counsel of companies can send legal work to foreign lawyers before they leave work each evening and come back in the morning with the completed work ready for review and use. Litigation support can also be provided at all hours of the day because of the time difference.
“Commodity” legal work is bound for substantial growth in the next decade. Companies should pay special attention to developments in outsourcing and offshoring to assess whether such practices can benefit their bottom line.
d. Seek Counsel With Experience and Expertise in Electronic Discovery
No matter how many tasks are internalized, outsourced or offshored, companies in litigation will inevitably need outside counsel to develop the strategy that underlies these tasks, supervise the work, and ensures that the work continues to integrate with and support the trial strategy. There are a number of ways in which companies can make this process cost-effective. Companies should seek counsel with substantial experience with electronic discovery. The following are some questions a company should consider asking a prospective law firm:
Does the firm have dedicated internal resources for data collection and production?
Does the firm understand vendor pricing?
Does the firm have a grasp on information technology systems and networks?
Does the firm have a defined, consistent approach towards each data collection and
What resources and technology are available to the law firm and what is the level of sophistication? For example, does the firm have software that quickly search documents by one or more terms and filter out unresponsive documents?
Does the firm’s infrastructure allow it to perform many of electronic discovery tasks in-house?
Expertise in the above can pare numerous billable hours from a process that is usually one of the most time-consuming aspects of litigation.
For many large companies, litigation is as inevitable as death or taxes. The critical question then is, “How will the costs of litigation be managed in a way that contributes to, rather than detracts from, the overall business strategy?” As more and more companies rely on electronically stored information as their primary, or sometimes only, form of document preservation, it is incumbent upon parties in litigation to address the issues and costs of producing and reviewing electronic data. The first part of article outlined how some lawmakers and courts have responded to such issues. The latter part addressed how companies can approach the costs of electronic discovery. Using the guidelines set forth herein, companies can now formulate their own individual approaches.