eDiscovery Daily Blog

Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys, Part Two

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Why Does Production Have to be Such a Big Production?, which we will cover as part of a webcast on May 29.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding the biggest eDiscovery challenges facing plaintiff’s attorneys titled (oddly enough) Biggest eDiscovery Challenges Facing Plaintiff’s Attorneys that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into five parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was Tuesday, here is the second part.

Top Three eDiscovery Pain Points Experienced by Plaintiff’s Attorneys

With regard to my question regarding the top 3 pain points in plaintiffs’ eDiscovery work, I thought that the most common answer or problem would be something technical such as exchange protocols and/or load files.  But the clear winner was actually cooperation. The issue of protocols came in behind that along with competence, followed by lack of tools.  After that each of the people responding had an answer somewhat unique to themselves.

Here are the actual answers from each of the experts regarding the top 3 pain points for plaintiffs:

  • Craig: Short Sightedness, Competence, No tools/training
  • Bob: Cavalier Attitude, No knowledge of IG, Lack of tools
  • Drew: Cooperation, Protocols, Motion practice
  • Jean: Producing party issues, Protocols, Search terms
  • Ariana: Competence, Data Dumps, Search terms

Before I look at each of the responses, I should note that Craig Ball had a very insightful overview about the general differences between plaintiff and defense firms in eDiscovery.

“The challenges faced by plaintiffs’ lawyers confronted by eDiscovery flow from structural differences in practice.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers operate as small firms and solos who finance their cases and are compensated on contingency.  So, plaintiffs’ lawyers tend toward frugality (as they are spending their own money) and shy away from capital expenditures that cannot be reliably expensed against the matter. Plaintiffs’ lawyers tend not to possess (or need) the costly in-house IT operations of large defense firms and, crucially, plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t have large support staffs for IT and litigation support because the cost of same can’t be spread across hundreds or thousands of lawyers.”

“Without in-house eDiscovery teams at the ready, plaintiffs’ lawyers are more apt to “wing it” or seek expertise only when obliged to do so on an ad hoc basis.”

We’ll publish Part 3 – Cooperation Challenges – next Monday.

Also, just a reminder that CloudNine will be the Scarlett sponsor of the Murder in the Manor charity fundraiser hosted by Oasis Discovery to be held tonight(!) at The Mansion on O Street in Washington DC (2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036).  CloudNine will be running the Speakeasy, where drinks will be available and a lot of fun will be had.  And, all proceeds from the event will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), which is the largest public, non-profit hunger and nutrition education resource in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  Click here for more information and to purchase your tickets – it’s not too late!  You can even buy tickets at the door!  And, remember, it’s for a great cause.

So, what do you think?  Are you a plaintiff’s attorney?  If so, what are your biggest eDiscovery challenges?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.