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New Survey Shows eDiscovery Workload, Predictive Coding Use Increasing – eDiscovery Trends


eDiscovery workload, the use of predictive coding and projected rate of adoption of technically assisted review are all up significantly, according to a new report by recruiting and staffing firm The Cowen Group.

In its Executive Summary, the Q2 2014 Quarterly Critical Trends Report highlighted “three compelling and critical trends”, as follows:

  1. Workload and the rate of increase is up, significantly
  2. The demand for talent is still increasing, however at a much slower rate than last year.
  3. The use of predictive coding (PC) is up by 40 percent but the projected rate of adoption of technically assisted review (TAR) and PC is dramatically up by 75 percent.

The survey represents responses from one hundred eDiscovery partners and litigation support managers/directors from 85 Am Law 200 law firms.  Not all participants responded to all of the questions.  Some of the key findings from the survey are as follows:

  • 64 percent of respondents reported an increase in workload during the first half of 2014, up 12 percent from last year’s survey;
  • For those reporting an increase in workload, 88 percent replied that this growth was attributed to the higher number of cases they are managing, 77 percent attributed it to the larger size of each case and 65 percent attributed it to both factors;
  • 56 responding firms project that their workload will continue to increase over the next 6 months;
  • Despite the increase in workload and expected growth, over half of responding firms (50 out of 96) said the size of their eDiscovery departments has stayed the same, 26 responding firms reported an increase and 20 responding firms reported a decrease;
  • The majority of respondents (55 out of 97) also expect their eDiscovery department sizes to remain the same through the end of the year, with 41 out of the remaining 42 responding firms expecting an increase;
  • Based on responses, the strongest demand for talent over the past 6 months was in the positions of analysts and project managers;
  • As for TAR and predictive coding, 30 out of 78 responding firms reported that their use of TAR in review workflows increased over the last 6 months (46 out of the remaining 48 firms reported that it stayed the same), with a whopping 52 out of 78 responding firms reporting an expected increase over the rest of the year.

The FREE 8 page report has several additional survey results and is presented in an easy to read graphical format.  To review the report, click here.

So, what do you think?  Do any of those numbers and trends surprise you?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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