eDiscovery Daily Blog

Survey of Corporate Counsel Finds that there is Much Room for Improvement in Handling eDiscovery – eDiscovery Trends

Yesterday, we discussed a new self-assessment test that enables organizations to measure their eDiscovery “maturity”.  Today, we look at a new survey of corporate counsel from BDO Consulting that shows that they feel there is substantial room for improvement when evaluating their organizations’ effectiveness in managing eDiscovery.

According to BDO’s press release promoting their inaugural Inside E-Discovery Survey by BDO Consulting, corporate counsel give their internal and external resources a grade of 6.5 out of 10 for overall effectiveness in handling and managing their eDiscovery.  The survey was completed by 100 senior in-house counsel and is scheduled to be released in late October.

Here are the top critical factors identified by in-house legal professionals as impacting their eDiscovery process:

  • Nearly half (48.4 percent) of respondents ranked understanding the universe of potentially responsive evidence early in the case as the most critical factor, more than three times as much as the next ranked factor;
  • 15.6 percent of respondents ranked predicting the total cost of eDiscovery as the most critical factor;
  • 14.1 percent of respondents ranked reducing eDiscovery review fees as the most important factor; and
  • 12.5 percent of respondents reported the ability to use previously collected and processed electronically stored information (ESI) for other matters as the most important factor, pointing to a desire among corporate counsel to achieve efficiencies by reusing prior work product.

When it comes to selecting eDiscovery providers, quality of provider (47.6 percent of respondents) is twice as important as cost (23.8 percent) as the most important factor for provider selection.

Other findings:

  • Response to Challenges: To respond to the increasing challenges of eDiscovery, 31.4 percent of respondents reported implementing new guidelines or policies within the past year to streamline and improve their response to litigation. Just over one in four (25.5 percent) say they have adopted tools and technologies, while 15.7 percent say they have hired an outside vendor.
  • Top eDiscovery Challenges Going Forward: When asked about key forward-looking challenges with regards to eDiscovery management, the largest percentage of in-house counsel (22.5 percent) say managing mobile and social networking data is the number one issue they will face in the near future, followed by cost control (17.5 percent), new regulations (15 percent) and automating processes (12.5 percent).
  • Few Organizations are Ahead of the Curve: Only 5.4 percent of respondents identify their organization as an “early adopter” when it comes to its willingness to adopt new tools and technologies. In addition, only 17.6 percent currently use customized customer portals to view and track project statistics and only 16.2 percent use data visualization techniques to assist in priority processing or review.
  • Spending on the Rise: 43.2 percent of corporate counsel respondents predict eDiscovery spend will increase within the next year, while a mere 6.2 percent expect it to decrease.

An infographic of the survey results is available from BDO Consulting here.

So, what do you think?  Do any of these results 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.