When it comes to complex electronic discovery, even tech savvy lawyers can quickly realize that they are in over their heads.
Fortunately, there is now a whole eDiscovery industry that caters to attorneys grappling with anything related to it, from the legal to the technical. But how do you know when you're going to need to bring in some expert help? More importantly, how are you going to pitch it to your client before billing them for that pricey eDiscovery consultant?
Recognizing eDiscovery Needs
Simply put, if you don't know what you’re doing with eDiscovery, then you better get someone to help as soon as possible. If there is no other attorney in your office to guide you, you might want to consider hiring someone in house if you have that authority. Otherwise, you might want to explore other options, such as co-counseling with a tech competent attorney or hiring an outside consulting expert.
Alternatively, or additionally, you may be able to get away with just hiring the best eDiscovery expert you can find for the case. Experts can help guide you through both what to look for and at and how to ask the right questions to get the information you seek. The right experts can also serve as both data analysts and custodians of data, and they can provide critical testimony not just at trial, but also for discovery and pretrial motions.
Rising Client Costs
While eDiscovery can avoid the expense of paper copies at the outset of any case that may involve eDiscovery, clients should be made aware of the potential costs to retain eDiscovery experts. Depending on the size and complexity of the case, these costs can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands (or more). Though this isn’t likely to help with the sticker shock clients often claim to experience when a fee retainer agreement gets plopped down in front of them, it’ll go a long way towards ensuring that you’ll actually be able to do your job the way it’s supposed to get done.