The 3 Biggest Challenges In Today’s E-Discovery Efforts

In the legal profession, the discovery process can be time-consuming and cumbersome – attorneys and law clerks have to sift through mounds of paperwork, searching for information that is relevant to their case or their clients. Electronic data discovery (e-discovery) hasn’t made this any easier as an even larger volume of electronically stored information (ESI) has entered the process.

As more documents are converted electronically, e-discovery should become conceivably more efficient as paperwork is reduced and discovery work is made easier.  However, there is still a lot of paper involved in the discovery process.

Also, attorneys have been slow to develop e-discovery competencies. Additionally, a lack of cooperation between parties in a lawsuit can create obstacles in the discovery process that technology isn’t likely to fix. Cross-jurisdictional cases also pose an e-discovery challenge because not every jurisdiction follows the same rules and regulations; in some cases, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain the proper documents.

What’s more, all that paper isn’t integrated into the electronic document flow, depriving law firms of one of the most significant benefits of e-discovery: the ability to use data analytics or search terms to speed up the process.

Paper documents that aren’t part of e-discovery processes are challenging to integrate into the electronic document flow. Therefore, these unrecorded documents reduce the potential value of data mining and analysis tools that law firms are increasingly using to evaluate documents during discovery. Software tools like this help expedite the process of searching through mounds of records for information. 

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have been amended to raise the standards for electronic discovery and ESI preservation and to increase the penalties for non-compliance.

Electronic document management can help by integrating these document streams and improving the discovery process by addressing these common challenges:

Increasing Volumes, Wider Variety of Documents

Electronic documents have vastly increased the volume of information that has to be analyzed during e-discovery. The stream of paper documents is also tricky to manage and effectively scan because of the wide variety of document types and sizes.

Using an enterprise-class scanner that can automatically sort and scan any size document can speed up this process. Those documents can also be analyzed, classified, and assigned metadata during the imaging process, which makes it easier to combine both electronic and physical documents in a way that makes them infinitely more searchable. 

Security and Organization of Documents

With digital imaging, law firms can combine both physical and electronic sources during e-discovery. Scanned documents are also more secure using rule-based access security that can be set up for the files. Scanning also eliminates concerns about physical documents being lost, damaged, stolen, or otherwise compromised.

Labor, Cost, Accuracy

Combining e-discovery and document imaging can allow firms to reduce the amount of data they need on hand earlier in the litigation cycle, which improves efficiency and lowers overhead costs. Non-relevant data can be sorted and discarded with less labor, and no need to store large amounts of physical documents on or off-site. 

According to some sources, seven out of every 10 cents of document production costs are consumed in the review phase; electronic documents can significantly reduce that burden. E-discovery and document management solutions can also do so with a higher degree of accuracy than manual searches.

With lower costs and higher efficiency and accuracy, law firms are better positioned in what is an increasingly competitive market for legal services.

While e-discovery can be challenging for law firms, the use of document imaging and analytics can help streamline discovery and document management, and result in a more efficient and accurate process.

Our team of project managers, engineers, and analysts can assist and support you through your document management and mailroom automation evaluation and implementation process from start to finish. Contact us today via phone (+1 856.727.1100) or online to learn more.