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EDRM Announces Several Updates at Mid-Year Meeting – eDiscovery Trends

Last week, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) conducted its mid-year meeting to enable the working groups to meet and further accomplishments in each of the teams for the year.  Having attended several of these meetings in the past, I’ve always found them to usually yield significant progress within the working groups, as well as providing a great opportunity for eDiscovery professionals to get together and talk shop.  Based on the results of the meeting, EDRM issued an announcement with updates from several of their more active projects.

Here are the updates:

  • Data Set: The Data Set project announced the launch of its new file upload utility. “The upload utility will allow us to develop a modern data set that more accurately represents the type of files that are commonly encountered in data processing,” said Eric Robi of Elluma Discovery, co-chair of the project with Michael Lappin of NUIX. The Data Set project also announced a soon-to-be-published “million file dataset” and an upcoming redacted version of the Enron data set, previously described on this blog here.
  • Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM): The IGRM team announced that its updated model (IGRM v3) was recently published and presented at ARMA International’s 57th Annual Conference & Expo and the IAPP Privacy Academy 2012. As discussed on this blog just a couple of weeks ago, the updated version adds privacy and security as key stakeholders in the model.
  • Jobs: The Jobs project continued development of the EDRM RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) Matrix, a tool designed to help hiring managers better understand the responsibilities associated with common e-discovery roles. RACI maps responsibilities to the EDRM framework so e-discovery duties associated can be assigned to the appropriate parties.
  • Metrics: The Metrics project team refined the EDRM Metrics database, an anonymous set of e-discovery processing metrics derived from actual matters, which will include a CSV upload function to make it easier for vendors and law firms to anonymously submit data to the system.  Having worked on the early stages of this project, my “hats off” to the team for the additional accomplishments.
  • Search: The Search group announced that its EDRM Computer Assisted Review Reference Model (CARRM) soon will be available for public comment. The goal of CARRM is to demystify the predictive coding process and to allow for a common communication platform between vendors and end-users at each phase of the CAR process and it will be interesting to see the document that emerges from these efforts.

EDRM meets in person twice a year, in May for the annual meeting and October for the mid-year meeting, with regular working group phone calls scheduled throughout the year to keep the projects progressing.  The next in person meeting is next year’s annual meeting, currently scheduled for May 7 thru 9, 2013.  For more information about EDRM, click here.  For information on joining EDRM, including fee information for participation, click here.

So, what do you think?  Have you been following the activity of EDRM?  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.

eDiscovery Trends: Cloud Computing – A Lot of Benefit for the Cost

 

An interesting article in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel provides some useful, well-described benefits of cloud computing for eDiscovery (Cloud Computing And E-Discovery: Maximum Gain, Minimum Cost, written by Miró Cassetta).  The author provides some good analogies to explain the different cloud service models, differences between private and public clouds and the benefits of using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application.  Let’s take a look.

As the author notes, the cloud uses three service models:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Provides virtualized physical hardware (computers, processing, storage and servers) accessible through the web (e.g., Amazon Web Services providing access to different types of virtualized servers).
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): In addition to the infrastructure, it provides a virtual toolkit to allow developers to create software (e.g., Facebook, which enables developers to create apps specific to the its site).
  3. Software as a Service (SaaS): On demand access to a specific application within the infrastructure and platform (e.g., OnDemand®, which happens to be CloudNine Discovery’s linear review application).  The SaaS model is the most common for organizations managing eDiscovery related data in the cloud.

The author uses the “concept of tenancy” to differentiate private clouds (single-tenant, typically used for a company’s internal work) and public clouds (multiple tenants (or clients) sharing space, like an apartment building).  If you’re using an outside provider for cloud services that has other clients, you’re likely using a public cloud.  With regard to security, the author notes the importance of ensuring that your SaaS provider has certain security measures in place and provides a list of questions at the end to ask the provider to understand more.  One of the questions, “How much of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) spectrum does the system encompass?”, should bear further investigation as those who claim end-to-end eDiscovery solutions may not necessarily provide it seamlessly.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for specific EDRM coverage (e.g., a collection or review tool), coverage of those specific components may be all you need.

The author also lists several benefits of the SaaS model, including:

  • Access Anytime, Anywhere: One of the biggest benefits is the ability to access whenever and share with whomever you want.  This supports outside counsel teams in multiple locations, or even sharing with co-counsel firms or experts.
  • Efficient Resource Use: Pooling of resources (storage, memory and network) for multiple clients by the cloud provider yields economies of scale that makes it more affordable and more scalable for all.
  • Accommodation at a Moment’s Notice: SaaS providers are always supporting needs for clients to add data or users, so the process is (or at least should be) seamless.
  • Quick Start-Up: Imagine not having to purchase hardware or software or other infrastructure to get a software application up and running.  SaaS providers already have that in place, they just need to sign you up and get going.  Have you ever set up a Facebook account or used SalesForce.com?  It’s that easy.
  • Transparent Billing: Because SaaS services are billed monthly, the costs are more predictable than the costs associated with in-house solutions.  It’s also a true “pay as you go” model, which means you only pay for what you need, for as long as you need it.
  • Team of Experts: Expertise is expensive.  Just like hardware and software resources, expertise provided by the SaaS provider (necessary to provide great client service and support both day-to-day operations and periodic software and hardware updates) can be pooled among its clients, making it more economical for all.

A link to the article appears at the top of this post.

So, what do you think?  Do you use any SaaS solutions for eDiscovery?  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.

eDiscovery Best Practices: Assessing Your Data Before Meet and Confer Shouldn’t Be Expensive

 

So, you’re facing litigation and you need help from an outside provider to “get your ducks in a row” to understand how much data you have, how many documents have hits on key terms and estimate the costs to process, review and produce the data so that you’re in the best position to negotiate appropriate terms at the Rule 26(f) conference (aka, meet and confer).  But, how much does it cost to do all that?  It shouldn’t be expensive.  In fact, it could even be free.

Metadata Inventory

Once you’ve collected data from your custodians, it’s important to understand how much data you have for each custodian and how much data is stored on each media collected.  You should also be able to break the collection down by file type and by date range.  A provider should be able to process the data and provide a metadata inventory of the collected electronically stored information (ESI) that enables the inventory to be queried by:

  • Data source (hard drive, folder, or custodian)
  • Folder names and sizes
  • File names and sizes
  • Volume by file type
  • Date created and last date modified

When this done prior to the Rule 26(f) conference, it enables your legal team to intelligently negotiate at the conference by understanding the potential volume (and therefore potential cost) of including or excluding certain custodians, document types, or date ranges in the discovery order. 

Word Index of the Collection

Want to get a sense of how many documents mention each of the key players in the case?  Or, how many mention the key issues?  After a simple index of the data, a provider should be able to at least provide a consolidated report of all the words (not including stop words, of course), from all sources that includes number of occurrences for each word in the collected ESI (at least for files that contain embedded text).  This initial index won’t catch everything – image-only files and exception (e.g., corrupted or password protected) files won’t be included – but it will enable your legal team to intelligently negotiate at the meet and confer by understanding the potential volume (and therefore potential cost) of including or excluding certain key words in the discovery order.

eDiscovery Budget Worksheet

Loading the metadata inventory into an eDiscovery budget worksheet that includes standard performance data (such as document review production statistics) and projected billing rates and costs can provide a working eDiscovery project budget projection for the case.  This projection can enable your legal team to advise their client of projected costs of the case, negotiate cost sharing or cost burden arguments in the meet and confer, and create a better discovery production strategy.

It shouldn’t be expensive to prepare these items to develop an initial assessment of the case to prepare for the Rule 26(f) conference.  In fact, the company that I work for, CloudNine Discovery, provides these services for free.  But, regardless who you use, it’s important to assess your data before the meet and confer to enable your legal team to understand the potential costs and risks associated with the case and negotiate the best possible approach for your client.

So, what do you think?  What analysis and data assessment do you perform prior to the meet and confer?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

P.S.: No ducks were harmed in the making of this blog post.

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.

eDiscovery Trends: The Growth of eDiscovery is Transparent

 

With data in the world doubling every two years or so and the variety of issues that organizations need to address to manage that data from an eDiscovery standpoint, it would probably surprise none of you that the eDiscovery market is growing.  But, do you know how quickly the market is growing?

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research (and reported by BetaNews), the global eDiscovery market is expected to rise 275% from 2010 to 2017.  Their report eDiscovery (Software and Service) Market – Global Scenario, Trends, Industry Analysis, Size, Share and Forecast, 2010 – 2017 indicates that the global eDiscovery market was worth $3.6 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $9.9 billion by 2017, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.4% during that time.  Here are some other noteworthy stats that they report and forecast:

  • The U.S. portion of the eDiscovery market was valued at $3.0 billion in 2010, and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% from 2010 to 2017 to reach $7.2 billion by 2017 (240% total growth);
  • The eDiscovery market in the rest of the world was valued at $600 million in 2010, and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 23.2% from 2010 to 2017 to reach $2.7 billion by 2017 (450% total growth – wow!);
  • Not surprisingly, the U.S. is expected to continue to be the leader in terms of revenue with 73% of global eDiscovery market share in 2017;
  • The report also breaks the market into software based eDiscovery and services based eDiscovery, with the global software based eDiscovery market valued at $1.1 billion in 2010 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5% to reach $2.5 billion by 2017 (227% total growth) and the global services based eDiscovery market valued at $2.5 billion in 2010 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.0% to reach $7.4 billion by 2017 (296% total growth).

According to the report, key factors driving the global eDiscovery market include “increasing adoption of predictive coding, growing risk mitigation activities in organizations, increase in criminal prosecutions and civil litigation and growth of record management across various industries”.  They predict that “[i]n the next five years, the e-discovery industry growth will get further support from increasing automatic enterprise information archiving applications, growth in multi-media search for sound and visual data, next generation technology growth for cloud computing i.e. virtualization and increasing involvement of organizations in the social media space.”

The report also discusses topics such as pricing trends, competitor analysis, growth drivers, opportunities and inhibitors and provides company profiles of several big players in the industry.  The 96 page report is available in a single user license for $4,395 up to a corporate license for $10,395.

So, what do you think?  Do those growth numbers 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.

eDiscovery Trends: Costs, Outside Counsel and Vendor Performance Chief Among GC Concerns

 

A survey was recently conducted by eDiscovery Solutions Group (eDSG) that of Global 250 General Counsel on various aspects of eDiscovery processes and concerns regarding eDiscovery.  The results were summed up in a post in the blog, The eDiscovery Paradigm Shift, written by Charles Skamser.  With a little over half (127 out of 250 organizations or 51%) responding, the post noted some interesting findings with regard to how organizations handle various eDiscovery tasks and their concerns regarding the process overall.

eDiscovery Services

According to the survey, organizations are (not surprisingly) still highly dependent on outside counsel for eDiscovery services, with over half of the organizations (51%) relying on them for eDiscovery collections and Early Case Assessment (ECA) services and 43% relying on them for document review services.  Organizations rely on third party forensics groups 35% of the time for eDiscovery collections and rely on Legal Process Outsource (LPO) providers 29% of the time for ECA services and 43% of the time for document review services.  Organizations handle ECA internally 20% of the time and handle collection and review 13% of the time each.

The author notes surprise that 51% of the respondents identified outside counsel for their ECA and wondered if there was confusion by respondents about the term “LPO” and whether it applied to litigation service providers.  It’s also possible that the term “ECA” might have been confusing as well – to many in the legal profession it means estimating risk (in terms of time and cost to proceed with the case instead of settling) and not analysis of the data.

Frustrations and Pet Peeves

eDSG also asked the respondents about their top frustrations and top pet peeves over the past 12 months (respondents could select more than one in each category).  Top frustrations were “Cost of eDiscovery not declining as rapidly as expected” (95%) and “Increase in the Amount of ESI” (90%).  Also notable are the respondents that are frustrated with “Dealing with eDiscovery Software Vendors” (80%) and “Outside Counsel Not Providing Adequate Support for eDiscovery Requirements” (75%).  Sounds like most of the respondents have multiple frustrations!

Top pet peeves were “Outside Counsel and LPOs Knowingly Low Balling Cost Estimates” (80%) and “eDiscovery Cost Overruns”, “LPOs dropping the ball on eDiscovery Projects” and “Anyone that states that litigation in now all about technology” (all at 75%).  Also, 65% of respondents find eDiscovery Vendor sales people “annoying”.  🙂

Concerns

With regard to the next 12 months, eDSG asked the respondents about their top concerns going forward (again, respondents could select more than one in each category).  Top concerns were “Managing the Cost of eDiscovery” (a perfect 100%) and “Collaboration between internal stakeholders” (91%).  Other concerns included “Education and Training of Staff ” (79%) and “Understanding the Impact of Social Media” (75%).

Summary

A link to the blog post with more information and survey results is available here.  Based on the responses, most organizations outsource their eDiscovery activities to either outside counsel and litigation support vendors; yet, many of them don’t appear to be happy with the results their outsource providers are giving them.  It sounds like there’s lots of room for improvement.  The cost of eDiscovery appears to be the biggest frustration and the biggest concern of in-house counsel personnel going forward.

So, what do you think?  Did any of these survey 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.

eDiscovery Trends: Where Does the Money Go? RAND Provides Some Answers

 

The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis institution recently published a new 159 page report related to understanding eDiscovery costs entitled Where the Money Goes: Understanding Litigant Expenditures for Producing Electronic Discovery by Nicholas M. Pace and Laura Zakaras that has some interesting findings and recommendations.  To obtain either a paperback copy or download a free eBook of the report, click here.

For the study, the authors requested case-study data from eight Fortune 200 companies and obtained data for 57 large-volume eDiscovery productions (from both traditional lawsuits and regulatory investigations) as well as information from extensive interviews with key legal personnel from the participating companies.  Here are some of the key findings from the research:

  • Review Makes Up the Largest Percentage of eDiscovery Production Costs: By a whopping amount, the major cost component in their cases was the review of documents for relevance, responsiveness, and privilege (typically about 73 percent). Collection, on the other hand, only constituted about 8 percent of expenditures for the cases in the study, while processing costs constituted about 19 percent in the cases.  It costs about $14,000 to review each gigabyte and $20,000 in total production costs for each gigabyte (click here for a previous study on per gigabyte costs).  Review costs would have to be reduced by about 75% in order to make those costs comparable to processing, the next highest component.
  • Outside Counsel Makes Up the Largest Percentage of eDiscovery Expenditures: Again, by a whopping amount, the major cost component was expenditures for outside counsel services, which constituted about 70 percent of total eDiscovery production costs.  Vendor expenditures were around 26 percent.  Internal expenditures, even with adjustments made for underreporting, were generally around 4 percent of the total.  So, almost all eDiscovery expenditures are outsourced in one way or another.
  • If Conducted in the Traditional Manner, Review Costs Are Difficult to Reduce Significantly: Rates currently paid to “project attorneys during large-scale reviews in the US may well have bottomed out” and foreign review teams are often not a viable option due to “issues related to information security, oversight, maintaining attorney-client privilege, and logistics”.  Increasing the rate of review is also limited as, “[g]iven the trade-off between reading speed and comprehension…it is unrealistic to expect much room for improvement in the rates of unassisted human review”.  The study also notes that techniques for grouping documents, such as near-duplicate detection and clustering, while helpful, are “not the answer”.
  • Computer-Categorized Document Review Techniques May Be a Solution: Techniques such as predictive coding have the potential of reducing the review hours by about 75% with about the same level of consistency, resulting in review costs of less than $2,000 and total production costs of less than $7,000.  However, “lack of clear signals from the bench” that the techniques are defensible and lack of confidence by litigants that the techniques are reliable enough to reliably identify the majority of responsive documents and privileged documents are barriers to wide-scale adoption.

Not surprisingly, the recommendations included taking “the bold step of using, publicly and transparently, computer-categorized document review techniques” for large-scale eDiscovery efforts.

So, what do you think?  Are you surprised by the cost numbers?  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.

eDiscovery Best Practices: Tips for Saving Money in Litigation

 

A recent article on The National Law Journal (entitled Top 12 tips for saving money in litigation, authored by Damon W.D. Wright) had some good tips for – you guessed it – saving money during litigation.  I thought it would be worth discussing some of these, especially those that relate to eDiscovery cost savings practices.

  1. Conduct targeted preservation and collection: As the author notes, the duty to preserve is “not supposed to cause business operations to grind to a halt” and “the focus should be on the specific subject matter, evidence and likely witnesses in the case”.  If you promptly investigate and quickly identify those likely custodians and act to preserve their data, you’re probably satisfying your duty to preserve.  Just don’t lose sight of organization-wide processes that affect those likely witnesses, such as automated deletion policies, and suspend them for those witnesses, at least.  Don’t make the same mistake that EchoStar did.
  2. Calibrate the budget to the amount and importance of the case:  Ralph Losey, in his interview with eDiscovery Daily, spoke about bottom line proportional review and the idea of setting a budget based on the size and potential exposure of each case.  It simply doesn’t make sense to spend the same amount of effort in routine cases as it does for the “bet your company on the outcome” cases.
  3. File in a fast-moving court: Or pursue transfer if you’re the defendant.  Certainly, the longer a case drags out, the more expensive it is, and that includes for eDiscovery.
  4. Know the court: The author addresses this from a general perspective, but it could be important from an eDiscovery perspective, as a part of that.  Enough case law related to eDiscovery exists now that many judges have started to establish at least some track record with regard to issues such as spoliation, proportionality and sharing of eDiscovery costs.  It’s important to know how your judge views those issues.
  5. Have a key client liaison: Nobody knows the client better than the client themselves, so identifying the right person to serve as a liaison between the client and counsel can not only improve communications, but also streamline process and save costs.  As the author noted, the ideal client liaison will “know the organization well and have the authority, perseverance and communication skill needed to get the attention of others.”
  6. Select vendors and experts with care: The author notes that “you should always obtain price estimates (comparing ‘apples to apples’)” when considering eDiscovery vendors.  As a part of that, it’s important to make sure those comparisons are truly “apples to apples” and comprehensive.  Are per GB processing charges for the original (compressed) GB size or expanded?  Do hosting charges include per user fees or other ancillary charges or are they strictly per GB?  It’s important to make sure those distinctions are clear when comparing. 
  7. Try to get along with opposing counsel: While some are easier to get along with than others, the ability to cooperate with opposing counsel and discuss various discovery issues in the Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) conference (such as limits to discovery, form of production, privilege, etc.) will save considerable costs up front if the parties can agree.
  8. Allow opposing counsel to inspect and copy documents at their expense: Although most collections are predominantly in electronic form, there are still paper documents to be addressed and if you can make a non-privileged collection available for them to go through and select and copy the documents they want, that saves on your production costs.
  9. Limit e-mail production by custodians, search terms and date range: As the author noted and eDiscovery Daily previously noted, it’s not only a good idea for producing parties to limit production scope, but model orders to limit scope in patent cases are now being adopted in various jurisdictions, including Texas.
  10. Seek agreement on a narrowed privilege log and a no-waiver order: If you’re successful in #7 above, this should be part of what you try to negotiate.  It helps if both parties have similar concerns regarding the effort and cost to determine privilege and prepare a privilege log.
  11. Pursue cost-shifting for discovery: As yesterday’s post reflects, courts are more often expecting requesting parties to share in the discovery costs when the requests for information result in an undue burden or cost for the producing party.  And, as the author noted, the model order establishes specific parameters for patent cases and the expectation for requesting parties to pay for additional discovery.
  12. Stipulate to facts not in dispute: Why conduct discovery on facts not in dispute?  The author’s recommendation for early stipulations is a great idea for eliminating discovery in areas where it’s not necessary.

So, what do you think?  Did you get some good ideas?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Daily will resume with new posts on Tuesday after the Easter holidayHave an eggs-cellent weekend!

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.

eDiscovery Daily Is Eighteen! (Months Old, That Is)

 

Eighteen months ago yesterday, eDiscovery Daily was launched.  A lot has happened in the industry in eighteen months.  We thought we might be crazy to commit to a daily blog each business day.  We may be crazy indeed, but we still haven’t missed a business day yet.

The eDiscovery industry has grown quite a bit over the past eighteen months and is expected to continue to do so.   So, there has not been a shortage of topics to address; instead, the challenge has been selecting which topics to address.

Thanks for noticing us!  We’ve more than doubled our readership since the first six month period, had two of our biggest “hit count” days in the last month and have more than quintupled our subscriber base since those first six months!  We appreciate the interest you’ve shown in the topics and will do our best to continue to provide interesting and useful eDiscovery news and analysis.  And, as always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic!

We also want to thank the blogs and publications that have linked to our posts and raised our public awareness, including Pinhawk, The Electronic Discovery Reading Room, Unfiltered Orange, Atkinson-Baker (depo.com), Litigation Support Technology & News, Next Generation eDiscovery Law & Tech Blog, InfoGovernance Engagement Area, Justia Blawg Search, Learn About E-Discovery, Ride the Lightning, Litigation Support Blog.com, ABA Journal, Law.com and any other publication that has picked up at least one of our posts for reference (sorry if I missed any!).  We really appreciate it!

As we’ve done in the past, we like to take a look back every six months at some of the important stories and topics during that time.  So, here are some posts over the last six months you may have missed.  Enjoy!

eDiscovery Trends: Is Email Still the Most Common Form of Requested ESI?

eDiscovery Trends: Sedona Conference Provides Guidance for Judges

eDiscovery Trends: Economy Woes Not Slowing eDiscovery Industry Growth

eDiscovery Law: Model Order Proposes to Limit eDiscovery in Patent Cases

eDiscovery Case Law: Court Rules 'Circumstantial Evidence' Must Support Authorship of Text Messages for Admissibility

eDiscovery Best Practices: Cluster Documents for More Effective Review

eDiscovery Best Practices: Could This Be the Most Expensive eDiscovery Mistake Ever?

eDiscovery 101: Simply Deleting a File Doesn’t Mean It’s Gone

eDiscovery Case Law: Facebook Spoliation Significantly Mitigates Plaintiff’s Win

eDiscovery Best Practices: Production is the “Ringo” of the eDiscovery Phases

eDiscovery Case Law: Court Grants Adverse Inference Sanctions Against BOTH Sides

eDiscovery Trends: ARMA International and EDRM Jointly Release Information Governance White Paper

eDiscovery Trends: The Sedona Conference International Principles

eDiscovery Trends: Sampling within eDiscovery Software

eDiscovery Trends: Small Cases Need Love Too!

eDiscovery Case Law: Court Rules Exact Search Terms Are Limited

eDiscovery Trends: DOJ Criminal Attorneys Now Have Their Own eDiscovery Protocols

eDiscovery Best Practices: Perspective on the Amount of Data Contained in 1 Gigabyte

eDiscovery Case Law: Computer Assisted Review Approved by Judge Peck in New York Case

eDiscovery Case Law: Not So Fast on Computer Assisted Review

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.

eDiscovery Best Practices: Perspective on the Amount of Data Contained in 1 Gigabyte

 

Often, the picture used to introduce the blog post is a whimsical (but public domain!) representation of the topic at hand.  However, today’s picture is intended to be a bit instructional.

As we work with more data daily and we keep buying larger hard drives to store that data, one gigabyte (GB) of data seems smaller and smaller.  Today, you can buy a portable 1 terabyte (TB) drive for less than $100 in some places.  Is the GB smaller than it used to be?  Last I checked, it’s still about a billion bytes (1024 x 1024 x 1024 or 1,073,741,824 bytes, to be exact).

From a page standpoint, most estimates that I’ve heard have estimated 1 GB to be 50,000 to 75,000 pages.  Of course, that can vary widely, depending on the file types comprising that GB.  A GB of 1 megabyte (MB) one-page, high-resolution image files will only take about 1,000 pages to equal a GB, whereas a collection of 5 kilobyte (KB) text file and small emails (with minimal attachments) could take as much as 200,000 pages to equal a GB.  So, 50,000 to 75,000 is probably a good average.

A ream of copy paper is 500 pages and a case holds 10 reams (5,000 pages).  So, a GB is the equivalent of 100 to 150 reams of paper (10 to 15 cases), which is enough paper to fill a small truck.  Hence, today’s picture shows a truck full of paper.

There was a Gartner report that re-published Anne Kershaw’s analysis on the cost to manually review 1 TB of data.  Quoting from the report, as follows:

“Considering that one terabyte is generally estimated to contain 75 million pages, a one-terabyte case could amount to 18,750,000 documents, assuming an average of four pages per document. Further assuming that a lawyer or paralegal can review 50 documents per hour (a very fast review rate), it would take 375,000 hours to complete the review. In other words, it would take more than 185 reviewers working 2,000 hours each per year to complete the review within a year. Assuming each reviewer is paid $50 per hour (a bargain), the cost could be more than $18,750,000.”

If it costs $18.75 million to review 1 TB, one could extrapolate that to approximately $18,750 to review each GB.  Dividing by 1,000 (ignoring the 24), that extrapolates to: 75,000 pages / 4 = 18,750 documents / 50 documents reviewed per hour = 375 review hours x $50 per hour = $18,750.  I’ve mentioned that figure to clients and prospects and they almost always seem surprised that the figure is so high.  Then, I ask them how many hours does it take them to review a truckload of paper to determine relevancy to the case?  😉

Bottom line: each GB effectively culled out through technology (such as early case assessment, first pass review tools like FirstPass™, powered by Venio) can save approximately $18,750 in review costs.  That’s why technology based assisted review approaches have become so popular and why it’s important to remember how expensive each additional GB can be.

So, what do you think?  Did you realize that each GB was so large or so expensive?  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.

eDiscovery Trends: Small Cases Need Love Too!

 

There was an interesting article in Law Technology News from Tom O’Connor, a previous thought leader interviewee on this blog, regarding the dilemma associated with affordability of eDiscovery technology for small cases (entitled Pricing: The Small Case E-Discovery Dilemma).  Even though small cases make up the overwhelming majority of cases filed and there is ESI to manage in those cases just like there is in the big cases, eDiscovery technology has historically been cost prohibitive for the cases when compared to the amount at dispute.

To make technology work for the smaller cases, Tom makes some assumptions, including:

  • Typical ESI File Formats: The types of files you’re working with in the smaller cases are typical file formats for email and office functions.  If you get into the less common file formats, you’re more likely to need more expensive technology to handle those.
  • Host the Data Yourself: Tom assumes “that you want to host the data yourself, and that you have the equipment and skills to do so” and that small cases “demand applications that can be installed on one computer for processing and review”.  It’s an interesting assumption, the question is do many of the firms managing these small cases have both the equipment and the skills to do so? (I’m not sure that they do).
  • Smaller Volumes of ESI: Of course, it makes perfect sense that the small case would be dealing with less ESI.  As Tom notes, “[w]e're also assuming you are not dealing with terabytes of information.”  Of course not.  However, with each GB representing 50,000 pages of data (or more), it doesn’t take much volume to require technology to effectively manage the data.
  • Cooperative Relationship: Tom also states the assumption that “you have a cooperative relationship with the other side, at least in terms of dealing with EDD”.  When that’s the case, it’s a lot easier to keep eDiscovery at a proportional level.

The article goes on to look at a case starting with 800 GB that ultimately yields 200 GB of reviewable material and the potentially exorbitant costs (as much as $1 million) associated with managing a 200 GB case.  Yet, as Tom notes, “[b]ig EDD companies don't want this business — we've been told that directly by sales managers at two separate top-tier companies.”

Last year at LegalTech, several of the thought leaders that I interviewed indicated that they were seeing more technology alternatives suitable for the smaller cases and Tom mentions some of those toward the end of the article.  One of our 2012 predictions was a greater adoption of eDiscovery technology for smaller cases (as even those cases are no longer that small), attorneys are forced to embrace eDiscovery technology for these cases and, eDiscovery providers are taking note.

In addition to the trends and technology alternatives that Tom writes about, I wrote an article that was published in LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter in September entitled e-Discovery Technology for the $100,000 (Or Less) Case that discusses some of the trends that are starting to make technology more affordable for the smaller case.  These include SaaS applications in the cloud, pricing models that promote simplified and pay-as-you-go technology pricing, advanced data culling techniques and self-service functionality that enables the firm to “do it yourself” instead of paying the vendor for those services.  This article also identifies some technology alternatives that promote those concepts to make eDiscovery technology affordable even when the amount in dispute is no more than $100,000.

If you’re a subscriber to Legal Tech Newsletter, you can get that entire issue here.  If you’re not a subscriber, but would be interested in a reprint of that article, send me an email to daustin@ediscoverydaily.com and I’ll send you a copy.

So, what do you think?  Are you able to effectively use eDiscovery technology for smaller cases?  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.