In a bid to reduce litigation costs, there is a need to analyze the most prominent components of the electronic discovery procedure that contribute to higher costs. Most of the budget is drained by the processing and reviewing stages, causing corporations to seek alternatives. Some possible alternative approaches are discussed below.
Less data retention through information management – This is one method that can assist in the reduction of costs to a large extent. Companies can institute a policy whereby all unnecessary documents that are not relevant for business prospects, and those that do not have any legal or compliance significance, be deleted and erased after a certain duration. An efficient document retention policy is most effective when it discards all wasteful data collected during the ongoing e-discovery process.
A thorough assessment of your case and issues – Early case assessments can significantly help to reduce the excessive expenses involved in e disclosure cases. To accelerate early case assessments, legal teams need to have an understanding of the facts that govern the case without investing too much time in the process. Experts who are able to evaluate the case proficiently can execute better and quicker decisions to wrap up the case. A prolonged case incurs added expenditures. Early case assessments are conducted to facilitate identification of data that may have e discovery value, prioritize the relevant portion, collect it, process and analyze it in order to comprehend the case and derive the estimated costs for the eventual process of e discovery.
Promoting in-house e discovery – In-house e discovery is one of the most useful methods of reducing e discovery costs. Bringing a portion of the process, or even the whole process in-house, can be quite cost-effective compared to the costs charged by outsourcing law firms or service providers. Having an in-house e discovery in operation provides better control and security enforcement. Thus, investing in litigation support software is much less expensive than allocating for service costs that are ever changing.
Preservation and collection of less data – Preserving and collecting less data at every stage definitively reduces culling and reviewing time while also lowering costs.
Processing of less data – When less data is preserved and collected, processing also becomes faster.
Processing and reviewing in native format – The traditional methods of e discovery used converted image formats, such as TIFF, etc., for processing and reviewing documents. However these processes proved to be intensive and expensive. Thus, to avoid pitfalls, many prefer to do the processing and reviewing procedures in native or near native formats.
Review less data, faster – The culling of data using techniques such as keyword search, concept search, de-duplication, fuzzy search, and others, can make it possible to review smaller amounts of data. This expedites the process and reduces legal investigation costs.
The aforementioned legal disclosure approaches are effective ways to reduce costs, but the extent of each procedure will differ as some may be more effective than others. Each one of these methods has its own advantages and drawbacks, and a combination of various techniques would perhaps yield the positive results that every organization is looking for.