6 Simple eDiscovery Habits to Attract More Clients to Your Small Law Firm

16 November 2018 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm

To get the most out of eDiscovery make sure you (1) Spend time getting to know your clients, (2) Help them set up good eDiscovery systems, (3) Think about the technical stuff (4) Stay focussed on the ‘flow’ of eDiscovery, (5) Stay up-to-date with eDiscovery news, (6) Keep re-evaluating your eDiscovery software.*

Electronic information is a huge part of everyday business life.

We get most of our work done via emails, Word documents, Excel sheets, PDFs, etc. So, if you want to attract new clients, you’ve got to develop a reputation for being good at eDiscovery.

So, how do you get better at eDiscovery?

Make sure that you work on these 6 important habits:

1. Spend time getting to know your clients.

There are obvious benefits to giving clients your undivided attention. It shows them that they’re important. And reassures them that you’re paying attention to what matters. But it also helps with eDiscovery. For example, as you spend time getting to know them, you’ll learn about their colloquialisms – e.g., ‘Bob’ for ‘Robert’, or special nicknames for landmark case-related events. Knowing these colloquialisms will help when you’re searching your case for keywords. Spending time with clients will also tell you who knows where all the important data is, and how best to get it.

2. Help your clients set up good eDiscovery systems.

When you help educate them, it makes your job easier. And it prepares them for future cases. Which is a service they’re sure to tell others about. So:

  • Do they have a good data-retention policy?
  • Do they understand the importance of a litigation hold?
  • Are they preserving the chain-of-custody with their data?
  • Do they know what metadata is and how to keep it secure?

3. Think about the technical stuff.

You’ll need to prep well for the case. So ask questions like:

  • When collecting data: How much data will there be? What applications will I need to access this data?
  • When uploading data: Will I be scanning paper documents? If so, do I have OCR?
  • When searching your case: What are my search terms? Have I tested them properly?
  • When producing files: What ‘production’ format will I be using?

See a comprehensive list of eDiscovery questions to ask.

4. Stay focused on the ‘flow’ of eDiscovery.

The technical aspects we just discussed are important. But don’t get distracted by them. Instead, focus on the ‘story’ of he case. I.e., things like What happened? When and how? Who is involved? What were the motives? The story tells you which custodians’ data matters. The custodians lead you to the files you need. Which will help you choose keywords to search for. The results will give you new keywords and clues to work with. And as you explore your case and speak to clients and opposing counsel, you’ll get new information that tweaks the ‘story.’ This is the flow of eDiscovery. And it’s what builds you a solid, defensible case for trial. Find out more about the flow of eDiscovery.

5. Stay up-to-date with eDiscovery news.

Courts regularly pass rulings that set eDiscovery standards. And you’ll need to track these. For example – take the U.S. case Home Instead, Inc. v. Florance, 2013 WL 5979629 (D. Neb. Nov. 8, 2013). Here’s what happened and how it underlined the importance of an adequate litigation hold.

  • Defendants Home Instead destroyed evidence, deleted and discarded files, and sold/shredded information.
  • So, the plaintiff demanded to know if the defendants had placed a litigation hold.
  • And the court upheld the plaintiff’s request. It ordered the defendants to provide the requested affidavit. It wanted to know how thorough the defendants’ search was. As well as how guilty they were in failing to preserve evidence.

Learn about other eDiscovery best practices that courts expect,

6. Keep re-evaluating your eDiscovery software.

Technology improves exponentially in the eDiscovery world. So, survey the market every year, to make sure you still have the best software. Also, ask other attorneys what applications they’re using and why. When choosing software, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How big are my cases, on average? If they’re just a few hundred files (less than a GB), then any software will do. But if your cases get larger, make sure your software can scale up too.
  2. Do I have an IT team? If not, you want software that is quick (and simple) to set up, is easy to use, and has good tech support.
  3. What is my budget? Remember, you have options. So, be honest with yourself about how much you’re willing to spend. It’s possible to get powerful but cost-effective eDiscovery applications. The trick is to find one that focusses only on letting you search, tag, redact, and produce your files. That’s all you’ll need. Anything more and you’re paying for features you’ll never use.
  4. Will I need to access my files from more than one computer? If so, make sure you get software that’s Cloud-based. That way, you can use it from work, home, or even on-the-go. All you’ll need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Looking for affordable eDiscovery software? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a next-generation eDiscovery application that prioritizes things that matter to small law firms.

  • Pay just $27 per month for a basic 3 GB case. That’s significantly less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars less than many others. GoldFynch’s pricing is transparent and readily available on the website.
  • It’s a flat, prorated rate. So it’s simple to budget for it. With legacy software, the billing is complicated and opaque, and your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
  • Got a small case that might become a large one later? GoldFynch scales from small to large. So, choose from a range of case sizes (3 GB to 150 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need. Plus, you don’t need to pay to ‘unlock’ premium features. You’ll have the full power of GoldFynch even with a starter case.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. It runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free, fully-functional trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • You get the best technical support. It’s designed, developed and run by the same team. So, the technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means prompt and reliable service.

For more about eDiscovery for small law firms, check out these articles.