Are You Overthinking eDiscovery Uploads? [Probably. And You'll Never Guess Why!]

21 June 2020 by Ross eDiscovery upload

Takeaway: Most attorneys overthink which files are worth uploading and which aren’t. And it’s all because of upfront processing fees. Paying for processing incentivizes you to second-guess yourself and upload less. Instead, get a more flexible pricing plan that charges for storage space and offers processing for free.

Attorneys waste a lot of time thinking about which eDiscovery files to upload.

The buzz on the grapevine is that the fewer files you upload, the lower your eDiscovery costs. This is isn’t quite true. The issue isn’t really about uploading too many files. Rather, it’s about indiscriminately collecting files and forcing yourself to sift through mountains of data. And yet, attorneys get fixated on the ‘uploading files’ part.

Why is this? Well, it comes down to eDiscovery pricing. Specifically, upfront processing fees.

When you upload files into your eDiscovery software, there’s a lot of ‘processing’ that goes on in the background. For example, your software has to filter out time-wasting duplicate files and system files (e.g., .EXE files, font files, Windows system files). Then, it needs to convert documents into a standard format so you can open them all without their parent software. And finally, it extracts embedded files and file metadata. (Learn more about eDiscovery processing.) Many eDiscovery pricing models charge upfront for this processing. So, you’ll pay a per-GB rate to upload data, and then a fixed monthly eDiscovery fee, regardless of how much data is in your case.

It’s these upfront processing fees that make you overthink what you should and shouldn’t be uploading.

If you have a per-GB rate, and you know how many GBs you’ll be uploading, then you know what your eDiscovery bill will be exactly, right? But the downside is that every GB counts (quite literally since you’re paying for each of them). So, you end up overthinking your uploads.

  • “Will I really need these files?” Why upload something you’re going to delete later? For example, why waste money uploading non-reviewable files (like EXEs and DLLs) and reviewable-but-unusable files (like XML sheets)?
  • “What if I make a mistake while uploading?” If you have to re-upload your files, then that’s twice the processing costs!
  • “I hope I don’t get a ‘re-production’ request from opposing counsel.” That’s double the costs, again.

So, what’s the alternative? Free eDiscovery processing.

Paying upfront for processing is just one eDiscovery pricing model. But there’s a better one. Many law firms are switching to eDiscovery vendors that charge for storage space, not processing. Here, storage space is divided into chunks (or ‘plans’)–e.g. 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, etc. And you pay for the amount of space you need. Processing comes for free, as part of the deal. So, if you have 9 GB worth of data, get the 10 GB plan and dump all your files into your software. After working on them, if you realize you don’t need so much space, downgrade your plan and pay for only the few days you were on the older one (that’s the elegance of prorated pricing!). And if you need to add more files later on, your case upgrades automatically. Plus, you can delete the files and re-upload them as many times as you want for free. (Learn more about fixed-volume pricing.)

When processing is free, you have the luxury of a much more intuitive workflow.

Think about how much easier your life becomes with free processing and affordable, prorated pricing. Just upload everything your client sends you and let your eDiscovery software to flag the unusable and unlikely-to-be-usable files. You can then explore them at your leisure and cull the unnecessary ones. The key here is you’re doing the culling because it makes sense, not because you’re trying to keep costs down.

Best of all, storage space is so affordable nowadays that law firms are happy to pay for it.

That’s because of the Cloud. Cloud-hosting has been around for a long time. In fact, if you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or any Apple product, then you’re already in the Cloud. Here, software giants like Amazon and Google let you store your files on their servers. And these thousands of interconnected servers form a public ‘Cloud.’ Since you’re sharing the servers with other people, everyone splits the cost. Also, since the data is on central Cloud servers, you can access it from anywhere. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Equally important, Cloud providers keep your data safe. They protect it from physical damage (fires, floods, etc.), have lots of security measures to keep hackers out, have advanced data-recovery tools, and have generators to make sure their servers are always powered up. (Learn more about Cloud security.)

Need powerful eDiscovery software that can help you compete with larger firms? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a tried and tested eDiscovery application that prioritizes things that matter to small and midsize law firms. That’s why:

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s much 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 (3 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?