eDiscovery Costs You May Not Know About

06 December 2021 by Anith eDiscovery

Takeaway: Choose the wrong eDiscovery software, and you’ll end up overspending on storage space, processing fees, reviews, and data security. The solution? Find Cloud-based software with the right set of features for your law firm.

There’s a lot at stake with eDiscovery. And choosing the wrong software can cost you.

Law firms that don’t take on eDiscovery get left behind. But even amongst those that do, many lose time and money by choosing the wrong software. Let’s explore some examples of this by using data compiled from sources like the American Bar Association, Duke Law, Cisco, and more.

1. The average eDiscovery case contains about 100 truckloads of data. So, where are you storing all of it?

On average, an eDiscovery case has 130 GB of data collected from 10–15 custodians. That’s 6.5 million pages, and it would take about 100 trucks to transport them! So, where do you store all this data? Traditionally, you’d store it on your own servers (i.e., on-premises hosting). But then you’d need to buy specialized hardware and software and hire an IT person to troubleshoot problems. You could store the data on an eDiscovery vendor’s private ‘server farm’ and save yourself these installation and maintenance costs. But they’d still charge you a lot for the service. That’s why the best eDiscovery applications store your data in the Cloud (i.e., a global network of servers), the same as other apps you use like Dropbox and Google Drive. And because many people use the Cloud, you’ll pay very little for storage. Also, there are so many Cloud servers that you can get hundreds of GBs of space in seconds. Unfortunately, not all law firms realize this – and often waste thousands of dollars on private storage.

2. Data processing fees can wipe out a fourth of your budget unless you choose the right pricing plan.

Choose the wrong software, and you’ll likely spend about 24% of your budget on unnecessary data processing fees. That’s because some vendors charge you for uploading your data. For instance, they might charge $125/GB for data ingestions, $555/GB for metadata extraction, $250/GB for data enrichment, $600/GB for TIFFing, and so on. The problem here is that you’ll often overpay for cases. Let’s assume you get some data, process it, but then delete and replace it. With processing fees, you’d pay each time you upload anything – even if you make mistakes and have to re-upload the same files. Some vendors have a better solution, though, and it can save you a lot of money. They process your files for free and charge a flat monthly fee for storage instead. So, you can add and delete as many files as you want for the same cost, as long as you stay within your storage limit. And you can upgrade that limit at any point. (Learn more about Paying Flat Fees Vs. A La Carte Uploading Fees.)

3. Outsourcing your reviews can take up to 2 weeks. Do you have that much time to spare?

If you get a vendor to review your eDiscovery files, they could take up to 2 weeks and charge you upwards of $1000 per GB they review. Even if you do it yourself, you can end up spending a week (and about $150 per GB) with older eDiscovery software. Instead, the latest Cloud-based applications will shorten turnaround times significantly.

  • Get set up faster. Legacy eDiscovery applications often don’t have pricing plans clearly displayed on their website. So you’d need to have long email (or phone) conversations to negotiate costs. Instead, Cloud-based applications are more likely to have simple pricing plans to choose from that let you sign up and start working immediately. No back-and-forths, no negotiating, no wasted time.
  • Master the software in minutes. The best eDiscovery applications are easy to use, and you won’t need to keep calling customer support for guidance. You’ll log in as you do with email (through your web browser), search for keywords as you’d do with Google, access files as you’d do with Dropbox, and more.
  • Use powerful review tools. Cloud eDiscovery applications give you key review tools to help you work faster and better. For example, an ‘advanced search’ tool will let you run a highly specific search command like, ‘Find all the emails Harvey Dent sent Rachel Dawes about the Apex meeting, before 2016.’ This level of detail means you can find niche files quicker. Learn more about eDiscovery review tools.

4. Data breaches cost the US economy about $80 billion in 2016. So, how well is your data protected?

It can be risky to hand over your documents for a third-party review. But if you store the data on your own servers, you’ll have to spend a lot on data security. Thankfully, the Cloud is the perfect solution, as it keeps your data encrypted (even from Cloud providers), while still being affordable. And security-cleared employees and IT pros protect your data from intruders and hackers. Plus, Cloud providers disaster-proof your files by backing them up on multiple servers.

The lesson from all this? Poor eDiscovery choices can eat away at your budget, so it’s worth finding eDiscovery software that’s right for your firm.

At GoldFynch, we started our journey with a simple goal: Create an easy-to-use eDiscovery service that avoids all the pitfalls we’ve outlined in this post. What we’ve come up with is an eDiscovery solution with some key advantages for small and midsize law firms.

  • 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?