These days, keeping up with the lightning-speed pace of an ever-changing legal technology landscape isn’t an easy task—even for those who work in the tech field. If you’re a busy lawyer, chances are you’ve had trouble staying on top of the latest technology trends yourself.
When it comes to e-discovery and case management, it’s even more important to understand what you’re getting into and what you need to know to stay up-to-date with the most current professional standards.
Small and mid-sized firms alike can benefit from utilizing e-discovery technology to help manage cases that increasingly rely on large volumes of electronically stored information (ESI) during trial. In fact, e-discovery can help keep a small to mid-sized law firm relevant and competent during complex litigation proceedings that have historically been affordable only to large corporate firms with vast discovery resources.
Essentially, when it’s done right with a managed IT services partner who is well versed in the specific nuances of law practice, e-discovery can level the courtroom playing field for a small to mid-sized law firm during trial.
E-Discovery Doesn’t Have to Break Your Budget
In the past, e-discovery cases were typically high-profile corporate cases with pages upon pages of business records to be dealt with during the discovery phase. While a personal injury case between two individuals might be easily handled with the traditional paper discovery process, a class action suit against a bank would not be as easily managed. Things get even more complicated when e-discovery techniques are combined with traditional paper-based discovery methods; as the cases get bigger, traditional discovery methods become more cumbersome and expensive to manage.
Outsourcing E-Discovery Makes it Accessible to Firms of All Sizes
Discovery has always been an expensive element of going to trial—but e-discovery is making it more affordable. Now that outsourcing discovery to a third party provider has become more commonplace, small and mid-sized firms can benefit from having access to a fully outsourced e-discovery option with similar tools and methodologies used by large corporate law firms.
What’s the Difference Between the Infrastructure Model and the Fully Outsourced Variety?
An In-House E-Discovery Infrastructure Model
Many law firms favor the in-house infrastructure model of e-discovery. They prefer instant access to their discovery materials and they often have an in-house IT department that can help them manage an internal e-discovery system on-premises.
The downside to taking this path is that internal e-discovery systems can be cumbersome and costly, and like any on-site software application, they become obsolete as soon the technology advances. Sometimes, a hybrid approach can be the best option—especially for small and mid-sized firms.
A Fully Outsourced E-Discovery Model
When you fully outsource your e-discovery, you contract with a third-party professional e-discovery team who manages the entire process from behind a secure firewall. This method can be more expensive on a per-hour basis than the fully integrated model, but the long-term costs are balanced out by reduced in-house labor and time considerations.
The Hybrid E-Discovery Option Is Both Budget-Friendly and Effective
A hybrid model is often the best choice for firms looking to have a bit more control of the e-discovery process while retaining the cost-effectiveness and peace of mind that comes with working with an outsourced managed IT partner. If you’re considering implementing a hybrid e-discovery option, your legal IT managed services partner can help. L.A. Creative Technologies is your local e-discovery and managed IT services solution with a special focus on the cybersecurity and technology needs of law firms. Contact us at 323.454.1312 for more info today!