Is E-discovery the Next New Breakthrough in Litigation?

Is E-discovery the Next New Breakthrough in Litigation? | HTR

Even though electronic discovery is a term that has been tossed around the legal community for years, it is something that hasn’t been readily adapted by attorneys and courtrooms alike, until a few years ago.

Initially, it was thought of as a scan, index and retrieval system for paper documents. And while the concept of scanning 75 boxes of discovery into a computer system for immediate retrieval seems attractive, it isn’t exactly a point A to point B proposition.

In addition, the rules for criminal e-discovery are different than those of civil e-discovery. This blog post will address what you need to know, as well as, the inherent benefits and drawbacks of adopting to this technological solution.

E-discovery Basics

Electronic discovery refers to a process in which data is sought, located, secured, and searched for electronically with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. It can be carried out offline on a computer rental or it can be accessed via a secure Internet connection.

E-discovery must follow Electronically Stored Information (ESI) rules; where the courts or legal community has found the information created, manipulated, communicated and/or stored is best utilized in digital form.

Attorneys on both sides set the scope of the e-discovery and lockdown the ESI rules. Once this is established, the data can be collected, analyzed and formatted.

However, this can be a challenging process, even for the most brilliant legal minds. Which might leave you asking, “Why do it at all???”

E-discovery Benefits

Even though it might seem like a pain to implement, there are valuable benefits to finding the right hardware and software solution to support e-discovery. Here are the major benefits to consider:

  • Finding information in a flash.
    Imagine litigating a multimillion-dollar lawsuit and you need a piece of discovery you just can’t put your finger on. You have interns and paralegals combing through boxes to no avail because they are doing it in a hurried fashion and they don’t know exactly what they are looking for.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a search button in the software that allows you to pull up the information on an iPad rental? This is a quick and painless process that takes one minute versus the countless hours spent by multiple resources on the task of box diving.

  • Most software packages are easy-to-use.
    The navigation process has become much more intuitive, making it virtually fool-proof for any attorney.

  • Data is available all the time.
    Most apps reside on the cloud, thus making the data available 99% of the time from any device, at any time.

E-discovery Drawbacks

However, there are some problems with the current implementation process that hopefully will be ironed out in the next few years. Knowing them may make it easier to overcome these obstacles in your law firm.

  • Most law schools do not teach e-discovery.
    The most tech savvy students coming out of law school are of no help; however due to their knowledge of apps and anything mobile, their ability to pick up and implement this process is better than most.

    If you know your organization is tech challenged, I recommend you engage in a series of training seminars offered by the software provider and assign an e-discovery mentor for the office to train new employees and keep up with software and hardware changes.

  • Lawyers and IT staff do not speak the same language.
    Your IT department will need to be involved in your selection of technology. Rather than doing all the legwork and fighting with the IT department on ways they are going to support it, get them involved in the selection process early on. They can point out the pros and cons of any solution while asking questions you may not have thought about.

Hartford Technology Rental Supports the Legal Community

No matter where your case takes you, we provide litigation support rentals nationwide. Call us today at 888-520-5667 or fill out the online form and our technical sales representatives will help you select the right equipment to support your e-discovery platform.