eDiscovery Burst Capacity

Today we’re going to be discussing eDiscovery burst capacity. One way to think about burst capacity and what it means is to consider the following: Your team and your processes typically handle an average number of cases and an average amount of data. However, sudden spikes in either caseload or data volume can create tremendous pressure to process and review more electronically stored information in the same amount or less time.

Today’s panelists are going to describe how organizations are affected today, and recommend steps to avoid or mitigate the challenges of burst capacity needs. First of all, sometimes burst requirements are just inherently necessary because surprise litigation happens and a scheduling order is issued and there’s just a lot of work to do and not much time to do it in. However, it’s not always necessary to face those burst requirements if there’s a good understanding in the legal team about what the specifics of the IT environment are for that particular corporation.

What I mean by that is if the legal team understands things better, they are often able to negotiate more effectively in meet and confers so that they can affect the scheduling orders and try to mitigate some of the burst process from the general legal obligation side of the fence, rather than just trying to process more data quickly. But sometimes, however, we do have to process more data quickly, and in that case you need to have efficient processes in place to identify, collect, process, filter and then review the ESI. I think it’s a little bit different where you work with organizations that may have to do some discovery in house.  

Wuk, as a guy who’s worked in legal service bureaus, how’s this been different, how has burst capacity contributed to the challenges in your world?
Wuk: Oh, I often think service bureaus are some of the last people to know that there’s a tight deadline with competing interests. I think some of the more unique challenges that service bureaus face are that there are competing matters, often for different clients, and when a burst requirement opens up, you sort of get that going downstream.

Like Cliff mentioned, I think one of the ways that service bureaus can help their clients meet that is to try to present information and organize it in intuitive ways to help their clients present this information during meet and confers, where I think a lot of the pain and resource-intensive processes could be headed off with some negotiations with opposing counsel or regulatory entities.
In order to do that, though, you need be able to present information quickly and in an organized manner so that the client can make decisions from that data that you’ve provided to them.

Colby: Do think that some firms are not well equipped to have that kind of process?

Wuk: Yes, two things: they don’t have the technology or the process in place to present that information to their clients. I think one of the things that we can do is know the matter intimately so that we can present more information that’s relevant. No two cases are identical and so trying to understand what’s relevant in this matter and what will really get at the guts of either the investigation or the litigation will really help cut down the volume and ease some of the pains related to a burst requirement.

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