eDiscovery Daily Blog

Whip Me, Beat Me, Call Me Edna: eDiscovery Trends

If you remember the song from the ‘80s with that title and the group that performed it, then you win the obscure trivia of the day award… :o)

One of the more interesting sessions at this week’s ACEDS conference was the session EDNA Challenge Part 2, where Tania Mabrey, Craig Ball and Tom O’Connor followed up on Craig’s original challenge from seven years ago (discussed in his paper E-Discovery for Everybody: The EDna Challenge) to conduct eDiscovery in a case on a budget of only $1,000.  This time, the challenge was to do so at a cost of $5,000.  While that might seem like an easier challenge, data volumes have risen dramatically, so it may be even more of a challenge than it was back then.

Preceding the session, Craig posted information about his challenge on his blog, Ball in Your Court.  The parameters for the new challenge were as follows:

“Your old friend, Edna, called with a question.  She has a small law firm.  A client is about to send her a Zip file on a thumb drive containing collected ESI in a construction dispute.  It will be PSTs for six people, another four MBOX takeouts from Gmail and a mixed bag of word processed documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint documents, PDFs and “not a lot” of scanned paper documents (sans OCR or load files) for all ten custodians.  There may also be some video, photographs and web content.  “Nothing too hinky,” she promises.  She thinks it will comprise less than 50,000 documents in all, but it could grow to 100,000 items or more.  The contents will unzip to about 10-12 GB in all.”

Among other things, Craig goes on to tell us that Edna will need a review solution that will support three reviewers, review may take up to 90 days, the case may not conclude for up to two years and Edna is willing to spend up to $5,000 “ALL IN, for software, vendor services, SaaS, whatever, exclusive of the cost of her time and staff time), but she won’t spend a penny more.”  The gauntlet is thrown.

So far, there have been 24 responses to Craig’s blog post (and Craig evidently received additional responses via email).  Some are questions or observations from representatives of eDiscovery providers, others are responses from Craig to those questions and observations (let’s just say if you didn’t take the challenge seriously or tried to change the parameters, Craig’s response was direct, to say the least).

In the session, Craig, Tom and Tania reviewed some of the alternatives that had been provided to him, including one from CloudNine (shameless plug warning!), provided by our CEO, Brad Jenkins.  You can read the breakdown of Brad’s offering in the comments to the blog post (Craig’s classic response was “Thanks for the helpful breakout. Can’t help but hear Samuel L. Jackson’s voice in Pulp Fiction: “Look at the big brains on Brad!””).

As an eDiscovery provider that offers a no-risk free trial, we see at least one or two Edna-like clients a week that give our software a try (and, unlike some software platforms, they get the same features and capabilities as our Fortune 500 clients do).  The trend toward automation and the cloud in the industry have made eDiscovery more affordable than ever for the Ednas of the world and CloudNine is proud to be a part of that trend.  No need to whip or beat Edna any more.

So, what do you think?  Do you think that eDiscovery software is now affordable for all lawyers?  Please share any comments you might have with us or let us know 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.