Electronic discovery, or e-discovery, takes place in the pre-trial phase of a lawsuit, when the parties involved request evidence from each other. Companies face three basic challenges when complying with an e-discovery request.
The first is identifying and collecting all of the information that meets the criteria of the request. Success is largely dependent on the data retention and information governance practices of the companies involved. The inability to produce the information requested in a lawsuit can result in heavy fines.
The second challenge is the actual processing of the information to meet the standards necessary for reviewing the information.
The third and most expensive of the three challenges is carefully transforming the information to a standard image or document format like TIFF or PDF that teams of legal personnel spend days and even weeks reviewing.
While there is some software that can help with the review process, it is mostly a manual and tedious process working with various technologies. Consequently complying with and executing an e-discovery request requires multiple skills and tools to access multiple technology platforms which can make it quite expensive.
The costs associated with e-discovery have companies evaluating their information governance practices in an effort to better manage their information and the associated expenses. Keeping the costs down requires that companies have properly prepared and can manage access to the information involved in the lawsuit.