Written by Doug Austin, Editor of eDiscovery Today
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year and so many people began working remotely, it’s no surprise that the use of cloud-based solutions (already on the rise) jumped considerably as organizations needed a way to centralize data being used by employees, contractors, and partners and limit the potential of sensitive data stored in less secure home environments.
It’s one of the reasons that (as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago) increased use of cloud-based eDiscovery solutions was the second biggest eDiscovery trend for 2021 (behind only discovery of collaboration app data) identified by respondents in the eDiscovery Today 2021 State of the Industry report (sponsored by EDRM), issued in January.
At this point, I think most people realize that there are several benefits to cloud-based solutions, including: reduced internal IT costs, easier scalability, and access to immediate updates of the platform (as opposed to non-cloud solution implementations where software updates have to be distributed and may encounter issues in different environments).
Many people have even come to accept that most cloud-based solutions are more secure than in-house implementations, as cloud providers are expected to provide highly secure environments that are independently certified secure through certifications such as ISO/IEC 27001.
Multi-Matter Management in the Cloud
Another benefit of cloud-based solutions is that it makes it easier to support multi-matter litigations involving multiple outside counsel firms.
Years ago, I supported a client who had cases all over the country related to a particular product liability litigation. While that client had a national counsel firm, they also worked with local counsel firms all around the country that defended cases filed in various local jurisdictions – those local firms and lawyers were selected because they had experience with the local rules and the judges assigned to the cases. While there were multiple cases, the corpus of potentially responsive documents for each of them was largely the same, so they were hosted in a cloud-based eDiscovery solution for all firms to access.
Benefits of a cloud-based eDiscovery solution for multi-matter management include:
Consistency: As each case unfolded, responsiveness and privilege designations previously assigned are available to subsequent firms litigating similar cases. This minimizes the potential for inadvertent disclosures of documents that might be marked privileged in one case but missed in another. Doing the same thing over and over again and getting a different result is insanity! And (assuming the issues are relatively the same), it can save review time and costs by eliminating the need to review documents for which determinations have already been performed.
Quicker Response: With many of the cases using mostly the same document corpus (supplemental collections aside), counsel can get started preparing for their case immediately, instead of waiting for preservation, collection, and processing of the same documents repeatedly.
Reduced Costs: Eliminating the need to repeatedly collect, process, and review the same documents to support multiple cases saves considerable costs.
Greater Focus on the Legal Issues: With discovery tasks minimized, lawyers and legal professionals working on the case can focus more on the case issues.
More Control Over the Process: Centralizing the management of discovery for multiple matters gives in-house counsel greater control over the process as they can easily track discovery activities across all their cases. It also enables them to dictate (or at least promote) consistent discovery workflows with various counsel firms.
When an organization is litigating multiple matters that have similar claims and issues that involve many of the same documents from case to case, use of a cloud-based eDiscovery solution can streamline support of those cases, increase consistency of responses across them and reduce costs while providing greater control. Why do the same thing over and over again when you don’t have to – that’s insane!
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