How Much Should My Law Firm Pay For eDiscovery? (Hint: $25/mo Starter Case)

21 December 2023 by Anith eDiscovery starter-case budgeting

Takeaway: Budget for as little as $25/mo for small cases (3 GB), $165/mo for midsize cases (25 GB), and $825+/mo for large cases (150+ GB).

eDiscovery is an integral part of modern litigation. So, law firms must figure out their eDiscovery budget.

eDiscovery, short for electronic discovery, refers to the process in which electronic data is searched for, located, secured, and reviewed as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. This electronic data includes emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemail, audio/video files, social media, websites, etc. And this electronic data can be used in litigation, FOIA requests, internal investigations, and compliance audits.

To set your budget, first consider how much data you’ll be working with.

Your data volume will affect your eDiscovery bill. Generally, the larger the volume of data, the higher the cost of eDiscovery. This is because it costs more to process, review, and store large datasets. It’s not just volume alone, though. The type of data you store affects costs, too. And so does where the data comes from. Different types of data (e.g., emails, instant messages, complex databases) and sources (cloud storage, personal devices, etc.) can vary in complexity and size, impacting the overall cost. This is why it’s worth using data culling methods, such as de-duplication and keyword searches (covered in a bit), to reduce data volume and thereby reduce costs.

Next, how complex are your cases? Because this will affect costs, too.

Complex cases, such as those involving multiple jurisdictions or intricate legal issues, may require more extensive eDiscovery efforts. Tighter deadlines can also increase review costs because the turnaround time for processing the review shrinks. Finally, cases with many stakeholders often lead to increased data volumes and complexities, impacting eDiscovery costs.

Also, what are your country’s data laws like?

Sticking to legal and regulatory standards (like GDPR and HIPAA) can add to eDiscovery costs, especially when dealing with cross-border data transfers and privacy concerns. Similarly, setting up robust security measures to protect sensitive eDiscovery data can add up, too. This includes encryption, secure data transfer, and access controls. And don’t forget audits and documentation. Keeping comprehensive records and undergoing regular audits to ensure compliance can also increase costs.

Here’s where choosing the right software can reduce your budget significantly.

The eDiscovery software you choose can significantly affect costs. For instance, your software’s licensing model – per user, per case, subscription-based, etc. – can impact the overall cost for a firm. And costs associated with maintaining, updating, and training staff on eDiscovery tools also contribute to the overall expense.

$25/mo for a 3 GB case is a good starter eDiscovery price.

Top-tier Cloud eDiscovery services can tackle these challenges for as low as $25 a month. And $25/mo gets you:

1. The chance to scale up rapidly.

The best eDiscovery services harness the power of the Cloud. Cloud services aren’t new – they’re how Dropbox, Google Drive, and Apple have worked for a while now. But eDiscovery services have got in on the fun. They run their software in the Cloud, so you split the bill with other Cloud users. And importantly, the Cloud is near-infinite, so you can get unlimited extra storage space in seconds.

2. Simplified access to your software.

Since the software is in the Cloud, you can access it from anywhere. And this is perfect for distributed teams. Plus, eDiscovery services offer vital team-based features like adding notes, annotations, and comments to case documents. So, regardless of how many people work on a case, you can keep everyone coordinated.

3. Secure data via 2FA and access permissions.

The best eDiscovery services come with built-in security features. For instance, there’s two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep unauthorized people out. So, you need a password as well as a backup identifier (e.g., a security code sent via email) to get in. And even if you do get in, you don’t have access to everything. That’s because there are further layers of security with multiple access permissions. For instance, people designated as ‘reviewers’ might only be able to search and review data. To add and remove files, they’d need to upgrade to ‘admin’ status. And to add/delete entire cases, they’d need the status of ‘owner.’ So, no one gets to do whatever they want, unless they have permission from those in charge.

4. A suite of eDiscovery tools.

$25 a month includes a full eDiscovery tool suite. That means an OCR tool to convert scanned documents into machine-readable text. It means an advanced search engine that takes complex commands like, “Find all emails Kevin Lomax sent John Milton that mention the Novartis meeting. And which were sent before 2018.” It also means you get to tag similar documents, redact sensitive information, and produce your files in various formats.

eDiscovery services come with other key advantages, too.

An eDiscovery subscription service like GoldFynch charges as little as $25/mo for small cases (3 GB), $165/mo for midsize cases (25 GB), and $825+/mo for large cases (150+ GB). And it comes with other key advantages:

  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing files 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 (our average response time is 30 minutes).
  • 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?