The Little Things

30 July 2014 by Adrienn Toth

Whether it’s zed rather than z, lawyer in lieu of attorney, or philosopher instead of sorcerer, it’s often the little things that separate the UK from the US. Over the last year whilst living in the UK and working for Kroll Ontrack, I’ve grown accustomed to how much the little things can make the difference in not being considered a ‘loud-mouthed yank’.

The same goes for ediscovery… err, edisclosure. The subtle asymmetry between the UK and US disclosure schemes requires distinct procedures and flexible project management. In the US, the scope of discovery is expansive, constituting “any nonprivileged matter that is relevant” (i.e., “evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence”) “to any party’s claim or defense,” whereas in the UK, the court has a menu of options at its disposal to limit disclosure “to that which is necessary to deal with the case justly,” going so far as including “an order dispensing with disclosure” altogether.

In the situations where disclosure does exist, it’s important to recognise our client’s specific needs under the requisite procedural rules. In the US, parties are under the duty to state their “views and proposals on . . . any issues about disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information.” Compare that broad obligation to the UK pre-Case Management Conference rule requiring parties specifically to discuss technical issues, such as:

  • the use of keyword searches
  • the use of software tools
  • the methods to be used to identify duplicate documents
  • the use of data sampling
  • the formats in which electronic documents are to be provided

The ultimate purpose of these discussions is to serve “the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly and at a proportionate cost.” At Kroll Ontrack we can advise our clients on the best tools and techniques to consider in order “to reduce the burden and cost of disclosure,” and we provide transparent pricing to allow our clients to fulfil their duty to the court.

Beyond us understanding what our clients need, we also should be mindful of what our clients want. Time and again it’s the little things that keep clients satisfied and help grow long-term relationships. With our new review platform, Review, we’ve addressed a few of them: cut-and-paste functionality between Review and outside applications, the ability to quickly and easily control hosting costs with text- or native-only processing, and one of the most-often requested features, a straightforward sign-on process. When you think about it, the sign-on process should be as easy as possible, enabling our clients to log-in securely and quickly and letting them get to what actually matters. Edisclosure is difficult enough without having to remember a secret handshake and a knock, tap, knock-knock on the door. Now you just put in your username, case name, and password, and Bob’s your uncle!

Every day we strive to make edisclosure elementary. After all, it’s the little things. How we can make edisclosure simpler for you?