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Live Blogging at LTNY: Session on E-Discovery Tips for In-House Counsel

Created on January 31, 2012

Date/Time: 10:30 - 11:45 (EST), Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Participants: Vincent Catanzaro, Global Discovery Manager, DuPont Legal; Ari Kaplan, Principal, Ari Kaplan Advisors; Lynn Looby, Managing Counsel, Director of The Discovery Expertise Committee, Dow Chemical Co.; Renee Meisel, Legal Director, Dell Inc.
Session Description: Advice from Counsel - Top Legal Minds in the Country Share their eDiscovery Tips

In this session, best practices were offered on how corporate legal departments can shape and define their e-discovery programs by effectively predicting costs and navigating cross border concerns.

  • To effectively create a corporate e-discovery program their needs to be: (1) The legal department must define the needs which must be addressed - utilize a project manager or management team to oversee the e-discovery process; (2) Commitment from management to cooperate - business management and the general counsel must buy in to cooperating effectively with all stakeholders in the process (IT, inside and outside counsel, HR, vendors). "Not just a data problem, its a management issue". (3) Implement a repeatable, standardized process; (4) Carefully select an e-discovery vendor to partner with.
  • The audience when asked, "What is the most important consideration for you when selecting e-discovery software or services?" the #1 response was defensibility, followed by cost. The panelists did note that customer support from vendors was vital when selecting e-discovery software and services because technology does no good if users don't know how to effectively use it.
  • Keeping historical data of past discovery costs allows legal teams to manage and mitigate risk. Key metrics to predict costs are: (1) costs per custodian; (2) costs per GB; (3) costs per file (while taking into account different document types (zip, pst, excel, etc.).
  • The US and EU have very different privacy rights, to ensure that privacy rights are not breached when data is stored in the EU (1) preserve data located in the foreign country while privacy issues are being addressed and (2) retain local foreign counsel for advice on how to alleviate these cross border issues.
  • Predictive coding for document review will make the document review process more efficient and accurate, reducing review sets for subsequent human review.
E-Discovery Beat's Key Takeaway

Based on the high volume of litigation and the complexity of the information needed to be collected it is imperative that corporations have a dedicated e-discovery team or at least an e-discovery project manager to oversee and monitor the e-discovery process. E-discovery software and service vendors have become essential tools for in-house legal departments not only to manage e-discovery but to make it a defensible business process.