eDiscovery Daily Blog

Want to Estimate your eDiscovery Budget? Use One of These Calculators – eDiscovery Best Practices

It has been a busy year for the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).  In addition to announcing a transition to nonprofit status by May 2014, since the May annual meeting, several EDRM projects (Metrics, Jobs, Data Set and the new Native Files project) have already announced new deliverables and/or requested feedback.  Now, another resource is available via the EDRM site – Budget Calculators!

It can be difficult to estimate the total costs for eDiscovery at the outset of a case.  There are a number of variables and options that could impact the budget by a wide margin and it may be difficult to compare costs for various options for processing and review.  However, thanks to the EDRM Metrics team and contributing members, budget calculator Excel workbooks are available to enable you to at least “ballpark” the costs.  The budget calculator spreadsheets are designed to help organizations estimate likely eDiscovery costs, based on assumptions that you provide, such as average hourly rates for contract reviewers or average number of pages per document.

There are four budget calculators that are currently available.  They are:

  • UF LAW E-Discovery Project Ballpark Cost Estimator for ESI Processing and Review: This budget calculator contains two worksheets. The first worksheet allows users to calculate ballpark cost estimates for processing and review under three “cases” (Full blown processing and linear review, Search terms used to cull data during processing and Use analytical culling tool) and compare the results.  The second worksheet allows users to compare four versions of Case 1.  This workbook has been provided by University of Florida Levin College of Law and Vorys law firm.
  • Doc Review Cost Calculator: This budget calculator focuses on review. From assumptions entered by users, it calculates per-document and per-hour (a) low and high price estimates, (b) low and high costs on a per page basis, and (c) low and high costs on a per document basis.
  • ESI Cost Budget: This budget calculator estimates costs by project phase. The phases are: ESI Collection, ESI Processing, Paper Collection and Processing, Document Review, Early Data Assessment, Phase 1 Review, Phase 2 Review, Production, Privilege Review, Review of Opposition’s Production and Hosting Costs.  This workbook has been provided by Browning Marean, DLA Piper law firm.
  • EDRM UTBMS eDiscovery Code Set Calculator: This budget calculator uses the UTBMS e-discovery codes as a starting point for calculating estimated e-discovery expenses. Users enter anticipated average hour rates for: Partners, Associates, Paralegals, Contract reviewers, In-house resources and Vendors, along with total estimated hours for each relevant group and total estimated associated disbursements for each relevant L600-series UTMBS code.  The spreadsheet then displays: a summary of the estimated costs, details of the estimated costs for each combination, totals by type of person and totals by individual and higher-level UTMBS codes.  This workbook has been provided by Browning Marean, DLA Piper law firm; and George Socha, Socha Consulting.

You can download each calculator individually or a zip file containing all four calculators.  If you have your own budget calculator, you can also submit yours to EDRM to share with others.  The calculators are available here.  On Thursday, we will begin reviewing the current budget calculators in more detail.

So, what do you think?  How do you estimate eDiscovery costs?   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.