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Innovating With Simplicity in “Everyday” eDiscovery

May 20, 2020  |  3 min read

Leadership

eDiscovery case law and headlines are often made from the largest cases—the ones resulting in million-dollar invoices, involving high profile courtroom battles over technology, or requiring armies of associates looking to “churn that bill,” I mean, get through doc review. But there are actually very few “bet the farm” cases—though you might not realize it when you look at how eDiscovery services are priced today.

The vast majority of cases involve relatively straight-forward data sources, largely manageable document sizes, and routine procedures. They don’t require the complicated workflows, mystifying AI, and expensive third-party vendors that the largest matters may justify. Yet often even the routine matters are bogged down by processes built for the most convoluted discovery workflows; the same vendor delays, the same IT overhead, and the same massive up-charging can show up in a 10-gigabyte matter or a 10-terabyte one.

Indeed, most discovery matters can be addressed with powerfully simple discovery technology that’s intuitive enough that any attorney or paralegal can use it, fast enough that data can be accessed in minutes, rather than days, and priced predictably (and sanely) enough that the costs of discovery no longer become a strain on clients or a drain on firm resources.

As routine discovery matters are the most numerous, the benefits from an improved approach compound quickly. Savings add up, of course, but so too do softer benefits, such as faster time to data for your trial teams, improved expertise among staff, and reduced reliance on law firm resources.

Logikcull recently released a case study with Baker Donelson, showing how the firm used powerfully simple technology to accomplish just this, and to deliver greater client value while minimizing costs.

Now, Baker Donelson Shareholder and eDiscovery Officer Clinton Sanko is sharing how the firm got ahead of the COVID-era “new normal” on the firm’s eDiscovery blog, Lean Discovery. The series includes tips on reducing costs for the largest matters, but also innovating through simplicity with routine discovery work. Indeed, Sanko writes, “the vast majority of all discovery matters are fairly routine in terms of their size and complexity,” and it is in these matters where long-term savings can be found.

“Managing eDiscovery, then, is not a one-size-fits-all proposal. However, the goal is always the same: get to the merits through a final, defensible production. How you accomplish that goal varies depending on many factors. The average eDiscovery case has minimalistic support needs. While substantial immediate cost savings are best found in cases with more expansive eDiscovery needs, the long-term opportunity for cost savings and efficiencies can also come from incremental cost reduction on the ‘everyday’ cases.”

How do you go about transforming your approach to everyday cases? At Baker Donelson, the firm had the people, it had the process, but the opportunity for transformation laid with the technology. That technology must improve the “quality of life” for the end-users, while accomplishing four goals:

  1. Empower attorneys and paralegals
  2. Have a predictable cost and drive overall savings
  3. Minimize friction for starting new projects, allowing faster access to data and lower firm overhead
  4. Limit the number of timekeepers

The result, as Sanko writes, “has been a very successful program for qualified cases that provides great customer experience results, including dramatically reduced cost.”

For the full details of Baker Donelson’s proactive approach delivering client value at reduced cost, download the case study here.

For an insider’s look at how the firm is reimagining its discovery process, be sure to read Baker Donelson’s Lean Discovery blog here.