eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery for the Rest of Us: eDiscovery Best Practices

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 eDiscovery and the GDPR: Ready or Not, Here it Comes (which we covered as a webcast), Understanding eDiscovery in Criminal Cases (which we also covered as a webcast), ALSP – Not Just Your Daddy’s LPO and Why Is TAR Like a Bag of M&M’s?. Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding eDiscovery for the smaller cases titled eDiscovery for the Rest of Us that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog (and will cover later this month in a webcast).  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into four parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Here’s the first part.


With the high number of eDiscovery vendors and the huge amount of ED conferences, webinars and seminars, you might ask why we would talk about eDiscovery for “the rest of us”.  eDiscovery was initially seen as the exclusive domain of large firms with large cases in Federal court.  But the fact is that firms of all sizes now must know how to handle electronic discovery efficiently and cost-effectively. Why?

First, most attorneys in private practice are employed by law firms with fewer than 20 lawyers and, in fact, half of all U.S lawyers in private practice are solo practitioners.  Smaller firms mean smaller cases. With the increase in digital activity by people in all areas of their lives, we are now seeing e-discovery become an issue in domestic disputes, employment cases and even criminal matters. All case types handled by small firms.

And the initial Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing ESI have now been emulated in over 2/3 of the states with even an agreed-upon e-discovery exchange protocol between the offices of the U.S. Attorney and the Federal Defenders for criminal cases finding its way into state matters. Coast-to-coast, from California to Florida and from states as populous as New Jersey to mostly rural states such as Louisiana and Alabama, e-discovery is now a local issue.

Indeed, when Bruce Olson and I first gave a presentation called eDiscovery for Small Cases at the ABA TechShow in March of 2010, we didn’t expect much of a turnout.  But the room was packed and we both realized we had struck a nerve.

Why?  Bruce and I called it the Small Case Dilemma.  We’ll explore that issue and others in this paper, as follows:

  1. eDiscovery: The Early Years
  2. The EDna Challenge, 2009
  3. The Ernie Challenge
  4. The EDna Challenge, 2016
  5. What’s Next?
  6. Conclusion

We’ll publish Part 2 – eDiscovery: The Early Years and The EDna Challenge, 2009 – on Thursday.

So, what do you think?  Do smaller litigation cases get shortchanged when it comes to eDiscovery technology?  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.