Bloomberg Law

Reed Smith partner David Cohen presents the risk-reward balance of bringing e-discovery processes in-house, with guidance on managing internal and external teams, data, and timelines.

作者: David R. Cohen

Do-it-yourself is a great concept, but as many of us have learned from home and auto repair, what works in concept may not always prove true in reality.

With this in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all model for bringing e-discovery in-house. When considering what and how much to bring in, there are two important factors.

First, how much e-discovery burden does a company have—is the level high enough to produce continuing savings or other benefits from developing more capabilities in-house?

Next, how much support, including budget, does the company have for bringing the work in-house? It is never a one-time investment, and typically requires adequate investments in infrastructure, technology, people, and process.

Yet, if the conditions are right, some companies can reap major benefits from bringing aspects of e-discovery in-house in the form of cost savings, as well as greater control and consistency.

When and How to Solicit Help

Small to medium-size companies that are not involved in serial litigation or investigations should probably continue to rely on outside counsel and companies to handle their e-discovery.

But they can still achieve lower costs and better outcomes by making sure that their outside counsel include at least one firm with broad e-discovery expertise.

The expertise of that firm should be leveraged across matters—even where that firm is not serving as primary merits counsel—to help ensure consistent, efficient, and defensible e-discovery processes, along with associated successful outcomes and cost savings.

For larger companies with a sufficient volume of e-discovery work, their first investment in bringing e-discovery in-house should be in people, not technology.

A knowledgeable e-discovery manager can help to assess needs and, at a minimum, be a center of expertise for the company, managing use of outside e-discovery resources to help ensure that the company is getting high-quality services, the best available technology, and competitive pricing.