Let It Go – Discarding Past Ediscovery Protocols; the Portfolio Approach is the Future

Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Eric Robinson

At some point in the last 9 months (even if you don’t have small children), you have likely heard or seen snippets from Disney’s latest blockbuster animated movie, Frozen.

“I’m never going back, the past is in the past. Let it go. Let it go….Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway.”

The song made popular by Idina Menzel is more than just a catchy kid’s tune; it offers some clever advice for those in the ediscovery world. It is time to let go of the fragmented case by case approach and leave short term ediscovery approaches in the past. The portfolio approach is the future.

Recently one of my Kroll Ontrack colleagues, John Winkler, published an article, “E-Discovery Evolution: Streamlining the Daunting Process,” in ILTA’s June 2014 Litigation and Practice Support Whitepaper. In this article, Mr. Winkler discusses the tendency of humans to seek out short term solutions even when long-term alternatives are a safer bet and offer superior results. He argues that when it comes to ediscovery, this notion rings true. Most law firms and corporations handle ediscovery matters in a single-minded, one-off, case-by-case manner. However, as Mr. Winkler posits in his article, there is a way to work smarter, not harder. What truly needs to be implemented is a long-term, comprehensive portfolio management approach to ediscovery that is designed to minimize data transfers, decrease the amount of stored documents and has everything needed for ediscovery in one place.

As ediscovery technologies and laws evolve, it is time to let go of the belief that short-term approaches to ESI collection, review and production are the best options. Instead, a portfolio approach to ediscovery can help law firms and corporations:

  • Drive repeatability across cases by leveraging similar data sets across productions
  • Standardize practices around the most current, innovative technologies
  • Predict costs and achieve visibility into expenses with subscription pricing based on reusable capacity and duration
  • Eliminate resource and infrastructure burdens and reduces risk across multiple cases

It you get a chance, read John Winkler’s article or watch a recorded ediscovery.com webinar he did on the topic. His thoughts will give you some new perspectives on old practices.