Note: The following is a guest post from George Socha, the president and founder of Socha Consulting LLC, an electronic discovery consulting firm.
Many corporate legal departments and government agencies are struggling with a common question right now: do we bring everyday eDiscovery in-house, outsource it to a qualified service provider or just leave our workflow the way it is?
With every unique organization starting from a different vantage point and facing varying possible outcomes, this decision-making process can seem overwhelmingly complicated. To help navigate that process, I moderated an EDRM webinar last week – “Everyday eDiscovery: Bringing it In-House or Outsourcing It” – that featured the comments of two expert panelists:
- David Cohen, Partner and Practice Group Leader (Global Records & E-Discovery Group) at Reed Smith; and
- David Popham, eDiscovery and Litigation Management Specialist at LexisNexis.
The panelists identified four key steps to guide corporate and government eDiscovery professionals through this decision-making process:
1. Determine where your eDiscovery stands today
Take a close look at four drivers:
1. What are our internal competencies?
2. What is our current cost basis for everyday eDiscovery?
3. What sort of risk tolerance do we have for “owning” the workflow ourselves and “transferring” the workflow to an outside provider?
4. How much control do we have over the eDiscovery workflow now?
This will give you a good sense of where you stand today.
2. Define where you want to be at the end of the process
Decide up front where you want to be with respect to the people, processes and technology that make up your eDiscovery workflow. This is a good time to address the four components above and set clear goals for how to improve your workflow, regardless of whether your organization chooses to insource or outsource.
3. Gather the information needed to make an informed decision
Make the rounds internally, going to the people in your organization who have skin in the eDiscovery game, and collect the input you need to make a decision. That should include not only litigation team members (lawyers and paralegals) but also your information technology, data privacy and data security teams and perhaps even your executive administration team.
4. Achieve consensus on actionable decision of whether to insource or outsource
Take the time to build internal consensus on which direction your organization chooses to go. You want to make sure there key people buy in to the chosen strategy. You also want them to be willing to be patient during the bumpy early days of implementation. It is important to understand this is not an “all or nothing” proposition. You may want to bring everything in-house or completely outsource, but it’s also more likely that you will conclude that a hybrid model will work better for you.
More: To download an audio recording of the “Everyday eDiscovery: Bringing It In-House or Outsourcing It” webinar, please click here.
The next program in this three-part webinar series will focus on practical tips for those who choose to bring eDiscovery in-house. The “Everyday eDiscovery” webinar series is produced by EDRM and sponsored by LexisNexis.
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Mr. Socha is also the co-founder of EDRM, a guidelines and standards organization that creates practical resources to improve eDiscovery and information governance.
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Photo credit: Flickr, Daniel Oines (CC BY 2.0)