Discovery Savings: Going Native

By James D. Sherman and Lori E. Steidl in the May 4, 2007 issue of ALM’s The Corporate Counselor.

"In today’s litigation world, corporate counsel struggle to contain the ever-increasing costs of document discovery. The explosion of electronically stored information is often a huge contributor to the expense of discovery. Consultants, vendors and e-discovery software can help bring greater efficiencies and cost savings to the process. But while there’s a dizzying array of options available, they’re not all created equal. Finding the right solution requires that you do your homework.

Before deciding to outsource your next electronic discovery request, take a moment to examine the review practices of your legal service provider or outside counsel. Many legal service providers and law firms are relying on outdated and expensive methods to collect and analyze data for litigation. For example, be wary of solutions that involve conversion of documents into TIFF or PDF format before an initial review for relevance of the underlying data takes place. This practice needlessly creates additional electronic "copies" of vast amounts of data, most of which ultimately prove to be irrelevant and thus are never produced or otherwise used. It may also undermine your ability to take advantage of certain useful characteristics of native format documents that are lost in the conversion process. A step as simple as using e-discovery software that facilitates processing and review of electronic documents in their native format can save your company a great deal of money when it comes to document discovery. "

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