E-Discovery Pet Peeves

I attended a CLE recently that dealt with the topic du jour -- e-discovery. Seems you can’t pick up a CLE calendar without seeing at least two sessions dedicated to the subject, which I guess speaks to just how much it's dominating our thoughts these days.

I must admit this particular program was pretty good, however. At the end of one of the panels -- dealing with corporate costs for e-discovery -- someone asked the question, “What are some of your pet peeves?” The list was insightful so I thought I’d share the panelists' thoughts:

  1. Do not overpromise what you can deliver.
  2. You cannot approach discovery, particularly e-discovery, as a risk-less enterprise. That only creates unnecessary costs and burden and it will never be risk-less.
  3. Don't charge me for “futzing” with the technology. You should know the technology and if you don’t, learn it on your own time.
  4. Every case is matter-specific. It is ridiculous to say “this is the way we do e-discovery” and apply it to every matter.
  5. Clients pay for experience. You better have some.

And last but not least amongst the peeves was:

      6.   Lack of Predictability.

This last one we hear all the time and Counsel On Call has spent a lot of resources creating procedures to address. Our repeatable litigation support processes, and the data that we track and gather on each project for a client, enables that client to better budget each project going forward. In addition, we have done so many of these projects that our experience can add a large degree of certainty with respect to projected costs for even that first engagement.

I was glad to hear some interesting discussion on this subject, and it's clear that a larger percentage of in-house counsel are really taking control of their e-discovery matters -- and, whether working with their internal team or with their legal service partners, are developing progressive concepts of what they want their litigation processes to look like. We're fortunate that we have many clients that fit this mold, and it's exciting to see the results that some of these great concepts produce.

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