eDiscovery is something that has been at the heart of many litigation cases against businesses and corporations. For many, the solution lies in having proper eDiscovery software in place, and it is undoubtedly true that having these systems in place significantly reduces the time spent in litigation. However, some also wonder whether the cost of the software justifies the potential benefits, which is something legal expert Matthew F Knouff has been particularly interested in. He has taken on the task of addressing some of the greatest myths about eDiscovery.
eDiscovery Myths and Truths
- Many believe that the value of ECA (early case assessment) is low and that, while eDiscovery makes ECA quicker, it therefore doesn’t justify the cost. In reality, however, the quicker ECA is completed, the better it is for the case as a whole. Of course, completing it later is possible, but it does add new difficulties.
- eDiscovery software solutions are only suitable for companies that store huge amounts of data. Again, the origin of this myth lies in truth: the bigger the company, the bigger the amount of data, the harder it is to find something. However, even small companies now produce huge amounts of electronic data and can therefore also benefit from these solutions.
- Putting eDiscovery software in place will require retraining staff, or adding new members, to handle the software. This myth is definitely untrue, as the package providers also include extensive support to the companies that sign up to it. In fact, that is one of the reasons why the cost for this type of software is often quite high. Furthermore, most packages come with a free trial period, which means a company can determine whether or not it is user-friendly.
- eDiscovery trials are incredibly expensive. This is true particularly in cases where no proper audit software packages have been put into place. Thanks to the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, it is increasingly easy and affordable to start litigation, which is another reason why more companies should focus on having eDiscovery packages in place. Litigation becomes more expensive the longer it goes on. Hence, having proper software solutions in place significant reduces the time spent in trial, and hence significantly reduces cost as well.
eDiscovery is a hugely complex tool available to litigators today, and it has had its difficulties. However, it is now a widely accepted necessity and various rules and regulations exist that enable individuals and other companies to start trials and request eDiscovery. Having proper software packages in place, therefore, is almost a must now. Yes, these packages do cost a lot of money. However, the cost reduction you would see on a single trial is so high, that you may see a tenfold return on investment. Of course, there is a chance that you will never have to go to trial, in which case the money spent on the software package will have been wasted. But how realistic is it to think that you will never face any kind of litigation?