Are Your Firm's Legal Teams Doing eDiscovery Right?

07 February 2024 by Anith eDiscovery general legal-teams

Takeaway: eDiscovery becomes easier when you set up your legal teams correctly. This means choosing a centralized or decentralized approach, designating roles, and ensuring regular upskilling/training to keep pace with eDiscovery trends.

An increasing digital footprint in organizations means you have to set up legal teams that can handle all this data. This means navigating through lots of electronic data during litigations, inquiries, and compliance audits. So, outdated eDiscovery practices don’t work anymore. And you’ll need smoothly functioning legal teams using top-tier eDiscovery software.

Legal teams must have a mix of legal professionals, IT specialists, and data analysis experts. (Although individual team members may take on multiple roles.) Legal professionals (e.g., attorneys and paralegals) handle the legal stuff – identifying relevant legal matters, setting the scope for eDiscovery, and identifying legal norms and duties. Meanwhile, IT personnel will handle the technical side of eDiscovery. This includes overseeing data collection, safeguarding data integrity, and ensuring secure data storage. (Note: You can cut out this IT role by using the right eDiscovery subscription service. But more on this later.) Finally, your legal teams need data analysts to navigate extensive datasets to unearth relevant information. This means overseeing data processing and analytics and translating complex data findings into actionable insights. (Again, choosing an eDiscovery service with in-built basic analytics can be a simpler, more practical alternative.)

Team members must be able to get along with each other, though.

Your challenge isn’t just to set up teams. You’ll need to set up a team that gets along well. It’s about forging a smoothly functioning group that uses the full potential of each member’s expertise – resulting in eDiscovery that is efficient, legally meticulous, and technologically advanced. A collaborative environment fosters a culture of knowledge sharing, where IT and data experts enlighten the team on the latest technological advancements, and, in turn, data analysts and legal professionals keep the team abreast of the newest legal developments. This dynamic ensures they address every aspect of eDiscovery with the most current understanding.

Also, consider how you’ll manage these teams. The simplest option is a centralized approach.

Adopting a centralized model in eDiscovery means that a single core team oversees all eDiscovery-related activities across different cases. This centralized team is the hub for managing every aspect of eDiscovery. The main advantage here is its uniformity to the eDiscovery procedures and methodologies. So, you’ll save money by streamlining who does what. The drawback is that you might create bottlenecks, particularly if the central team becomes overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks. Also, a centralized team might not be flexible enough to quickly adapt to vastly different demands from different cases.

When centralized teams struggle, it might be worth decentralizing things.

In a decentralized eDiscovery framework, multiple legal teams handle different eDiscovery operations. This makes teams way more flexible and adaptable, allowing them to tailor their eDiscovery processes to the distinct needs of individual cases. It also encourages innovation, as various teams craft bespoke solutions to their specific challenges. The downside is that you might get inconsistencies in eDiscovery across different teams. And there’s the potential for resource duplication, as separate teams independently invest in similar tools or processes. Further, sticking to uniform data security standards is more challenging when you have a fragmented/decentralized setup.

The most effective eDiscovery teams are those thoroughly trained in a variety of critical areas. First, they must know how to use their eDiscovery software – understanding things like data processing, electronic document review, and basic analytics. Next, in an era increasingly concerned with data breaches and privacy, these teams must have a strong grounding in data privacy and cybersecurity. This involves understanding the legal consequences of data breaches and developing strategies to protect sensitive information throughout eDiscovery. Finally, continuous education on the latest advancements in legal technology is vital. This includes staying informed about integrating AI and machine learning in eDiscovery – particularly how these technologies can enhance predictive coding, data categorization, and risk assessment.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are significantly transforming eDiscovery strategies. But these advancements come with new challenges and ethical dilemmas. For instance, a major concern is algorithmic bias, where AI systems reflect the biases in their training data, potentially leading to biased outputs. This means legal teams must guarantee that AI tools are trained on diverse, representative datasets and are consistently checked for biases. Another issue is the transparency and explainability of AI systems. How do you justify strategic decisions AI tools make when you don’t fully understand how AI works? That’s why legal professionals must learn how these AI tools formulate their conclusions, particularly when presenting these conclusions in court.

eDiscovery keeps evolving, so legal teams must update themselves via regular training sessions, participating in industry conferences, and attending webinars. This encourages a culture of continuous learning and curiosity within the team. Ideally, team members should get certified where possible. There are various certifications tailored for eDiscovery, such as the Certified eDiscovery Specialists (CEDS) and the GoldFynch 101 course. Additionally, many law schools and educational institutions now offer specialized courses in eDiscovery. These programs are designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of both the legal and technical facets of eDiscovery.

Here’s a secret, though: All this becomes easier when you have the right eDiscovery software.

An eDiscovery subscription service like GoldFynch simplifies eDiscovery and comes with a bunch of attractive advantages.

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know exactly what you’re paying for: its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • 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?