eDiscovery Daily Blog

Questions to Answer Before Selecting Your Next eDiscovery Platform: eDiscovery Best Practices

Considering selection of an eDiscovery platform for a case or for your entire organization to use?  A recent article on Legaltech© News provides some useful questions to ask to help select the solution that best meets your needs.

In Buying a New E-Discovery Platform? 8 Questions You Need to Ask First, the author (Zach Warren) reaches out to two prominent e-discovery attorneys: Gareth Evans of Gibson Dunn and John Rosenthal of Winston & Strawn, to get their takes on eight questions that firms should ask themselves before investing in an eDiscovery platform.  We’ll cover them here and I’ll provide some of my own thoughts, as well.

What do your attorneys actually use?

In the article, Evans discussed polling his own attorneys – with something as simple as a SurveyMonkey poll – to determine what platforms they like and dislike and why.  That’s certainly important information to gather.  It has also been my experience that the more attorneys you have, the less likely they are to agree on a preferred platform, so it makes sense to get a sense of the features that are most important to them as well (which conveniently leads right into the next question).  :o)

How will people use the technology?

As the author notes, “it’s important to nail down how the attorneys are actually planning on using the platform”.  Do they require sophisticated analytics capabilities?  Or an easy to use platform that mostly requires baseline functionality.  Rosenthal also notes that much of the evaluation may be done by non-attorneys, so it’s important for those non-attorneys need to spend time to understand the objectives of the case team to select technology that enables the case team to expedite the review.

It’s also important to understand the role of each person using the platform and what their proficiency level is.  Will the firm be using an experienced in-house litigation support person or outside vendor to load data?  Or will attorneys want to manage that process themselves?  With automation tools available today, more attorneys are beginning to actually load their own data.

What are the platforms’ data analytics capabilities, and do we need them?

Both Evans and Rosenthal indicated that the latest and greatest analytics capabilities are often not needed; Evans noted that high-powered analytics could be “overkill” for most users, and Rosenthal noted that “For overwhelming majority of reviews, the most sophisticated analytics such as predictive coding will not be used”.  Some analytics capabilities can be useful in all cases (e.g., domain categorization, thread identification, near-duplicate identification, clustering, etc.) and others are only occasionally needed.  Evans noted that his firm “went with a more basic platform, with the opportunity to use a more robust platform as needed for those more familiar with the technology or as a larger case demands”.  In other words, don’t buy more technology than you need.

Can the firm’s preexisting technology handle the new platform?

Evans says that bringing the firm’s IT department into the process is important.  What if you’re considering a cloud-based eDiscovery solution?  Is it still important?  Absolutely.  At CloudNine, we once had a client that was experiencing all sorts of issues accessing our cloud-based review platform – as it turned out, they had a highly secured network environment that was rather restrictive in access of sites that weren’t “whitelisted” (i.e., registered to allow full access).  Once their IT department whitelisted our site, those issues disappeared immediately.  So, it’s always important, regardless of the type of solutions you’re considering.

Those are the first four questions; tomorrow, we will take a look at the remaining four.

So, what do you think?  What questions did (or would) you ask in selecting your eDiscovery technology solution?  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. 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.