eDiscovery Daily Blog

Government Attorneys Have eDiscovery Issues Too – eDiscovery Trends


When many eDiscovery professionals talk about their clients, they’re usually talking about law firms and corporations.  However, government agencies have their own eDiscovery challenges.  According to findings from Deloitte’s 7th Annual Benchmarking Study of e-Discovery Practices for Government Agencies, attorneys and other professionals in government agencies have their own problems and concerns when it comes to eDiscovery.

One hundred twenty three (123) professionals from various government agencies participated in the survey, with attorneys comprising 80% of the respondents.  Depending on the area, the respondents showed different levels of confidence in their preparedness regarding discovery and handling of discovery matters:

  • When it comes to challenges with regard to handling, processing, reviewing, or producing ESI, the respondents ranked the most significant challenges as follows: 1) Internal systems and processes, 2) Buy-In from senior management, 3) Communicating with IT, 4) Budgetary issues/constraints;
  • When asked if they felt adequately prepared to discuss matters regarding eDiscovery with opposing counsel, 53% of the respondents said ‘Yes’;
  • However, when asked if they feel that you have adequate technical support when dealing with opposing counsel regarding electronic discovery, only 25% of the respondents said ‘Yes’;
  • From a confidence standpoint, 73% of respondents feel as confident or more confident in their ability to manage eDiscovery in their cases.  But, 84% of respondents feel somewhat or not at all effective in their agency’s ability to deal with the challenges of eDiscovery and 80% of respondents feel somewhat or not at all confident that if challenged their agency could demonstrate that their ESI was “accurate, accessible, complete and trustworthy;
  • Predictive coding may be the wave of the future, but only 17% of survey respondents indicated that they had used it in any of their cases;
  • When asked what issues are driving upper management to explore more advanced electronic discovery solutions, the most commonly identified issue was ‘respond to increasing amounts of data’ (20% of respondents).  However, 19% of respondents indicated that their upper management is not actively looking for an eDiscovery solution;
  • Top three challenges in identifying ESI identified by respondents were: 1) Volume of data, 2) obsolete or proprietary data and 3) insufficient manpower.

You can download Deloitte’s 4 page report here.  If you’re not in a mood to read and you like your findings condensed USA Today infographic style, you can open up their one page infographic here.

So, what do you think? Do you work for, or with, government agencies?  If so, do any of these findings surprise you? 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.