How to Untangle Complicated eDiscovery Pricing for Your Small Law Firm

02 June 2018 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm cloud

eDiscovery providers often charge separately (1) To store your data, (2) For each user (3) To process files (4) To produce files. Instead, find a provider who charges only one fixed, up-front, affordable fee.

“Why is eDiscovery pricing so complicated?”

This is the one question you want answered, right? If you’ve just started shopping around for an eDiscovery app, it might seem like each one has a different pricing scheme. With some you pay per-user. With others, per-hour or per document. And with most there’s a per-GB rate too. So, as a small-firm lawyer trying to cut costs, how do you make apples-to-apples comparisons?

Let’s first take a look at what eDiscovery providers are charging for.

Regardless of their pricing schemes, they all charge for one (or more) of the following:

1. They charge to store your files.

Your eDiscovery provider will need to host your data on servers. And they charge for this. The best apps are cloud-based (learn why, here) and they use they use one of these pricing schemes:

  1. With ‘fixed volume’ pricing, storage space is divided into chunks (or ‘plans’)—e.g., 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, etc. And their prices have been set in advance.
  2. With ‘per GB’ (or, ‘pay as you go’) pricing there aren’t any ‘plans.’ However big or small your case is, your bill is calculated based on a per-GB rate.

‘Per GB’ may seem better. Because you’re not committing to a particular plan. But ‘fixed volume’ pricing is simpler and more transparent. And if your provider prorates your pricing, ‘fixed volume’ pricing is the most affordable, too. Find out more about why fixed volume pricing is the best way to pay for storage.

2. Some charge for the number of users accessing the app.

Some eDiscovery providers will charge you for each person that accesses your data. And this can complicate things. Because you don’t know how many people you’ll end up needing. Especially as your deadline gets closer or more files are added.

3. Some charge for processing files. And for technical support.

A lot goes into processing your files (charged per-GB) and providing tech support (charged per-hour). Let’s take uploading files. Your software needs to:

  • Find and delete duplicate files: For example, a colleague emails you a file that you already have. That’s an ‘exact’ duplicate. Or, you correct a few typos in a Word document and save it as a different file. This is a ‘near’ duplicate. It’s basically the same file, but not quite.
  • Find and delete system files: These are files that your computer needs, to run. But which aren’t going to help your case. Like, executable software files (.exe files), font files, and Windows system files.
  • Convert files to a common format: So you can open the all from within your eDiscovery app (instead of using Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets, Adobe for PDFs, etc.)
  • Extract data from your files: This includes metadata (i.e., information about the file — like who created it, when it was last accessed, etc.) and embedded files. So that you can search them separately.

These support costs are hard to predict. You often don’t realize in advance how much goes into processing and maintaining your files. You’ll just be stuck with a bill you had no idea was coming.

4. Some charge for OCR. Or to ‘produce’ documents.

Often, your eDiscovery provider will charge per-page or per-document for product features like:

  • OCR: Optical Character Recognition is a software tool that converts scanned documents into text files that a computer can process. So, instead of just being ‘pictures’ that sit on your computer, you can actually work with them. Learn more about OCR.
  • Producing files: Getting files ready for opposing counsel to review is very simple with eDiscovery. It’s usually a one-click process. The files are converted into a common format and they are Bates stamped.

So, back to the question: ‘Why is eDiscovery pricing so complicated?’

The answer: It doesn’t have to be. Just choose from a new generation of apps that don’t charge separately for each service. Instead, they offer them all for a single, up-front, and transparent price.

Take the eDiscovery app ‘GoldFynch,’ for example.

It’s designed especially for small law firms like yours. And it offers the simplest and fairest pricing on the market. Here’s why attorneys around the world are talking about it:

  • Simple pricing: You pay only for storage. Everything else is free. So, no extras for processing, producing, tech support, etc. This makes it easy to budget for eDiscovery. Also, your entire team can use it, without paying separately for each new user.
  • Transparent pricing: Since it’s a flat rate, you know up-front what you’re paying for. No hidden fees that creep up on you. Unlike when you’re charged by the hour or per-document.
  • Fair pricing: Your fees are prorated, so you pay for only space you actually use.
  • Affordable pricing: GoldFynch costs just $27 a month for a basic case. That’s significantly less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.

GoldFynch is cool for other reasons too

  • No set-up required. It runs in the Cloud, and you use it through your web browser. Plus, your trial case is free. So, you can start working immediately. No sales calls or emails. And no credit card.
  • You can work from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
  • It lets you do eDiscovery essentials. Like, searching, tagging, and ‘producing’ files. And redacting privileged information. It also comes with free, automatic OCR.
  • It’s secure: Your data is backed up on multiple Cloud-servers with bank-grade security and encryption.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?

Learn more about keeping eDiscovery costs down: