E-discovery should be viewed as a tool to decrease costs and ramp up efficiency. However, e-discovery does not make sense for every single law firm. The improper use of e-discovery or the use of this technology in the improper context will ultimately spike discovery costs and heighten risk. This is precisely why it is so important for law firms to understand situations in which e-discovery should be performed in-house and when it is more prudent to lean on the assistance of an outside vendor. Let’s take a look at some of the top considerations to ponder when debating whether e-discovery will prove beneficial for your particular law firm.
Discovery needs differ according to each individual case. No two clients require the same amount of attention, resources, attorneys or technology. Opt for in-house e-discovery and your law firm will enjoy heightened efficiency. However, your team should carefully consider everything involved in e-discovery before moving it in-house. If your team cannot manage fluctuations in demand for e-discovery services in a seamless manner, problems will arise. A hybrid approach might prove optimal in which your team is provided with assistance from vendors as necessary.
Consider whether the amount of outsourced work justifies bringing the discovery processes in-house. If there is not enough work, bringing e-discovery in-house might not be the best decision. After all, adding e-discovery will likely require the purchase of a new computer and the addition of another employee. Take some time to determine if it makes financial sense to commit to in-house e-discovery. If the numbers do not add up in favor of making the investment, continue to outsource your e-discovery work until the time is right to bring it in-house.
The Element of Risk
If your law firm is not prepared to deal with the potential liabilities presented by e-discovery, do not bring this technology in-house. Your law firm should have errors and omissions coverage as well as coverage for data breaches. If your firm’s insurance policy does not cover such risks or if there will be an additional cost, it might be best to outsource your e-discovery needs.