Many legal firms, from large to small, are making the transition to e-discovery. Rather than having paralegals and associates comb through thousands upon thousands of documents, they’re instead having these documents scanned so they can be processed by algorithms. But the transition to e-discovery does take some time. Is your firm ready?
Are You Prepared to Secure Your Data?
When you digitize data, you also need to be able to secure it. The risks are two-fold. Your staff members will need training regarding proper security protocols, as they will need to secure any devices they use to access the data. You will also need to make sure that your system itself is secured.
Do You Want to Handle Discovery In-House?
Many smaller firms are offloading their discovery processes — having their documents digitized separately and then sorting through those documents on their own. A digitization service can scan documents, turn them into searchable copies, and even categorize them based on tags, formatting, and more.
Are You Concerned About Your Firm’s Overhead?
Electronic discovery methods are used primarily to cut down on overhead. Discovery itself is a lengthy, expensive process, as documents need to be carefully read and reviewed. This process can be almost fully automated, which means that firms don’t need to hire as many staff members, and staff members do not need to work as many hours.
Do You Have Adequate Technical Support?
To properly use e-discovery, you need to be able to use data management systems. That means not only that the firm will need some support for this technology but also that the employees will have to be trained on the use of the system. And their ability to get coherent information out of the system is going to rely upon their understanding of it.
Electronic discovery works by training the system with sample data. With every new case, the system will have to be fed in data that is both relevant and irrelevant so that the artificial intelligence software learns the difference. If the samples are flawed, the findings will be as well.
Are You Interested in a Hybrid System?
Hybrid systems use both e-discovery and manual discovery, with e-discovery being used for lower prioritization documents and manual discovery being used for higher prioritization documents. For many, this gives the best of both worlds: it automates the processes that are likely to be a slog while giving critical processes more attention. Naturally, hybrid systems also require a little more work to set up.
Do You Want to Create a Consistent, Emotion-Free Process?
This is actually a double-edged sword. Many firms have embraced the ability to render an automated judgment regarding whether materials are relevant or not. This means that the reviewers don’t have undue influence on the process: they can’t dismiss documents out of hand. Every document will be reviewed by the same metrics. The e-discovery program will not get tired, frustrated, or irritable.
However, an automated system also provides less room for intuition or gut reaction, which some firms believe can help find material during the discovery process. Over time, some individuals may gain skills that allow them to immediately intuit whether a document could be important, whether this is through natural skill or experience. This ability does get stripped out of e-discovery.
Hybrid solutions are likely the future for many legal firms, and e-discovery is likely to play a role in most legal firms within the next decade. Of course, that leaves many firms wondering how they can digitize their documents most effectively. To learn more, contact the experts at indigital. We can help