Note: This article was written by Francis George.
Before bringing any eDiscovery processes in-house, it’s important to understand exactly what is going on outside the house.
Amy DeCesare manages both internal and external eDiscovery teams, and has always maintained how important it is to understand what you’re spending the firm’s money on. She tells the story of how one team came to her confused because they didn’t understand the bill from their Litigation Service Bureau (LSB).
She told them, “Don’t come to me if you don’t understand anything on the bill, you keep talking to the vendor until you understand every single [thing] and you can explain it to someone else.”
Ms. DeCesare’s advice not only helps her teams manage their vendors better, but it helps them learn the actual processes involved in eDiscovery, which is mandatory to understand before anything is brought in house.
1. Recognize your LSB’s quality, and see if you can match it. David Cohen says to ask yourself, “…can you do it at least as well if not better than the vendors? If you can’t, then don’t even try.”
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2. Always get different 3 bids for every LSB project. Mr. Cohen says it’s always smart to get 3 bids and scrutinize them. “So maybe they’ve got this great price, or they’ll do your processing or hosting for free, it sounds really good, but then at the next step, when you have to use them for review or if you ever want your data back, they’re going to charge you an arm and a leg to get it back.”
3. Ask each LSB why pick them, why their processes are better. Mr. Cohen suggests “rather than sending out a request for proposal to X number of vendors”…perhaps even replace that with a very different request which says, or ask:
“What are you going to do for me that’s better and different from what your competition is going to be? Tell me where you shine. Tell me what your strengths are. Tell me how your approaches are better, not just different but better. And you can get some wonderful insights from that type of approach. I don’t see people follow that that often, but when I’ve done that type of thing, it’s been very useful.”
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This entry was derived from a LexisNexis Panel Discussion moderated by George Socha, the president and founder of Socha Consulting LLC, an electronic discovery consulting firm. To download an audio recording click here: “Everyday eDiscovery: Bringing It In-House or Outsourcing It.”
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Photo credit: Flickr, Dave Young, rising moon and star trails (CC BY 2.0)