Companies that work in highly-regulated or high-risk industries are often concerned about protecting themselves against lawsuits. With the growing amount of paperwork and digital information, it can be incredibly challenging for those organizations to quickly respond to lawsuits or legal complaints. It’s getting more costly to spend the time – or pay someone to spend the time – sorting through documents and files to prepare for cases or even to determine if the case has merit.
In some instances, just the “discovery” phase of a lawsuit can last for years, with millions of documents being exchanged, explained TechCrunch. The increase in the amount of digital information has led to the development of tools that can help companies take control of their digital information. Instead of sorting through emails, files, documents and digital records manually, try using eDiscovery software instead. There are various ways that it can streamline this process, including:
- Early case assessment: An in-house eDiscovery can be performed quickly to determine legal risks
- In-place legal hold: This allows organizations to flag and set aside information that needs to be reviewed for a case
- Case workflow management: This helps lawyers manage files related to their cases throughout a lawsuit’s entire lifecycle
- Dynamic search and identification: This high-powered search tool uncovers information using a variety of search queries to find exactly what is needed quickly
Although eDiscovery is a great resource for companies, it still isn’t being widely used, according to a survey from analyst firm 451 Research. The study found that less than 50 percent of companies think that implementing an information management program is important. The survey also found a disconnect between some groups, with IT workers and senior management being much more likely to think it was important than other business units. Without eDiscovery, a lot of those companies may find themselves in precarious and costly legal situations in the coming years as they try to handle increasingly large amounts of data.
“Social media and mobile data have changed the legal landscape in e-discovery, as the proliferation of social data has made [e-discovery] a factor in legal matters where it was rarely an issue before – from everyday slip-and-fall cases to divorce actions,” said David Horrigan, a lawyer and the report’s author. “E-discovery isn’t just for big cases tried by big law firms anymore, and we see this trend continuing because social media platforms aren’t going away anytime soon.”
Although an eDiscovery system doesn’t replace legal counsel, it can help make the document investigation and management process more efficient and cost effective. It can also help companies better manage and organize their digital content.