eDiscovery

Ready, Set, Recover: Attain eDiscovery Cost Recovery with CloudNine

There’s a simple truth to running any business, including legal service providers and law firms: Profitability means you need to make more money than you spend. While this seems like an easy concept to follow, there are hidden or unexpected costs which can jeopardize your ability and financial performance. 

One of the biggest culprits behind your firms’ rising operating costs is legal data collection and review. As data sizes and timelines become more unpredictable so does the price of eDiscovery services. 

eDiscovery costs are on the rise for three main reasons:

  1. Exponential growth in data: As our communications have become more sophisticated, so has eDiscovery. Previously, cases including paper files now include financial transactions, geolocation, slack messages and more. This has led to an ever-expanding amount of data associated with new cases.
  2. Complex technology: Many eDiscovery solutions operate more like IT systems, requiring servers, networks, desktops, applications, etc. This requires firms who insource their eDiscovery to maintain a team of IT professionals to manage any updates that may arrive. 
  3. Complex infrastructure:  The fear of missing critical deadlines has driven system architects to prepare for extreme one-off situations versus everyday matters resulting in overbuilt and overcomplicated review solutions. 

The Most Common Cost Recovery Models

Despite the unpredictable cost of eDiscovery, nearly 82% (1) of LSPs and law firms continue to pass these costs along to their clients even though they typically recover only 77% of the costs (2).

The most common cost recovery models are:

  1. Billable hours for time spent performing eDiscovery services:  This typically results in minimal pushback from the clients since they’re accustomed to paying by the hour. 
  2. Billable hours + hosting:  Usually charged per GB, hosting fees allow you to recoup more of your eDiscovery costs but are not always accepted by clients as actual legal work. 
  3. Third-party style:  Charging fees like a vendor allow you to recoup costs for specific line items like GBs processed and hosted, analytics, and licensing fees. 

Surprisingly, 13% of LSPs and firms simply absorb the cost of eDiscovery rather than bill their clients (3).   The most common reasons for this are:

  • They practice in an ultra-competitive market
  • They honor previous agreements
  • They take on non-billable projects

To recoup more of your eDiscovery investment, read on to learn the steps you can take to optimize your cost recovery efforts or download our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery: 6 Steps to Make Your Review Process More Profitable for a more expansive look into cost recovery. 

1.  Quantify Your Current Cost Recovery Challenges

Identifying all the costs associated with your eDiscovery lets you know where, how, and when you’re losing money. A few of the factors you should assess include:

  • Total annual eDiscovery and document review costs
  • Total revenue from eDiscovery
  • Cost comparison of running eDiscovery document review solutions in-house versus outsourcing. 

2.  Re-examine the Cost of eDiscovery Insourcing versus the Benefits of Outsourcing

While larger law firms can afford complex eDiscovery technology, smaller LSPs and firms need to balance cost and functionality to optimize cost recovery. They need to consider things like:

  • What pricing model makes the most sense?
  • What technology is more economical to own versus lease?
  • What features and functionality do you need to provide your users?

3.  Right-Size Your eDiscovery Data

With data volumes increasing exponentially, you need to be smart about what data you’re hosting in the cloud. By culling your data on-premise, you can reduce your hosting costs before you move it to the cloud. 

4.  Be Strategic About Your Storage

Not every client needs a lot of data storage. Adopt a solution that allows you to adapt your storage strategy on a case-by-case basis so you’re not stuck offering a single standard storage model to clients that may need smaller options.

5.  Choose Self-Service, Easy-to-Use Tools

Your cost recovery is much easier when your internal staff can perform eDiscovery during billable hours. By adopting a solution that’s simple and easy to run, you reduce the need for additional external services.

6.  Standardize Through One Primary Vendor

The more eDiscovery vendors you engage with, the more complex things get – more contracts, more fees, more systems to learn. Look for a single self-model with lost costs, flexible storage plans, and easy-to-use tools to optimize your cost recovery.

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to improve your eDiscovery cost recovery, it’s time to go a little deeper to understand the benefits of an eDiscovery solution that’s perfectly suited to help you earn more than you spend. Click here to request a demo of CloudNine Review and learn how to make your review process more profitable. 

 

Sources

(1), (2), (3):  2019 eDiscovery Billing Survey

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Modern Data Solution?

Why a Modern Data Review Platform is Critical to eDiscovery

When legal professionals first incorporated electronically stored information (ESI) into their eDiscovery document review process, it opened the door for a variety of digital data types to be used in investigation and litigation. 

It didn’t take long for eDiscovery to begin taking in ESI like emails, documents, spreadsheets, databases, CAD/CAM files, digital images, and websites. These have remained the primary sources of digital discovery data used by legal professionals. 

However, as technology continues to evolve, new modern data types are becoming increasingly vital in litigation. These new modern data types fall under five primary categories, in addition to traditional eDiscovery: 

  1. Communication
  2. Computer/User Activity 
  3. Geo-location tracking (location tracking software)
  4. Financial Transactions
  5. Social Media

These modern data types have their own unique uses and their associated metadata allows you to create a chronological list of events and user activities so you can gain context where it did not exist in traditional discovery. 

Here are just a few examples of how it works:

  • By gathering data on computer activity, you’re able to see when individuals upload documents to Google Drive or download them onto thumb drives. 
  • Geolocation lets you determine where a computer activity took place so you know if they were at home, in the office, or at another location.
  • By using the metadata associated with different communication applications, you can track and document relevant dialogue between two parties as they carry their conversation from one device or application to another. 

With these additional data types, you’re able to tell a complete story through your legal review when combining traditional and modern data, in one unified eDiscovery platform

As more modern data forensic artifacts emerge, CloudNine is doing our part to help your eDiscovery team gain the context and confidence you need to solve your cases. Sign up to receive updates on our offerings here.

Reconstructing Digital Conversations To Unveil The Full Picture

In a modern data eDiscovery solution, you can do things that simply aren’t possible or are too difficult or costly to do in a traditional document review-centric platform. 

In a traditional legal document review platform, communication between two individuals would be collected and stored as individual documents. This means the context of the whole conversation including text before and after the individual messages could lose context in the conversation, leaving a void in the interpretation.

A modern data review platform allows you to collect data from multiple devices and applications including traditional ESI and loose files. By using the metadata associated with the collected data, you can select two individuals and review all communication between them in a chronological timeline. Now you have the context to perform the smartphone forensics and short message discovery you need to follow a conversation that began in Slack but transitioned to text messaging before concluding in WhatsApp.

Cell Phone Discovery: Reviewing Text Messages In a Modern Data Review Platform

Traditional legal review platforms are often inefficient when reviewing text messages. In a traditional platform, text threads are converted to PDF requiring each thread to be reviewed, text-by-text. In this case, five individuals in a group text messaging thread, means you’ll see the same message collected five times. This results in a lot of time and money wasted redacting large parts of the text thread, irrelevant to the topic. 

Smartphone data discovery allows you to filter duplicate messages, and remove 20-30% of the collected data.  With a simple click of a button, modern eDiscovery review allows you to select the text messages you want to advance and remove the irrelevant text from long or group threads.

Another challenge for traditional review platforms is the inability to maintain native formats for data. By relying on screenshots or PDFs, organizations using older platforms can fall victim to doctored images that could affect the course of the litigation. 

For example, in Rossbach v. Montefiore Medical Center, a plaintiff used screenshots of a text message to attempt to prove that her former employer had sexually harassed, then fired her. The message was allegedly sent to her iPhone 5 which cannot run an operating system beyond iOS 10. A forensics investigator examined the screenshot and discovered an emoji present in the image was a version not available until iOS 13 was released.

Modern eDiscovery review platforms capture text message formats (MMS and SMS) in their native format so there’s no risk of fraudulent or altered data in the review.  A unified eDiscovery platform will combine both traditional and modern data without creating documents from modern data sources.

Learn more about how your legal team can hit the eDiscovery bullseye with every data type with CloudNine Review here.

Why Organizations Are Hesitant to Commit to a Modern Data Review Platform

Some organizations are hesitant to adopt a modern data review platform because of their apprehension to change standard operations. They’re unwilling to change their review mentality from document-based to metadata-based or a hybrid of both.  After all, if it’s working, why change it?  

Many organizations are also forced to break-out their review processes among multiple platforms – one for traditional data like emails and Word documents and one for modern data like geolocation, social media and computer activity. 

In addition, there are some objections to native file production:

  • Retrieval of native files after initial document collection would mean additional costs.
  • Redaction is difficult or even impossible with some native file types.
  • Image-based productions are often accepted in court. 
  • Static images are equally useful for analysis and review of native files.
  • Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 does not specifically require native formats.

However, as modern data types become more common and important, organizations are beginning to understand that using a traditional, legacy document solution to review modern data is becoming burdensome, expensive, and slow. 

How a Modern Data Review Platform Simplifies eDiscovery

Simply put, a modern data review platform like CloudNine’s ESI Analyst organizes your data more efficiently by using metadata to sort modern data types by recipients, senders, timestamps, locations, and computer activity. 

The data is then tagged under one of the following data types:

  1. Call logs and voice mails 
  2. Chat applications (WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc.)
  3. Email
  4. Corporate chat applications (Slack, MS Teams, etc.)
  5. Text Messages (SMS, MMS)
  6. Computer activity 
  7. Geolocation
  8.  Social media
  9.  Financial transactions 

In addition, with a built-in foreign language tool, you have access to more than 80 supported languages so nothing gets lost in translation.

While legacy document review solutions are limited to reviewing documents, they miss key data points like geolocation, financial transactions, and other pertinent data that does not fit in a document-centric workflow.  The CloudNine, integrated solution allows you to filter, search, tag, and review all data in one platform.  

Let CloudNine help you integrate a modern data review platform into your eDiscovery processes. We can train your case teams quickly so they’re up and running in 15-20 minutes. To learn more about how our modern data solution can make your eDiscovery processes more efficient, drop us a line

Remote eDiscovery: Uncovering eDiscovery Best Practices From Home

When businesses and governments began shutting down due to the COVID-19 virus, it fast-tracked the slow and cautious transition to remote work begun by legal service providers

LSPs had already begun finding success operating in remote environments, using the cloud for eDiscovery data storage, processing, review, and analytics. 

However, it wasn’t until companies were forced to send their employees home to work that traditional legal departments and law firms began adapting to remote work environments. This led to finally upgrading, optimizing, and strengthening their infrastructure to accommodate this new normal. 

While this transition was a nerve-wracking experience for some, statistics tell us that remote work environments are not only possible but preferred:

  • 71% of companies have a new, positive view of remote work environments. (IDG).
  • 59% of remote U.S. workers would prefer to continue working remotely. (Gallup).
  • 69% of remote U.S. workers reported their productivity levels are the same or higher when working from home. (Citrix).

With a more productive eDiscovery solution, your LSP is set up for success. Learn about four other ways your organization can build value and boost margins in our ebook here.

The Benefits of Remote eDiscovery Tools

As foreign a concept remote working seemed to be, the benefits were obvious from the very beginning. Roadblocks were quickly reconciled, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs associated with eDiscovery

This was expedited by the realization that while personnel were becoming increasingly more dispersed, the eDiscovery data they were working with was becoming more centralized due to the cloud. Secured cloud environments allowed for a more efficient and effective workflow to collect, process, host, review and produce critical data. 

Other benefits of remote eDiscovery tools include:

  1. Lower-touch processes so you have fewer discoverable copies and less movement and enhanced control of data
  2. No geographical workforce restrictions so you can bring in the best people no matter where they live
  3. Easy scalability for near-instant provisioning or decommissioning
  4. Cost-effectiveness that allows you to shift from CapEx to OpEx

How Secure is Remote eDiscovery?

For some traditionalists, as well as others that are simply more cautious by nature, there’s a question of data security that has them hesitant to embrace a remote eDiscovery solution. However, there’s nothing to fear with the right eDiscovery solution.

Simply put, eDiscovery cloud computing provides a secured digital environment that protects the integrity of your data. To ensure this, there are certain security protocols your LSP must follow to guarantee your data security. 

  • Personnel should only use company devices or assets when working remotely
  • Data encryption must be used in transit
  • Multi-factor authentication must be deployed
  • Secured connectivity must be ensured for all employees 

With these protocols in place, your data is secure from all but the most devious and skilled cybercriminals. The only thing you’re missing is the perfect partner to provide a solution that makes sense for you and your clients. 

The CloudNine Remote eDiscovery Solution

Offering speed, security, and simplicity, CloudNine Explore empowers LSPs with a remote eDiscovery solution that allows you to investigate issues, assess risks, confirm compliance and begin early case assessment quickly and easily. 

More importantly, with CloudNine Explore, you’ll maintain the highest quality of data processing by leveraging these benefits:

  • Process as many as 1 million records per hour
  • Deploy CloudNine anywhere through a single workstation deployment
  • Easily scale up or down across multiple secured devices with mobile access
  • Effectively manage remote teams with powerful administrative and user controls
  • Remove bottlenecks by reprioritizing projects and reviewers as needed
  • Use deduplicate, filter, and search functions to reduce your data and hosting fees

Discover what CloudNine Explore can do for your remote eDiscovery team here.

Finding Value in CloudNine Explore’s eDiscovery Tool

CloudNine Explore gives you early visibility into the size and scope of your eDiscovery data so you can determine costs upfront. By insourcing your eDiscovery solution, you can cull data before you send it out, resulting in a significant ROI by:

  • Reducing costs associated with data collection, processing, hosting, and review
  • Mitigating risks by identifying problems easier and quicker
  • Opting to deploy on-premise or in the cloud

While most eDiscovery solutions only work with traditional datalike documents, emails, and spreadsheets, CloudNine now has the ability to work with modern data like:

  • Communication (texts, MMS, etc.)
  • Computer Activity
  • Geolocation
  • Financial Transactions
  • Social Media

To learn more about our modern data solutions, read the announcement on our acquisition of ESI Analyst.

By providing you with the ability to work remotely, scale quickly to take on more clients, or pivot for new types of data, CloudNine Explore allows you the flexibility to explore your options as an LSP so you can decide best practices for your organization and your clients. 

To see firsthand how CloudNine Explore can improve your remote eDiscovery solutions, schedule a free demo today.

 

Document Review in a Remote World

COVID-19 has transformed the document review process. Traditionally, document review was conducted in person by experts at review centers. As COVID-19 rates increased, fears for individual health and safety mandated the transition to remote review. Though remote review became a sudden necessity, it’s not a new concept. The transition began long before the pandemic at a slow but steady pace. More and more organizations transitioned their discovery to the cloud after recognizing the financial and security benefits. Even without the pandemic-induced acceleration, the trend would have accumulated more momentum with time. Nonetheless, organization that were unprepared or on the fence were suddenly faced with new challenges and security demands. No one knows if remote review will be the new “normal.” It’s too soon to judge the permanency of the change. For now, organizations should recognize the benefits of the opportunity and adjust their review procedures accordingly.

The Benefits of Remote Review

  • Through remote operation, document review has become more flexible than ever. Talented experts from various states can provide their expertise. Organizations with remote review are not restrained by geographical limitations when seeking qualified providers. The geographic freedom also eliminates the need to pay for a provider’s travel and lodging.
  • Providers have shown increased morale and productivity due to greater flexibility with their hours and breaks. They are also spared from commute expenses. Through happier employees, organizations can raise the efficiency of their review process.
  • Through remote review, organizations gain cloud scalability. Resources and storage space can be altered to quickly meet changing demands.
  • By reducing the production of discoverable copies, remote review can offer some security advantages. Organizations can also strengthen their  security by using multifactor authentication tools. [1]
  • Remote review minimizes the risks associated with employee movement. The workforce is like a revolving door; new employees constantly join and leave their jobs. Though this cycle is normal, it often leads to the accidental corruption or destruction of valuable data. Since remote review is convenient and flexible, it often improves employee retention. [2]

Tips on Handling Document Review

  • Optimize communication among counsel, reviewers, and clients through collaboration tools and teleconferences.
  • Collaborate with your team to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your security and operation needs. This plan should address topics such as staffing, training, and oversight measures.
  • Before establishing a review plan, ask your providers about the quality of their review space and security measures. [3]
  • Consult with your clients and partners as you draft your remote review policies.
  • Keep your data secure through a VPN, multifactor authentication tool, and/or an access program. [4]

 

[1] David Greetham, “Remote eDiscovery: Pandemic Accommodation or Improvement,” Above The Law, May 29, 2020.

[2] Antonio Rega, “Understanding the E-Discovery Implications of Employee Status Changes,” Today’s General Counsel, April 7, 2014.

[3] Jonathan Hurtarte, “Insight: Covid-19 and E-Discovery Challenges With Remote Document Review,” Bloomberg Law, May 11, 2020.

[4]  SKJ Juris, “Impact of Covid-19 on Remote Document Review,” SKJ Juris, 2020.

How to Maintain eDiscovery Data Integrity

Emails, text messages, legal documents, written letters, faxes, and more: your eDiscovery team sorts, reviews, and analyzes all of these documents and more during the span of a legal case. When handling these confidential documents, it is important to keep these documents safe and secure. 

As a vital part of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), any data collected is done so with the intent to capture it exactly as intended or as it was actively being used. This ensures the searchability and traceability of your data so it can be properly collected, indexed, and documented for use in litigation.

To simplify this for eDiscovery, data integrity means ensuring the legal data you collect is accurate and consistent throughout its lifecycle. Maintaining eDiscovery data integrity is not only vital for the privacy and protection of your clients, but also for the integrity of your legal investigation.

At CloudNine, we take data integrity very seriously. Read on to learn about our recommended best practices for maintaining data integrity during your eDiscovery process or learn how we put those best practices into play with CloudNine Explore here.

Protecting the Quality of Your eDiscovery Data

Data types are constantly evolving. By 2025, the number of IoT devices deployed globally will surpass 25 billion. 

The variety, velocity, and complexity of electronic evidence multiply with each new generation and innovation of data technology. While email, spreadsheets, and documents are still the primary form of data collected, social media, streaming data, and data products continue to rise in prevalence. 

This rise in data types means your vigilance must increase with the introduction of each new technology or update with the average U.S. civil case collecting 130 GBs of data the average U.S. civil case collecting 130 GBs of data

To protect your clients and your firm, know the factors which can affect your eDiscovery data integrity:

  1. Mistakes due to human error: Your eDiscovery data integrity can become jeopardized any time human involvement is required. Data can be input incorrectly, duplicated, or deleted. Protocols, methods, or procedures can be ignored or designed incorrectly.   
  2. Transfer errors: If your eDiscovery data isn’t transferred properly from one database to another or if one is damaged or compromised, your file could become fragmented or corrupted. 
  3. Viruses or malware: Any outside software that can infiltrate your network has the potential to alter, erase or steal critical data.
  4. Compromised hardware: Any time your network experiences a significant failure like a computer or server crash, your hardware can become compromised. This could cause your eDiscovery data to be corrupted or inaccessible.

To ensure the quality of your eDiscovery data, you need to adopt a proven data collection solution that can operate efficiently, securely, and in a forensically sound manner. This means there’s no question concerning the quality of your data or any copies made. It also needs to be able to:

  • Work with modern data types
  • Work with a variety of data types
  • Pull many different fields of data

When you are able to easily and securely perform eDiscovery data collection, your legal team will be able to take on more cases and increase margins for your LSP. Learn more about this in our eBook: 4 Ways Legal Service Providers Can Build Value and Boost Margins.

Best Practices for Ensuring eDiscovery Data Integrity

To ensure eDiscovery data integrity for your clients, implement the following best practices:

  1. Understand Your eDiscovery Solution: Knowing the capabilities and limitations of your data collection software allows you to use it in the most efficient manner possible.
  2. Validate the Data: Confirm the data you collect is correct before you upload it to your server. 
  3. Implement Access Controls: Only necessary personnel should have access to the data so there’s less chance of data being compromised or corrupted.
  4. Maintain an Audit Trail: Any change to the data can have an impact on your litigation, so you need to know who touched what files when they accessed them, and what they did to them. 
  5. Backup Your Data: Regularly scheduled and reliable data backups are essential in the event of data loss. 
  6. Deploy Cybersecurity Measures: From timely software patches to limiting physical access to computers and servers, all known security vulnerabilities should be monitored and secured to prevent outside interference.
  7. Workforce Training: Every member of your team that has access to the data should be trained to follow data integrity guidelines to ensure the reliability of the data.

How CloudNine Explore Helps You Ensure eDiscovery Data Integrity

Data integrity is the foundational element to your eDiscovery processWith CloudNine Explore, you can ensure you get it right through our innovative approach to eDiscovery data collection:

  • Navigate through data to determine risk, scope, and cost up-front
  • Review new data with automated and in-person processes
  • Securely upload, process, and preserve data critical to your investigation or litigation
  • Step-by-step and advanced user workflows
  • Data, domain, file type, and additional filtering
  • Search term testing and reporting
  • File copies are created when exported
  • Provide information as required for legal production or continued investigation

Make your cases defensible and your firm profitable with eDiscovery solutions from CloudNine. With easy-to-deploy solutions that protect your eDiscovery data integrity, CloudNine is flexible and adaptable to meet any eDiscovery needs you have. Schedule a free demo today. 

How Automation Complements the Human Side of eDiscovery Review

If there’s one constant throughout human history, it’s that change is inevitable. In the legal world, some law firms and legal service providers often keep the status quo hoping they won’t be affected by the changes around them. For the rest, they adapt and integrate new eDiscovery technologies to include features like automation to find successful ways to overcome these changes. 

Adopting new technology is never an easy transition and it does come with concerns. But, we’re still not at a place where the software can litigate your case and accurately assign classifications for each document without human input. The need for human reviewers will always have incredible value to your firm but, automating the common challenges of eDiscovery document review will help your team work faster and more effectively. 

Learn how automation and eDiscovery come together to accelerate your legal document review process here.

Differences in Opinions: eDiscovery Solutions

Legal document reviewers are usually specially trained associates who need to analyze complex information quickly and make decisions based on:

  • Relevance
  • Privilege
  • Responsiveness
  • Confidentiality

Unfortunately, there’s often a difference of opinion within these teams which can lead to inaccuracy and inconsistencies in the classification of documents. In fact, in a study released by Autonomy, Inc., experts from seven professional review teams were asked to review a selected set of 28,000 documents. In the end, the experts unanimously agreed on the classification of only 43% of the documents

This means more than half of your documents could potentially be misclassified making your eDiscovery more challenging. 

Removing the Guesswork in Legal Document Review

Legal document reviewers are often presented with a broad overview of the matter along with a binder of protocols and example documents. This training includes little eDiscovery data and a lot of guesswork as to what is being sought after in the documents.

A few days – or sometimes weeks – after the eDiscovery review has begun, a quality control team reviews the progress to identify discrepancies in classification and specific reviewers with low accuracy.  At this point, the reviewing team is retrained with more specific protocols based on the errors uncovered. 

Having more accurate protocols from the onset of your legal document review supports productivity and avoids wasted time and effort.  

With improved efficiency, your legal team is one step closer to optimizing your eDiscovery review process. Learn how to accelerate your eDiscovery even more in our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery .

Flawed Legal Document Review Protocols

When legal review protocols are established, they’re usually created by subject matter experts, well-versed in the matter. Despite their credentials, the initial review protocols can suffer from two primary flaws:

Flaw 1: Lack of Knowledge: When the expert creates the review protocols, they usually do so before they’ve had a chance to review the documents in context to better account for variations in the review set.

Flaw 2: Lack of Understanding: Once the protocols are written, the reviewers have to fully understand them or efforts to accurately classify documents becomes much more difficult and error-prone. 

Improving eDiscovery Review with Better Protocols and More Accurate Classifications

Errors and inefficiency in document review is often linked to insufficient training.  Review teams will struggle to understand exactly what they’re looking for if protocols are too vague and don’t account for unforeseen variations.  This results in too many discrepancies in your document classification. 

The solution lies in leveraging automation to support human expertise and equip them with sound training of the review protocols and classifications.

Establishing Stronger Protocols for Legal Document Review 

First, select a diverse collection of documents through early sampling so your expert can review an ample variety of documents, concepts and classifications.  As you create the review protocols, allow your review team to interact with these documents for more hands-on experience with the document set. 

Next, ask each reviewer to classify the same small batch of documents so you can provide immediate feedback on their classifications. If they classified a document incorrectly, you now have an opportunity to question their decision-making to determine why they did it and if the protocols were unclear or misleading.

Get More Accurate eDiscovery Classifications

Once training is complete, you can review the results to check the accuracy of each reviewer. This helps you identify individuals on your review team who need additional training. In addition, you can create a threshold accuracy score each reviewer is required to meet before they’re allowed to begin reviewing actual documents from the data set. 

This level of review evaluation helps:

  • Identify poorly performing reviewers
  • Informs your decision-making on review assignments
  • Improves the overall quality of the early stages of the review

All of these lead to more accurate and cost-effective reviews.

Using CloudNine Review Automation to Improve eDiscovery Review

CloudNine Review offers an automated eDiscovery solution that’s fast, affordable, and easy to use. By utilizing the automation in our solution, you’ll be able to improve your training based on your reviewers’ accuracy and speed. This allows you to:

  • Create immediate feedback and critique for your reviewers.
  • Establish a more thorough understanding of classification protocols.
  • Improve review efficiency making it faster and more accurate.

Plus, you’ll be able to improve your initial review protocols by tracking which were misunderstood by your reviewers so you can determine why they were misunderstood and what you can do to make them more understandable. 

It’s time for you to check out CloudNine and see what it can do to improve your document review. Request a free demo and let us show you how CloudNine Review uses automation to improve the human element of your eDiscovery review.

eDiscovery in a Pandemic: How to Adapt to Turbulent Times

There’s no question COVID-19 continues to have a huge impact on the way we live and work. With the new Delta variant surging among the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, the number of infections is rising once again. Unprecedented challenges are impacting law firms and legal document reviewers as well. 

From March 2020 to January 2021, New York City held only nine criminal jury trials.

For the first time in history, court trials dropped 99%  from the previous year in the country’s largest criminal jurisdictions. This is not an isolated occurrence as courts closed or severely reduced their caseloads to help stop the spread of the virus. This meant cases that should have closed were left open indefinitely, forcing law firms to keep their eDiscovery accounts open for longer than expected. 

Making matters worse, law firm clients found themselves unable to pay their invoices as the unemployment rate topped 14.8% in April 2020. While the economy has begun to recover, the unemployment rate still remained high at 5.8% in May 2021. This loss in client income had a predictable downstream effect on legal cases

Another consequence brought about by the lockdowns was the disruption of electronic discovery data collection. Law firms and their clients began shipping hard drives all over the country. New strategies had to be developed around data collection as document review service providers had to order hard drives, copy relevant ESI onto the hard drives, and then deliver them to the client. 

All of these challenges had a direct impact on revenue and forced expense cuts by collections, attending conferences, and certainly inviting clients to onsite meetings.

Ultimately, law firms will have to adopt new solutions or rethink old ones in order to thrive in this new, post-COVID world. The best way to do this? Adopt an agile, remote review process as part of your eDiscovery solution; learn how CloudNine Explore can help you adapt to the everchanging times here.

Be Prepared to Move Your eDiscovery Operations Remote 

When federal, state, and local governments began shutting down courthouses, law firms followed suit and sent their people home to work remotely. While every firm was different, size played a big part in how easy or difficult the transition was. 

For smaller firms, it didn’t take much – just a few tweaks to their infrastructure to allow remote access. Larger firms faced a bigger challenge as they had a lot more pieces to move to give everyone remote access to the shared drives and files they needed to do their jobs. 

In order to prepare for another shutdown or even a natural disaster preventing you from opening your office, CloudNine can help you convert from your standard in-office eDiscovery environment to a remote eDiscovery environment working easily and quickly. 

For firms already accustomed to interacting with the on-prem eDiscovery environment, they’ll automatically have full remote access to CloudNine Explore. They just need to have their network turned on and accessible. 

Some legal teams may not have the on-prem infrastructure in place to support that many users in one project at once, especially those teams that are large and spread. 

For these situations, we offer CloudNine Explore via our cloud so you can allow more users to access your data using our infrastructure at no additional infrastructure cost to them. With internet connectivity, you can access your CloudNine projects from any device, anywhere in the world. 

Add More Value to Your eDiscovery Retainer

Retainers are a good way to ensure clients are capable of meeting their financial obligations to your law firm. While most retainers are based on a specific dollar amount, some are established to run month-to-month or even year-to-year. These multi-year agreements help you establish a consistent revenue stream. To capture the best retainers, you need to have a reputation for being hard-working, committed, fair, and, most important, effective. 

Effective eDiscovery solutions bring value to your services beyond what other law firms have to offer. Highly efficient and secure, CloudNine Explore can eliminate duplicate or irrelevant files so you can focus on the documents that matter. With filtering tools that allow you to reduce the cost of processing by reducing the file size, you offer better value by providing more services for the price of your client’s retainer.

Improve Your ROI Through Your eDiscovery Solution

To help improve your services and increase value to your clients, you’ll want to understand how to maximize efficiency in your eDiscovery. CloudNine models out the cost of the solution versus the return you’ll get on your investment in the form of:

  • Data security
  • Cost reductions
  • Control over your data
  • Processing speed 

Plus, CloudNine partners with you to better understand your goals in order to offer a realistic solution so you know if you commit to X, Y, and Z today, you’re more likely to experience a higher return on your investment tomorrow. 

CloudNine also helps you level the playing field between larger law firms with astronomical budgets and smaller, more cost-conscience firms. By leveraging the solutions offered, you can access the same level of technology and services as larger law firms without investing in the infrastructure to host it. 

Learn how CloudNine Explore can help your firm be prepared for turbulent times, giving you added value to offer your clients, the ability to work remotely more effectively, and the confidence you need to invest in new solutions to get better ROI. Schedule a free demo with CloudNine today.

The Hybrid eDiscovery Solution: The Best Of Both Worlds

When deciding on the most efficient processes to run eDiscovery in your organization, the options are nearly limitless with hundreds of products and service providers vying for your attention.

Not all document review solutions are the same. Before you commit to your eDiscovery solution, you need to determine whether you would like to perform eDiscovery in-house, outsource it or do a bit of both.

Regardless of which path you take, CloudNine can provide you with a solution that is perfectly right-sized for you, learn more about CloudNine’s review solutions here.

What is eDiscovery Insourcing?

Insourcing is the delegation of a task or operation to a specialized unit within your organization rather than a third party. For legal service providers and large law firms, this includes both the technology used to perform legal data collection and people assigned to collect and review electronic discovery documents.

Insourcing is the traditional method for eDiscovery. Ten years ago, cloud solutions weren’t widely used for eDiscovery due to cost and the fact that most professionals were not aware or comfortable with it yet. Larger law firms invested heavily in developing an in-house infrastructure and software to process and review electronic documents.

Today, the organizations with the infrastructure already in place continue to insource their eDiscovery because it allows them to control both the cost and the data. Typically, these organizations are large law firms.

Benefits of insourcing your eDiscovery:

  • No data hosting or processing fees
  • Complete control over data collection
  • Protection from cybersecurity attacks on external parties

100% control means 100% responsibility. With this responsibility comes the cost of maintaining your eDiscovery environment which includes hiring IT professionals and updating the infrastructure regularly.

If your organization chooses to insource your eDiscovery process, you will need to hire a software company to develop your new software or hosting platform. Of course, you can avoid this if you already have a software engineer on the payroll.

In addition, your new eDiscovery software will need a robust infrastructure to support it. This requires a large investment of capital. If you already have the infrastructure in place, you may have to expand it before you are ready if your organization scales quicker than you’re prepared for.

Lastly, an insourced eDiscovery solution requires trained professionals to make it operational. Not only will you need a team of dedicated attorneys to review the documents, but you’ll need IT staff to maintain the network, software, and hosting platform.

Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of corporate legal insourcing? Check out our blog, Insourcing vs. Outsourcing Your eDiscovery Review Process.

What is eDiscovery Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the transfer of day-to-day operations of a business function or task to an external service provider. For eDiscovery, this means an outside organization is responsible for providing the technology and personnel to collect and review electronic discovery documents.

Because of the high expense associated with maintaining an in-house infrastructure, many legal organizations contract legal service providers or legal technology companies to host and process their eDiscovery documents.

This also means you do not need to keep IT staff or review attorneys on payroll full-time. Instead, your expenses are tied to a few laptops and a reliable connection to the internet.

With less investment in infrastructure, accounting becomes much easier because you’re not looking to make money back on an expensive investment. Your books and budget are simplified, only paying predictable monthly hosting and processing fees.

Other benefits to outsourcing include:

  • Up-to-date software patches to protect you from cybersecurity threats
  • Hosting and processing fees are based strictly on volume
  • Data can be culled to reduce the number of documents processed

Outsourcing means you have to frequently communicate with your legal service provider. The more you outsource, the more management you need to ensure communication is being relayed correctly and different pathways mean the odds of miscommunication increases.

Data transfer time could pose a problem if one party is suffering from a connection issue or if a hard drive has to be physically shipped to the service provider for processing.

Also, you’re dependent on the service provider’s availability. If they have a system outage or are the victim of a natural disaster, you’ll potentially lose access to your data.

A Hybrid eDiscovery Solution

For some organizations, one solution- insourcing or outsourcing- may not be suitable. Different challenges require different solutions and those that find themselves in this position can always consider adopting a hybrid eDiscovery solution.

A hybrid eDiscovery solution finds the best balance between your internal and external resources to perform specific business functions or tasks like eDiscovery collection, processing, and review.

For example, you could use insourcing to cull the data before advancing it to your outsourced processing. Or you could reserve your insourced platform to handle smaller data collections while sending larger data loads to your external service provider.

Tasks to consider for your hybrid approach include:

To determine which solution is best suited to perform each task, you need to consider these challenges for each:

  • ROI – How much will the solution cost and is it cost-effective?
  • Time – How quickly will the solution allow you to perform your eDiscovery tasks?
  • Complexity – How complex is your eDiscovery process and what risks are involved with the solution?

By recognizing your specific needs and comparing them to the benefits and drawbacks of each solution, you can determine which solution – insource, outsource, hybrid – works best for your organization.

Regardless of your decision, CloudNine can help guide you to discovering the right eDiscovery solution for you. We offer an all-in-one processing and hosting solution that you can use on-prem or through our cloud-based eDiscovery platform, giving you the option for insourcing, outsource, or hybrid.

To learn more, request a free demo and see how CloudNine can make your eDiscovery solutions more efficient and affordable.

eDiscovery Cost Recovery: A Case-By-Case Assessment

Cost recovery is a critical consideration to the eDiscovery services you provide. Without it, you won’t have an accurate view of your financial status. While today’s turbulent times may put your LSP under more pressure to budget your money more wisely, the truth is you’re always under pressure to make your bottom line and recover eDiscovery costs as quickly as possible. 

As an LSP, you report to clients who need to know they will receive a good ROI when they hire you. On the flip side, when you hire vendors, buy equipment, or lease software, you need to see that quick ROI as well. 

One way to accomplish this is to adopt eDiscovery software solutions that add real value to your business. To do so, you need an eDiscovery solution providing high quality service so you can collect fees from your clients before the solution costs you more than you can charge.

Consider the cost difference a few decades make:  In 1981, the price of a 1GB hard drive was $500K. Today, it’s less than $0.03. 

For eDiscovery data processing, the cost to process 1GB was $2000 just 15 years ago. We process the same data for less than $100. 

By adopting a solution like CloudNine Explore, you can keep your expenses down to offer more value through a cost-effective solution to your clients. This means they’re able to pay you quicker and more dependably so your cost recovery is easy to manage.

The On-Prem vs. Cloud Storage Dilemma 

 While there are many benefits to cloud storage, the cost isn’t as black and white as it once was. Traditionally, if you rented a server versus purchasing one, your initial investment was cheaper. 

Renting a server may be a smart investment if you have no plans to utilize the server long-term. However, as you continue to rent that server, the costs are going to add up, costing you more than if you just purchased the server.  

Renting data storage space from a provider today can be just as expensive as purchasing a new server because providers typically do everything to ensure the server is up-to-date and backed up. While this does make cloud servers a little more robust, you’ll be paying for that service which makes it more expensive from day one. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to securely upload and store relevant data in a single on-prem server. This allows you to have more access and control over your data while lowering your data storage costs. 

Providing Value with eDiscovery System Speed and Accessibility

Speed means everything in eDiscovery. The faster you import the data, the quicker you can move from processing to storage and review. One of the keys to shorter processing time is the use of automation – the greater the automation, the higher the output. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to use automation and leverage multithreading technology so you can use all available processors within the machine to get the most efficiency out of it. 

That’s incredibly useful as oftentimes LSPs utilize unused surplus equipment they have in their inventory to run eDiscovery processing. CloudNine Explore is a great solution in this scenario because it’s flexible and compatible enough to be used on older technology. This reduces the need to buy new equipment. 

Infrastructure Costs and Document Review Services

Infrastructure requirements vary from software to software. Many of the available eDiscovery solutions on the market are complicated and rigid.  And, providers didn’t build their platform with eDiscovery in mind. They built it for other purposes but eventually, they reassigned it to handle eDiscovery. This leaves them with too many restrictive and complicated requirements on their infrastructure. 

The infrastructure supporting CloudNine Explore wasn’t forced to be something it wasn’t. It allows CloudNine Explore to run on anything from simple laptops to state-of-the-art servers. It runs best on a server with some serious horsepower, but it’s still friendly enough to give you the ability to process and cull with less infrastructure investment – whether that’s in the cloud or on your server.  

An eDiscovery software that provides you with the infrastructure flexibility, gets your LSP one step closer to recovering costs quickly.  Learn how to boost margins even more in our eBook here.

Reducing eDiscovery File Size

Many of our competitors offer filtering technology allowing you to reduce your data file size. The only problem is how they’re able to filter your data. Most often, you have to send them the data first, only to cull it down later. Regardless of the smaller file size, you still have to pay to process the entire data file upfront. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to filter and organize the data upfront, culling unnecessary files so you can process only the data you want. This gives you the flexibility and power to control the processing and upfront storage costs. 

Some common filter types include:

  • File type – This lets you focus on specific file types like .doc, .csv, .pdf, .mov or .m4a.
  • Domain – This allows you to search emails to find the ones sent by a specific domain source.
  • Language – This filters documents containing specific languages. Explore currently supports 144 languages including Unicode characters like Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Cyrillic. 

Breaking Down eDiscovery Software Costs

CloudNine Explore has lower software costs for the simple reason that we developed them with a lower price point in mind. Also, we offer loyalty discounts to our clients when they renew their license agreements. We also discount prices when you bundle Explore with other CloudNine solutions like Review.  

While CloudNine is less expensive than a lot of our competition, in the end, it’s all about how you use the solutions. The more efficiently you use the tool, the more value you get out of it and that’s what matters most. 

To see how Explore can help your LSP recover costs quicker and more effectively, schedule a free demo with CloudNine today.

Insourcing Vs. Outsourcing Your eDiscovery Review Process

While eDiscovery may seem a tedious process, it’s critically important to your courtroom success!  A ruling may be made solely on the content found in one corporate executive’s email.   The requisite rests in the confidence of a trusted system to collect and review relevant documents so both sides can build their case. 

However, when it comes to processing the data collection, many organizations differ on the best method for eDiscovery

Whether you decide to insource or outsource your eDiscovery, CloudNine Review is made can assist you in closing cases quickly. 

Discovering The Differences Between Insourcing and Outsourcing eDiscovery

Insourcing is defined as the delegation of operations or tasks within an organization to an internal unit. This refers to both the technology and the people performing the tasks. 

Outsourcing is when you transfer the day-to-day responsibility of those tasks outside your organization to an external service provider. This external service provider provides both the technology and the personnel required to perform the tasks. 

Depending on your organization’s core competencies and business model, insourcing may not be the best choice to handle your eDiscovery tasks. For example, law firms do not focus on providing technology solutions to their clients, so it may be difficult to justify the financial commitment of building an entire infrastructure and hiring a technology team.

However, many organizations may still prefer to insource their eDiscovery. Ten years ago, cloud services were still in their infancy so insourcing was the only real option. While small and mid-sized organizations struggled, larger firms invested in the infrastructure needed to win their cases.

Today, those with the infrastructure still in place choose to contain insourcing because it’s already paid off, which means no additional hosting or processing fees. But for new organizations just getting on their feet, investing in eDiscovery infrastructure may be a costly risk.  Maintaining infrastructure is costly for organizations with internal eDiscovery resources as well.  A cloud-based solution reduces the cost burden for new and established organizations seeking eDiscovery solutions.

How Insourcing and Outsourcing eDiscovery Affects Your ROI

For firms that insource their eDiscovery review, there’s a huge investment of money and time into making an eDiscovery environment a viable solution, such as:

  • Infrastructure Development
  • System Maintenance
  • IT Support Staff
  • Review Attorneys

When you outsource your eDiscovery process, you only pay on a per-project basis.

When you insource your eDiscovery process, you are paying to keep your infrastructure running and up-to-date on the latest technologies, which will require maintenance and labor. With ransomware hackers running rampant, labor shortages from COVID-19, and necessary system upgrades to keep your network from crashing, costs can become erratic and drastically change from month to month. 

Outsourcing makes it easier for your law firm to control costs since you are only concerned with paying for what you need when the cases come along.

The success of your eDiscovery review process lies in your ability to recover costs quickly, learn how to optimize your cost recovery in our eBook, which you can download here.

Are the Benefits of Insourcing Worth the Cost?

When it comes down to it, there’s really only one primary benefit to insourcing your eDiscovery review. It gives you complete and total control over your data processing. You do not have to worry about where your data is being stored or if you can access it on your schedule. It’s on-prem and ready whenever you need it. 

Let’s consider insourcing from a financial standpoint. If you want to develop your own insourced eDiscovery solution, this is what you’re looking at: 

  • The profit margins for hosting and processing fees have eroded significantly in the past 10 years. It used to cost $500 to process a single gigabyte of data. Today, it’s only around $30.
  • You will probably have to develop a custom piece of software or build a new hosting platform, which means you will need to hire at least one developer if you don’t have one on the payroll already. And according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a software developer is around $108,000 a year. This doesn’t include the additional burdens on IT to keep the system up-to-date and secure.
  • Of course, you could hire a software development company to develop new software or hosting platform but that won’t be cheap, either. It’ll be somewhere in the range of $50K and $250K
  • And don’t forget about the legal team you’ll need to assemble to do the actual eDiscovery review. 

Overall, you’re looking at a hefty investment. There may not  be enough financial incentive to justify spending the money to develop your own internal infrastructure. 

An Outsourced eDiscovery Solution That Makes Financial Sense

CloudNine Review offers outsourcing eDiscovery solutions that are fast, easy to use, and, most important, cost-efficient. Simply upload your documents and begin the review process in minutes, earning yourself an impressive ROI with these benefits:

  • Unlimited Users: Unlike other eDiscovery providers, we don’t charge you for every single user you add to the database. It’s a flat fee, allowing you the freedom to add as many users as you need.
  • Flexible Infrastructure: Our network is designed to handle hard-working organizations like yours. Our infrastructure can support a thousand attorneys reviewing the same data collection simultaneously. If you wanted to do that in-house, you’d be investing a lot of time and money to spin up the additional infrastructure to handle it. 
  • No Long-Term Contracts: Just pay for your eDiscovery services at a month-to-month rate. No hidden agendas or commitments. 

There’s also no difference in the quality or legality of documents collected and reviewed, as the processes are the same. The only difference is who did the work – an in-house group or a trusted provider like CloudNine. 

If you’re ready to hand over your internal eDiscovery tasks to a dedicated company that specializes in streamlining your discovery, investigation, and audit processes, reach out to CloudNine and request a free demo today.