More and more corporations are changing the way they handle eDiscovery. Here at BIA, this is music to our ears. Since our founding nearly two decades ago, we have been helping enterprises control their own eDiscovery destinies with the value of Managed eDiscovery Services – and we’re thrilled to see companies embracing that ideal now more than ever.
Back in the late ’90s/early aughts, when eDiscovery was shiny and new, most companies outsourced everything. That made sense then, since the technology was still being created and the EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) wasn’t even established yet. However, with different vendors often handling different aspects in different ways, the process was not exactly efficient.
Eventually, corporations became more comfortable with the process and sought to streamline the way eDiscovery was handled. Many companies started by pulling at least some aspects of eDiscovery in-house with the goal of controlling both data and costs. That seemed like a smart choice at the time, before data collections grew to encompass terabytes and petabytes of information. That ever-growing mountain of data eventually overwhelmed internal resources, and managing eDiscovery in-house became too cumbersome and expensive. Rather than exercising a greater level of control, companies resorted to handling eDiscovery like a fire drill again.
Now, the pendulum is swinging back, and more businesses are realizing the value of Managed eDiscovery Services value. The right eDiscovery partner can help corporations directly manage and centralize their eDiscovery in a way that saves time, money and stress while preserving the corporation’s internal resources to focus on their daily business needs and success.
Why companies are seeking Managed eDiscovery Services Value from vendors.
For some companies, it’s a no-brainer to choose managed services for their eDiscovery needs. Others have come around to that option after experiencing the alternatives. Below are some tales from the eDiscovery trenches that illustrate the risks a company takes when making the wrong choice.
Handling eDiscovery properly and defensibly.
When companies handle any or all of their own eDiscovery needs, they have to be able to prove in court that they followed correct procedures. For example, one case last year gained unwanted notoriety because the eDiscovery process was utterly botched. In Abbott Laboratories et al. v. Adelphia Supply USA et al., the defendants didn’t initially produce documents in the requested manner, providing instead a single 1,941-page PDF. As it turned out, these weren’t even the correct documents.
The defendants tried again, adding to their costs and workload, producing additional rounds of documents which were—you guessed it—still incorrect. Eventually, their opposing party took over, gathered the server data and searched the files themselves. That allowed opposing counsel to not only find the relevant files but also to view the defendants’ errors directly. To make matters worse, the defendants couldn’t explain how they had achieved their results, nor the appearance of intentionally removed relevant documents.
The federal magistrate judge called it a “cautionary tale about how to not conduct discovery” and went on to say the “defendants purposely used search terms designed to fail.” She recommended a default judgment for committing fraud on the court. Ouch.
Controlling data and mitigating risk.
A multinational corporation was trying to keep its data in-house, but out of necessity engaged numerous outside counsels all around the planet. Each of those law firms used a different eDiscovery vendor or vendors, and each handled data differently, with disparate workflows and platforms, to varying results. It proved impossible to keep all those plates spinning, and eventually they started falling and breaking. The company soon realized that involving multiple law firms and vendors increased costs, decreased efficiency, and added risk.
The company came to BIA for help. When we entered the picture, we faced a situation involving over 20,000 GB of data spread across innumerable systems, 450 active matters, 60 active review databases, plus many more inactive matters still spinning unnecessarily. Our first step was to help the company create a centralized repository for all their data and set up standardized workflows, processes and systems across the entire organization, including all its various units and subsidiaries.
We helped this company regain control of their data and the entire process, setting them up for future success and saving them millions each year. Read our “Taming the Data Beast” case study for more detail.
Controlling the process, leveraging the best technology, and reducing costs are all critical parts of the value of Managed eDiscovery Services.
Data is growing exponentially every year, vastly increasing the demand for your people, systems, and budgets. The good news is that better and more advanced technology, and even artificial intelligence options, are continually emerging and improving to help tame that beast. Still, it’s difficult for companies that don’t specialize in eDiscovery to keep abreast and take full advantage of those developments, so internal stress, distraction and wasted costs still rear their ugly heads, often unnecessarily.
Keeping up requires large capital expenses for technologies, personnel, and training. Keeping a constant pulse on new case law and regulations alone can be a full-time job. Consider that you’re also taking on all the legal risk, and the total cost can easily become too great to bear. Managed eDiscovery companies like ours specialize in helping companies take full advantage of those technological developments without exhausting the company’s own efforts, time and human capital—and at a much lower cost.
The Right Partner
The above are only a few reasons that Managed eDiscovery Services is trending up. The key is to find the right, one-stop partner who can help you develop an end-to-end solution that handles all of your eDiscovery needs, and who can be leveraged to help with your regulatory compliance, data security, and other data-intensive needs as well.
You want someone who can do everything necessary while tailoring to the unique needs of your company and its cases. This can include everything from basic eDiscovery tasks to legal advice and strategy, deep data dives using cutting-edge AI platforms, Document Review Services and more.
An end-to-end solution doesn’t necessarily mean one platform for everything — the truth is, no one platform does everything perfectly. It does mean having the right suite of technology options that are bridged together seamlessly and backed with top-notch customer service and expert advice at every step, ensuring your needs are met and your data is safe and secure.
At BIA, we’ve spent every day for the past twenty years creating a strong value of Managed eDiscovery Services for our clients. We create tailored, comprehensive workflows and protocols, help identify custodians and automate legal holds, provide deep analytics, run professional document review with our own team of barred attorneys, and more. We custom-make solutions to fit clients’ individual needs, expertly crafting those solutions to ensure their success. Most of the time, we drastically cut legal spending, and we provide that ever-elusive peace of mind throughout the entire legal process.
Regardless of which partner you choose, there are certain things to consider when shopping for your perfect-fit solution. Check out “7 Reasons to Manage Your Own eDiscovery” as a guide to some of the most important ones to keep in mind.