30 Aug 2012

Who’s Promoting the Adoption of E-Discovery Technology, In-House or Outside Counsel? Thoughts from the Second Day of ILTA 2012

Posted in: ILTA 2012 No Comments

By: Scott Giordano, Esq., Corporate Technology Counsel, Exterro

I had an interesting discussion with one of the industry analysts on the second day of ILTA: Who’s primarily responsible for promoting the adoption of e-discovery technology, inside or outside counsel? The analyst’s contention was that it was outside counsel, with the rationale being that it made them more competitive in the marketplace for legal services. I suggested that, based on my experience in the legal technology industry, in-house counsel were typically the drivers for any technology that promised greater value for legal services expenditures.

Looking back on the discussion, I suspect that much of the answer depends on the size of the client. I remember back in the mid-90’s when the DuPont Model of managing corporate legal departments, with an emphasis on leveraging technology (among other things), began to gain currency in the legal community. Today, in-house counsel at many leading large enterprises are big fans of this model, and e-discovery technology happens to be applicable in a variety of contexts beside litigation—internal investigations, regulatory agency inquiries, Department of Justice second requests, and so forth. Conversely, small- and mid-size companies with lower litigation volumes tend to leverage outside counsel and their service providers for a larger amount of their litigation-related capability.  In either case, I can now see how outside counsel’s having e-discovery expertise can be a big competitive advantage since even in the large company environment, larger, higher-risk cases will involve outside counsel expertise. Ultimately though, I believe that increasingly it’s the GCs and their teams who will be (and are) driving the technology decisions.

We would like to know who’s driving your company’s e-discovery technology adoption decisions. Please comment below.

Scott Giordano is an experienced attorney with more than 16 years legal, technology and risk management consulting experience. Giordano serves as Exterro’s subject matter expert on the intersection of law and technology as it applies to e-discovery, information governance, compliance and risk management issues.

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