Over the past several years, the concept and associated technology to support Do-It-Yourself (DIY) eDiscovery has emerged within the litigation services and technology market as an approach that can increase productivity, provide users with more control over the process and ultimately reduce the overall cost of eDiscovery. Although there are use cases that prove the value of DIY eDiscovery, some people contend that DIY eDiscovery is not legally defensible. Others point to “headline” cases that suggest DIY eDiscovery can turn into a train wreck.
In a 2012 report by eDiscovery Solutions Group (eDSG) titled, “2012 Study of Global 250 General Counsel on eDiscovery,” 51% of the respondents indicated that their top concern over the next 12 months was that they would be overwhelmed with ESI and 100% of the respondents indicated that their top concern was managing the cost of eDiscovery. As a result of these cost concerns, enterprises are beginning to investigate whether or not it makes sense to bring some aspects of eDiscovery in-house. According to a December 2011 article on the InsideCounsel website by David Meadows titled, “How to determine if DIY e-discovery is right for you,” enterprises are asking questions such as:
- Can my organization better manage costs and increase control over eDiscovery?
- Can my organization hire the talent needed to manage and execute the in-sourced technology
- Which aspects of eDiscovery are best in-sourced or outsourced?
- Which aspects of eDiscovery are best left to my outside counsel?
- Under what circumstances should my organization be working with an outside eDiscovery expert?
- Kroll Ontrack is marketing Verve™ Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a complete DIY eDiscovery solution.
- Nexpoint, a leading providing of cloud-based eDiscovery solutions has long positioned itself as a DIY eDiscovery solution.
- Xerox acquired Lateral Data, a provider of electronic discovery that was marketing a complete DIY eDiscovery solution.
- Deloitte acquired IE Discovery, a provider of electronic discovery that was marketing a complete DIY eDiscovery solution.
The stakeholders and decision makers within enterprises that are considering DIY eDiscovery certainly need to ask the right questions to decide which aspects of eDiscovery they should bring in house and how much they can actually reduce the overall cost of eDiscovery. As pointed out by both Gene Petty and Elizabeth Cohee, there are also legal and operational aspects of DIY eDiscovery that the enterprise must to take into consideration when making a decision about bringing eDiscovery in-house.
In the end, the opportunity to increase internal control over the eDiscovery process and to reduce the overall cost of eDiscovery will result in many enterprises deciding to move some aspects of eDiscovery to DIY eDiscovery.