5 Simple Ways to Balance eDiscovery Costs Vs Quality

26 August 2021 by Anith eDiscovery

Takeaway: The concept of eDiscovery proportionality forces attorneys to keep costs in check, even as they search for the best tools for their cases. But with a little research and advanced planning, it’s possible to balance costs vs. quality. The trick is to use Cloud software, choose reliable tools, and find an eDiscovery pricing system that keeps costs low in the long run.

eDiscovery can be overwhelming if you don’t have high-quality tools. But you also have to keep costs in mind.

There’s a lot at stake with eDiscovery, especially since you’re handling someone else’s data. First of all, they’re entrusting you with potentially privileged information, so you can’t afford to lose it or let someone else get their hands on it. And then, you’re sifting through all this data for valuable clues to help build your case – so you can’t afford to miss vital facts. With the advancements in technology over the last decade, there’s a sizeable array of eDiscovery software options. But we also have to consider the costs involved. It might feel reassuring to use custom-designed software with advanced features like machine learning, but are they really worth the hefty price tag? This issue of proportionality – i.e., spending only as much as a case warrants – is a challenging balancing act between finding high-quality tools and keeping costs in check.

So, to help with this, we’ve listed 5 simple ways to keep eDiscovery costs proportional to their payoff.

Here’s what we’ve learned from years of helping clients take charge of eDiscovery.

1. Find a reliable data collection service to help you gather files directly from the Cloud.

The first step of eDiscovery is to collect data, and it’s an important step because it sets up all the following stages. So you’ll need to make sure you don’t do things like mistakenly skip custodians, corrupt your data, or misplace files. The best solution for this is to use a reliable eDiscovery collection service that helps you gather files directly from Cloud accounts. It makes it easier to access your own Cloud accounts, and it speeds things up when collecting files from your clients’ accounts. (That’s because instead of waiting for your clients to respond to your collection requests, you can ask them to authorize you to collect their data yourself.)

2. Keep track of file structure, connections, and metadata.

Once you’ve collected your eDiscovery data, make sure you don’t lose contextual information like how your files are connected, when they were created, who created them, etc. The right eDiscovery software will make sure your folders stay grouped the same way, keep connections between file families (e.g., keep an attachment linked to its parent email), and protect metadata from getting altered. Also, you’ll get essential tools to tag files and leave comments/annotations. All these options are crucial when building a case because they add context to a file, and this is often as valuable as the file’s contents. For example, it’s useful to know what an email says. But it’s just as useful to know when it was sent to you, which email chain it was a part of, or what your colleagues thought when they first read it. And this is the sort of extra information that eDiscovery review tools will help you collect and protect.

3. Secure your files and any sensitive information they contain.

Data security is such a big priority with eDiscovery cases. And it’s almost unfixable if unauthorized people get access to your clients’ data when it’s being stored, transferred, produced, or shared. This means making sure your files are safely protected in the Cloud, are shared via secure links, and are thoroughly redacted. Redaction, in particular, is something that’s easy to overlook. And it’s about more than just drawing black boxes over sensitive text. Ideally, you’ll want to use a specialized redaction tool to ‘burn in’ your redactions.

4. Master your eDiscovery review tools so that you don’t overlook important files.

You can save yourself (and your paralegals) hours of work by spending a bit of time up front experimenting with your review tools. For example, your eDiscovery search engine can help you find keywords and keyword combinations, but it takes time to build and store a well-crafted search. You’ll need to create ‘version 1’ of the search, test it on a small set of files, tweak it, test it on a larger set, and so on. The simpler your search tool is, the easier this process becomes, but it’ll still take practice to master.

5. Make sure your eDiscovery costs are worth it in the long run.

There are so many eDiscovery applications on the market and just as many pricing plans. We’ve written articles that help untangle complicated eDiscovery pricing, but it all boils down to this: Small and midsize law firms get the most value for money by choosing Cloud eDiscovery software. More specifically, Cloud software that charges for how much data you store, instead of how much data you upload. And there’s a significant difference between these two options. (Paying for storage keeps you flexible by allowing you to upload and delete data freely, and it gives you a predictable monthly bill.)

Looking for eDiscovery software that’s both affordable and reliable? Try GoldFynch.

At GoldFynch, we’ve tailored our eDiscovery service to fit the needs of small and midsize law firms and companies. Here are examples of how the software does this.

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. 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 charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up-front how much you’ll be paying. You can upload and cull as much data as you want, as long as you stay below your storage limit. And even if you do cross the limit, you can upgrade your plan with just a few clicks. Also, billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch 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 trial case (0.5 GB of data and a processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch, and you’re good to go. Plus, you get prompt and reliable tech support.
  • Access it from anywhere, and 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to find out more about GoldFynch?