eDiscovery and Litigation Support

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The State of eDiscovery 2011: Results of our industry market research study


With the start of the New Year eDiscovery practitioners often try to predict what risks, concerns, and challenges they will face in 2012.  With the exception of using GPS technology, it is difficult to know where you are going if you do not know where you have been, or at least where you are.  Rather than merely pontificating on this prediction, Digital Reef and I decided to take this a step further by conducting a market research study on the current state of eDiscovery, so that the industry has a benchmark of where we are heading.

First of all, we would like to thank those of you who took valuable time away from your busy schedules to participate in this survey.  To put the survey results in their proper context, 40% of the participants worked in law firms, 26% were vendors, 14% were consultants, and 6% were corporate.  Since the law firm category is relatively broad, 35% considered themselves as executive/senior management, while 24% were attorneys, 26% were litigation support professionals, and 7% were paralegals. 

It is also important to know the experience level of the participants in order to gauge whether or not they know what they are talking about.  As a whole, 35% have been in the industry between 5-15 years and 50% have been in it more than 15 years.  Thus, our pool is comprised of very seasoned industry professionals.

Surprisingly, between 38%-40% of the participants are doing ECA, processing and collections in-house.  Some organizations are doing legal holds and preservation as well.  Here are some of the other activities that our participants are currently doing in-house:

eDiscovery in-house









Although 71% of the participants have full-time IT/Litigation Support Professionals, here are the results of what they still send out to vendors:

eDiscovery vendors












The cloud has been the source of great concern in the industry and in the courts.  Fifty percent of those surveyed said that they either always or sometimes used cloud based ECA, however, nearly 19% where unsure of what they used.  Consistently, 65% use a cloud based document review solution at some frequency, but 11% were unsure.  Here are some of the pros the industry feels about utilizing cloud based technologies:

cloud based e-discovery









People also commented about cloud based technology’s “ease of use” and “convenience” as being strong pros as well.  Nevertheless, in addition to the concerns below, many have concerns of its reliability and security:

cloud-based eDiscovery










Based on the industry’s concerns, fears, and successes, it looks like the industry will continue to look to the cloud for its eDiscovery solutions:

The Future of SaaS











As our electronic devices continue to evolve, so will the need for our eDiscovery solutions.  Cloud based technologies tend to have a lot of concern about security, yet many people enjoy the cost savings, functionality, and ease of use.  Providers will need to address the security concerns the industry has in the New Year, but continue to make eDiscovery a practical cost saving solution overall.  Here’s to the New Year and we hope to see you at LegalTech NYC.

Kevin L. Nichols is the Principal of KLN Consulting Group located in San Francisco, which specializes in Litigation, Diversity and Business Development/Social Media consulting.

For more information, please visit http://www.klnconsultinggroup.com.



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