eDiscovery for litigation is important, but is only a part of the value which lawyers and eDiscovery providers can bring to corporate clients. The skills and technology developed to meet eDiscovery challenges can be applied to wider issues, some of which directly affect the cost and risk of eDiscovery as well as having value in their own right.
I have published 8,000 words this week, spread across 18 articles. Between them they cover a wide range of topics, countries and companies relating to the electronic discovery / disclosure of electronic documents: rules, technology and privacy have all turned up; the UK, the US, and Hong Kong all featured, and you were spared a couple of articles about France which have not (yet) made it beyond draft stage. Coming too late for me to cover was an apparent attempt by US Judge Scheindlin to keep alive the fear of sanctions on which so many millions of dollars have been spent since her Zubulake Opinions. Is she a stern upholder of necessary standards or an outdated barrier to sensible and proportionate discovery? I will read the Opinion first, but the headlines by those who have read it suggest a certain lack of sympathy for this judicial rearguard action.
This volume of articles (sorry about that) is partly deck-clearing on my part, making way for what comes out of ILTA in Las Vegas in the coming week. It is partly a reflection of the breadth of interesting topics which connect to eDiscovery. It is partly a consequence of the busy-ness of the industry, when every day brings new developments, new products and new views which are worth passing on.
I have, however, barely mentioned one topic whose importance overrides all the others for the companies whose electronic data we are concerned with. Almost all the things which are seen as problems in litigation or in a regulatory or an investigations context spring from the volume of information which companies keep and for which many of them have no plans. It costs them a fortune, in storage, security and management, in eDiscovery obligations which strike them from time to time and because of the lost value which is tied up in information which no one can ever find. Read the rest of this entry »