eDiscovery Daily Blog

Four More Tips to Quash the Cost of eDiscovery – eDiscovery Best Practices

Thursday, we covered the first four tips from Craig Ball’s informative post on his blog (Ball in your Court) entitled Eight Tips to Quash the Cost of E-Discovery with tips on saving eDiscovery costs.  Today, we’ll discuss the last four tips.

5. Test your Methods and Know your ESI: Craig says that “Staggering sums are spent in e-discovery to collect and review data that would never have been collected if only someone had run a small scale test before deploying an enterprise search”.  Knowing your ESI will, as Craig notes, “narrow the scope of collection and review with consequent cost savings”.  In one of the posts on our very first day of the blog, I relayed an actual example from a client regarding a search that included a wildcard of “min*” to retrieve variations like “mine”, “mines” and “mining”.  Because there are 269 words in the English language that begin with “min”, that overly broad search retrieved over 300,000 files with hits in an enterprise-wide search.  Unfortunately, the client had already agreed to the search term before finding that out, which resulted in considerable negotiation (and embarrassment) to get the other side to agree to modify the term.  That’s why it’s always a good idea to test your searches before the meet and confer.  The better you know your ESI, the more you save.

6. Use Good Tools: Craig provides another great analogy in observing that “If you needed to dig a big hole, you wouldn’t use a teaspoon, nor would you hire a hundred people with teaspoons.  You’d use the right power tool and a skilled operator.”  Collection and review tools must fit your requirements and workflow, so, guess what?  You need to understand those requirements and your workflow to pick the right tool.  If you’re putting together a wooden table, you don’t have to learn how to operate a blowtorch if all you need is a hammer and some nails, or a screwdriver and some screws for the job.  The better that the tools fit your workflow, the more you save.

7. Communicate and Cooperate: Craig says that “Much of the waste in e-discovery grows out of apprehension and uncertainty.  Litigants often over-collect and over-review, preferring to spend more than necessary instead of giving the transparency needed to secure a crucial concession on scope or methodology”.  A big part of communication and cooperation, at least in Federal cases, is the Rule 26(f) conference (which is also known as the “meet and confer”, here are two posts on the subject).  The more straightforward you make discovery through communication and cooperation, the more you save.

8. Price is What the Seller Accepts: Craig notes that there is much “pliant pricing” for eDiscovery tools and services and relayed an example where a vendor initially quoted $43.5 million to complete a large expedited project, only to drop that quote all the way down to $3.5 million after some haggling.  Yes, it’s important to shop around.  It’s also important to be able to know the costs going in, through predictable pricing.  If you have 10 gigabytes or 1 terabyte of data, providers should be able to tell you exactly what it will cost to collect, process, load and host that data.  And, it’s always good if the provider will let you try their tools for free, on your actual data, so you know whether those tools are worth the price.  The more predictable price and value of the tools and services are, the more you save.

So, what do you think?  What are you doing to keep eDiscovery costs down?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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