Review

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

Getting the Most out of Your Keyword Searches

Though a more basic searching technique, keyword searches allow professionals to identify one or two specific words from multiple documents. Nowadays, keyword searches are considered inferior to the successor, predictive coding (TAR). In comparison to TAR, the “outdated” search method is more expensive and time-consuming. Keyword searches are also less predictable; when filtering through the same data set, keyword searches yield fewer results. Based on these flaws, some would argue that keyword searches are a dying technique. So, why bother talking about them at all? Though keyword searches have their flaws, they are far from obsolete. Some legal teams prefer to utilize manual review, recognizing it as a tried-and-true method. For example, the defendants in Coventry Capital U.S., LLC v. EEA Life Settlements, Inc. attempted to use TAR in 2020 to resolve the fraud case, but they argued the process was “protracted and contentious.” Thus, Judge Sarah L. Cave declined to compel the inclusion of TAR. [1] Similar outcomes occurred in cases such as Hyles v. New York City (2016) and In re Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Prods. Liab. Lit. (2016). In both cases, the court refused to mandate the usage of TAR when the responding party demonstrated a clear preference for keyword searching. [2] With this knowledge in mind, it’s important to recognize that keyword searches are still effective when done right.

Five Tips for Effective Keyword Searches

  1. Good communication is crucial.

Consult your custodians before running your searches. Use the conversations to identify any specific terms or abbreviations that may be relevant to your review. If necessary, you may also need to speak with an experienced advisor. Through their expertise, they can assist you with the sampling and testing process. Advisors are a great way to save time and money for everyone involved.

  1. Create and test your initial set of terms.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Your initial search terms don’t have to be perfect. While constructing your list, estimate how many results you expect each term to yield. Once you’ve run your test, evaluate how the search results compare to your expectations. If you received significantly fewer results than anticipated, adjust the search terms as needed. You may have to refine your search list multiple times. Anticipate this possibility to avoid missing any deadlines.  [3]

  1. Limit searches that include wildcards and/or numbers.

When searching for words with slight differences, it’s better to search for each variation rather than use wildcards. For example, you should set up individual searches for “email” and “emails” instead of using “email*” as a search term. Numbers can also be a problem if not done correctly (i.e. searching for the number 10 will show results for 100, 1 000, etc.). Make sure to place the number in quotes to avoid this issue.

  1. Count the characters.

Search terms with four or fewer characters are likely to yield false hits. Short words or abbreviations like HR or IT may be identified in longer, unrelated results. Filtering out the false hits requires extra review time and money.

  1. Know how to search for names properly.

Avoid searching for custodian names. Their name will most likely be attached to more documents and hits than expected or desired. When searching for non-custodians, place “w/2” between their first and last name. Doing so will show all variations of the full name. Finally, consider searching for nicknames to get even more results. Ask the client what nicknames they respond to before making your search term list. [4]

 

[1] Doug Austin, “Court Rules for Defendant on TAR and (Mostly) Custodian Disputes: eDiscovery Case Law,” eDiscovery Today, January 12, 2021.

[2] “How Courts Treat ‘Technology Assisted Review’ in Discovery,” Rivkin Radler, March 13, 2019.

[3] “Improving the effectiveness of keyword search terms,” E-discovery Consulting, November 11, 2021.

[4] Kathryn Cole, “Key Word Searching – What Is It? And How Do I Do It (Well)?,” All About eDiscovery, December 9, 2016.

Understanding and Managing eDiscovery Costs

For a medium-sized lawsuit, eDiscovery costs can range anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 million dollars. [1] This price has been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19 on communication data. According to the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), the pandemic has created a data explosion by encouraging frequent usage of chat applications. Meanwhile, the levels of email and other data types have remained constant. [2] As time passes, the list of communication types will continue to expand with new collaboration tools and social media platforms. On one hand, these changes have made communicating with loved ones and coworkers easier than ever. On the other hand, the influx of modern data types has created an expensive headache for legal teams.

Current Approaches to the Problem

To handle litigation costs, companies often try to cut labor costs, increase review rates, and group documents together. However, each of these approaches can only do so much. For instance, it’s risky for companies to save money through temporary attorneys or LPO companies. Though the strategy is cost-efficient, it creates new challenges surrounding logistics, data security, attorney-client privilege, and oversight. The second method was increasing the speed of review. This method holds some promise, but its efficiency depends on the type of review. Automated review is great at accelerating the process, but human review speeds are harder to manage. At best, an expert review can review 100 documents per hour. Yet, the benefit of speed comes at the chance of comprehension errors. Grouping documents isn’t an efficient solution either. The technique uses computerized technology to categorize similar documents together. Though this method is good for organizational purposes, it does nothing to minimize the volume of data. [3]

Cost-Saving eDiscovery Strategies

  1. Don’t spend too much time on search term negotiations. It’s easy for opposing parties to lose time and money while fretting over each search term; however, this practice forces counsel to work overtime to meet deadlines. Consequently, companies will have to pay higher attorney fees. The best solution would be to agree on a handful of search terms and run the data through machine learning systems for review.
  2. Avoid overusing issue coding. Though issue codes are useful for organizing documents, excessive issue coding makes the review process slower and more expensive. Consider limiting the codes to 8-10 per document.
  3. Eliminate unnecessary attachments from important documents (i.e. company logos and icons). These attachments can be eliminated manually or through a modern data processing system. [4]
  4. Engage in the discovery process as soon as possible. By contacting legal counsel early on, companies can reduce the time and money needed for processing and review.
  5. Stay prepared for the possibility of litigation by instructing employees on storing and accessing important documents. This method will save time and money by making the documents easier to find. [5]

 

[1] “Reducing eDiscovery Costs” Whitepaper, Canon Discovery Services, 2018.

[2] Sarah Gayda, “How Law Firms Can Proactively Reduce eDiscovery Risk & Cost,” Iltanet, May 21, 2021.

[3] Nicholas M. Pace, Laura Zakaras, “The Cost of Producing Electronic Documents in Civil Lawsuits,” RAND Institute for Civil Justice, 2012.

[4] Lisa Prowse, “Review is Not the Most Expensive Part of E-discovery,” KMWorld, October 29, 2020.

[5] Scott Carvo, Madelaine C. Lane, and Janet Ramsey, “Creative Ways to Cut Down on E-discovery Costs,” Grand Rapid’s Business Journal, September 4, 2020.

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 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.

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.

Five Features to Look for in an eDiscovery Review Solution

When considering which legal document review platform to implement, there are many features and functions to take into consideration, in addition to key stakeholders’ opinions. Commonly, the biggest challenges encountered during eDiscovery review include unpredictable pricing and poor training support.

As the cost of document review can range from $10,000 to upwards of $1 million in annual fees, it’s critical to select an experienced vendor with demonstrated strengths in performance abilities including:

  1. Speed
  2. Real-Time Tracking
  3. Support & Training
  4. Flexibility
  5. Return on Investment

Before you choose your next eDiscovery review solution, consider five advantages of CloudNine Review to help your law firm operate more efficiently.

Ready to see our five prerequisites for an efficient eDiscovery review process in action? Book a CloudNine Review demo today.

Legal Document Review Made Possible with Expedited Processing

The faster your eDiscovery solution, the quicker you’ll understand the case.   Knowing the facts before the other side can have a huge benefit, especially on your initial discovery call or at a deposition. In addition, eDiscovery speed can help you:

  • Reduce your spending
  • File faster 
  • Settle sooner

CloudNine Review provides the type of speed to change an entire case strategy by shortening the path to critical case data. 

As a self-service, on-demand application, CloudNine Review let’s you start your project any time, any where. With remote document review, you can even use your smartphone or tablet, with a simple, easy-to-use interface.  The result enables you to accelerate your timeline, review documents on the fly, and control basic or complex productions. 

Real-Time Tracking Is Pivotal For eDiscovery Firms

By determining the number of documents you process every hour, you can project your potential spend for the case and staff up or down, depending on your specific needs at the time. You can also establish a timeline and the confidence to hit important critical dates. Real-time tracking is a critical function of the review process allowing you to track progress and manage your budget accurately throughout.

By tracking changes in real-time, CloudNine Review displays updates as they occur so everyone sees the change immediately. If you’re worried about users overriding each other, don’t be. With full auditing on both the document level and system level, you’ll know who made the last changes and if it’s part of a pattern. 

And, with visibility to track individual users, you’ll gain insights to how your team is using Review.  For example, if a specific user is tagging documents incorrectly, you can turn the data into a coaching moment so your team knows what they’re looking for and how to process it. 

Support & Training: Providing eDiscovery Teams the Support They Need

We know how frustrating it can be to operate a software solution without support or training.   For this reason, CloudNine Review offers both Self-Service and Self-Service Plus to our clients.

With our Self-Service model, you have access to a service resource to lend aid if you are stuck.

The Self-Service Plus model allows you to leverage our entire services team and the hands-on support to load, review and prepare your data for production. 

CloudNine also provides both live and on-demand training which includes video tutorials. With the live training, you have access to both user and admin training courses. With a concentrated course outline, our average user training usually lasts 30-60 minutes so you’ll be able to get started on your first case in no time. For users with previous experience in review applications, you may not even need to go through our full training before you’re able to get to work. 

With your eDiscovery team trained and ready, you are one step closer to optimizing your eDiscovery cost recovery. Discover how you can create a more profitable review process in our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery.

Flexibility With A Cloud-Based eDiscovery Software — Built With Your Team In Mind

CloudNine offers a uniquely flexible solution to help you take advantage of both cloud-based processing and on-prem storage. This flexibility is helpful when litigation is paused or delayed.  And, since costs to store data in the cloud can get expensive for both your firm and clients, you can move your data to on-prem storage thereby removing the potential for high hosting fees charged by other cloud-based eDiscovery software solutions. 

Reviewing large datasets can be tough when you don’t have an easy way to break them down. Custom batching can help you break large datasets into smaller and more manageable batches you can then assign to your team. This helps you get through the documents faster and prevents documents from being reviewed by multiple users. 

Advanced reporting also helps you be more efficient by tracking user progress including monitoring the average documents reviewed per hour. If the average is 75 with only one person reviewing 250 documents an hour, this indicates an area for improvement.  A quick investigation might reveal their dataset included an excessive amount of logo files or they may not fully comprehend their task and need more specific instructions. 

eDiscovery Review Software Providing the ROI You Need

It’s important to remember no matter what you do, your law firm is still a business and it needs to be run in an efficient and effective manner.

CloudNine offers an all-inclusive subscription with everything you need for a successful eDiscovery review.

  • Data Processing
  • Data Filtering
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Review Sets
  • Customer Batching
  • Data Storage
  • Technical Support
  • Certified Training

However, we recognize there are times your caseload might not fit into our traditional model. That’s why we offer a flexible pricing model to help when you have longer-duration cases with heavier upfront work. To determine which pricing model works best for you, there are three things we consider:

  • The expected level of filtering
  • Duration of the case
  • Number of documents expected for review

While some cases require a review of every single document, others only pull documents filtered through a very specific targeted term. Knowing which helps us guide you to the right pricing plan. 

When choosing the eDiscovery review solution that best suits your needs, remember that CloudNine Review always delivers speedy processing, real-time tracking, support, training, flexibility, and return on investment. 

If you’re ready to see how it can help you, request a free demo today.

Four Inefficiency Traps to Avoid in Your Legal Document Review Process

For every time-saving, cost-cutting efficiency available in legal document review lives an equal number of challenges and pitfalls which can consume your productivity and budget. For LSPs and law firms, a thorough and effective legal review will depend on more than just data size and solution speed. Navigating successfully through the review process means knowing where you can expedite and streamline your project with efficiency and how to avoid costly mistakes.

Read on to learn about four potential inefficiency traps you can avoid in your next legal review to save time and money:

  1. Document format and storage
  2. Inefficient upload speeds
  3. Duplicate data
  4. Single-user access to documents

Trap 1: Document Format and Storage

One of the first challenges to overcome is determining the best method to consolidate and convert collected data into searchable content. From digital emails and websites to printed letters and hand-written notes, different document formats are collected and stored across several disparate systems. While you may have some stored in Outlook, others could be kept in a binder on your desk.

A legal document review system digitizes and stores every document in one place, allowing you to search and review all documents at the same time. This enables you to apply a search strategy to locate relevant documents quickly and efficiently. It also provides you with the flexibility to view data in different, organized layouts to easily see document attributes such as:

  1. Source
  2. Type
  3. Origin date
  4. Author
  5. Recipients

With all case documents organized and stored on a single platform, LSPs and legal departments can locate and produce responsive content, ranging from scanned documents to email to spreadsheets and more.

Trap 2: Inefficient Upload Speeds

Initiating your review project will be determined by the speed of your initial data import. This phase can make or break the rest of your project timeline making it essential to start off strong.

Scheduling and staying within the time budgeted for your project will equally affect the efficiency of your whole team. The faster your team can scan and import documents, the faster you can start your document review.

While we can’t control your connection speed, we can manage the resources and technology on our platform to ensure the application performance is optimized for maximum efficiency.

Time equals money; having an eDiscovery tool capable of moving as quickly as you do allows you to work on the next step of your case faster.

Trap 3: Duplicate Data

Nearly 30% of email data is duplicated which directly impacts hosting costs if not removed prior to promotion for review.  Duplicate data occurs when the same file originates from multiple sources and in different formats.

For example, if you have two people engaged in an email exchange and both become custodians in a legal case, both sets of emails are collected for discovery. Now you have the same exchange from both people and you have to determine which set of emails you’re going to use. The complexity of duplicate data increases when the matter is shared across email distribution groups.

By cutting out duplicative documents, you save storage space and reduce the chance that two copies of the same document will be reviewed differently.

To prevent duplicate data from costing time and money, you need an eDiscovery tool to:

  • Centralize your data in one place
  • Eliminate duplicative data
  • Track how data is being reviewed in real-time
  • Prevent conflicting tags by different reviewers

Trap 4: Single User Access to Documents

Remote document review should be an easy and convenient option for you and your staff. However, documents still need to be digitized and uploaded to a shared system. This can be problematic for a number of reasons:

  • You don’t have anyone in the office to upload documents.
  • You don’t have the infrastructure in place to share working documents across multiple users at the same time.
  • You don’t have the ability to review, redact, and produce documents electronically without affecting the originals.

This forces the organization to spend time and money building new infrastructure. Or, they could use a private cloud-hosted system like CloudNine Review.

 

How CloudNine Review Helps You Avoid Inefficiency Traps

CloudNine Review is a safe, robust, and cost-effective solution that simplifies the eDiscovery review process and keeps you more productive.

We offer a single spot repository for all your discovery documents. Whether they are electronic or paper documents, you can load them into CloudNine Review to make them searchable. This allows you to access all the data at the same time giving you a consistent search strategy.

By utilizing a search strategy, you create an efficient way to review your data without wasting time by:

  • Showing search-term history
  • Filtering out previously reviewed documents
  • Setting up preview sets

With incredibly fast upload speeds on our end, installation is simple and straightforward. If there’s a slow connection speed on your end, we can help you identify the source of the problem while offering alternative solutions to upload heavy data loads.

To prevent duplicate data from slowing down your legal document review process, our processing engine detects duplicates and suppresses them before the data gets advanced for review.  Plus, all documents are hashed during the import process, so you can set up automation to identify and review specific documents from the searchable and reviewable records.

Hosted on a private cloud, CloudNine Review is a web-accessible, legal document review platform providing secure access to every approved member of your team. Every document is locked down so nothing can be deleted, altered, or sent to anyone without access. Even metadata like the author and timestamps are protected.

To protect sensitive or confidential data from being exposed, CloudNine Review will redact images of documents. Redacted files are copied and saved as a single-layer file so the redaction bars can’t be removed by outside parties.

 

CloudNine Review is designed to help your eDiscovery services be more efficient and productive.

To avoid the pitfalls of inefficiency traps, click banner below to request a free demo and see how CloudNine Review can help you today.