'Isn't eDiscovery Too Expensive for Small Law Firms?' Not If You Do It Right.

28 March 2019 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm

Takeaway: eDiscovery is expensive because we collect far too much data. So, focus on finding the files that matter, rather than collecting whatever is available. Also, save money by, (1) Storing your files in the Cloud, (2) Subscribing to an eDiscovery service [rather than buying eDiscovery software], (3) Finding eDiscovery software that’s designed for small law firms.

Why is electronic discovery so expensive?

The short answer: We take on too much data. Electronic discovery gives us a new set of tools we didn’t have with older ‘paper’ discovery. Now, we don’t need to read through thousands of paper files. Instead, we use search engines to sift through electronic documents (PDFs, emails, etc.) for us. And we can tag/code these documents, mark them as privileged, redact sensitive information, and more. All in minutes. Plus, we have access to valuable metadata. The problem is, it costs money to upload, process, store, and review data. So, you’ll be shelling out large sums of money, usually on a per-GB basis.

What can you do to cut eDiscovery costs?

Just cut down the amount of data you upload and review. This way, you pay less for processing (deduplicating, deNISTing, processing) and hosting. And also, find affordable eDiscovery software. Here’s how you can do these things:

1. Find files you need, rather than gathering whatever is available.

Start with the end in mind. Instead of indiscriminately grabbing all the data you can get a hold of, focus on the ‘story’ of the case. That is: What happened? When and how? Who are involved? What did they do? How are they connected? Why did things happen the way they did? And what were the motives? The story helps you figure out what data you need. As opposed to what happens to be available. Learn more about the ‘story’ of your case.

2. Meet with opposing counsel to decide the scope of eDiscovery.

Want to review fewer irrelevant files? The trick is to sit down with opposing counsel early and go over the scope of eDiscovery. That way they’re guaranteed to be less aggressive about the amount of data they expect you to produce. And you’ll avoid ‘producing’ hundreds (or thousands) of clearly irrelevant files. Plus, if you’ve shown eDiscovery competence up front (by being direct and open), courts are less likely to listen to objections from opposing counsel later on.

3. Talk to your clients to find out which files are worth reviewing.

As you understand how their offices run, you’ll pick up crucial time-saving information. Things like, which custodians have the hot data. Some – like secretaries and assistants – will have gigabytes of email. But most of them will be copies of the originals, which someone else already has. You’ll also learn about employee colloquialisms. Things like using ‘Bob’ for ‘Robert’, or special nicknames for landmark case-related events. Knowing these colloquialisms will help you find the files that matter.

4. Move your data to the Cloud. It’ll save you money.

Cloud-hosting has been around for a long time. If you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or any Apple product, then you’re already in the Cloud. Software giants like Amazon and Google lease storage and computing power to businesses all over the world. And their thousands of interconnected servers form a public ‘cloud.’ The more people there are in the Cloud, the less the costs for each. That’s the beauty of cloud economics, and it means you pay much less than if you were using private servers. Learn more about the Cloud.

5. Subscribe to an eDiscovery service. It’s more convenient and costs less.

Don’t buy eDiscovery software that sits on your computer. Instead, subscribe to an eDiscovery service that runs in the Cloud and is looked after by your eDiscovery provider. It’s called Software as a Service (SaaS), and here’s how it’ll save you money:

  • You won’t have to pay for new equipment. And you won’t need to install anything. Because you’re accessing the software over the internet.
  • You won’t have to hire an IT team to troubleshoot technical issues. Your eDiscovery provider will handle that.
  • You won’t have to spend money on data recovery. If something goes wrong with your office computers and you lose your data, it’ll cost a lot to recover it. With SaaS, your data is backed up on multiple Cloud servers. So, even if a few go down, you won’t lose your data.

Learn more about Software as a Service (SaaS).

6. Find an eDiscovery service that’s designed for small law firms.

You don’t need to spend much to use a quality eDiscovery application. Just look out for these features:

  1. It shouldn’t take long to set up. And basic actions should be intuitive.

  2. It should have a clear, up-front pricing system. Your best option is fixed-volume pricing with a per-GB rate for reference. Having default case sizes to choose from makes pricing so much easier.

  3. It should stick to the basics and do them well. Custom-made eDiscovery software with artificial intelligence sounds fancy. But does your firm need ‘fancy’? Or does it need powerful, dependable software that gets the job done, for less?

Learn more about how to choose your eDiscovery software.

Need an eDiscovery service that will help you cut costs? Try GoldFynch.

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

  • It costs just $10 a month for a 1 GB case: That’s $25 less–every month–than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars less than many others. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch has a flat, prorated rate. With legacy software, your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
  • 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.
  • It can handle even the largest cases. GoldFynch scales from small to large, since it’s in the Cloud. So, choose from a range of case sizes (1 GB to 100 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need.
  • You can access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud. And you can monitor its servers here.
  • You won’t have to worry about technical stuff. It’s designed, developed and run by the same team. So, its technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means you get prompt and reliable service.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?