the e-discovery team initiate projects. Why? Well, the GC only has one “client,” and can afford to become intimately acquainted with its IT enterprise. An outside law firm will never have that opportunity (and even if it wanted to, imagine the billable hours…). Furthermore, outside counsel not only needs to be concerned with the Information Systems of its client, but must also “play offense” and investigate the systems of the adversary. Let the in-house department be the defensive coordinator, and they can take the initiative in the early stages, while overseeing a “smooth handoff” once the preservation (and possibly collection) phases have been completed.

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