e-discovery vs Self-discovery

Why the journey of self-discovery may be easier than managing your enterprise data

Why the journey of self-discovery may be easier than managing your enterprise data

New Year’s resolutions have us all trying to be better people. And it stinks. But I think it might be easier than preparing an enterprise for litigation, so I put that to the test and made a chart comparing the two:

Why self-discovery is easy:

  • It’s my journey – it only matters to me, and frankly I’m not sure how much I care about it
  • No deadlines!
  • I get to ignore stuff I don’t like
  • I’ve already read the first 3 chapters of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Why e-discovery is hard:

  • Apparently counsel lose cases and people lose their jobs if they can’t meet discovery requirements in a timely manner.
  • Deadlines!
  • The data is in all different formats and all different places
  • Self-deception isn’t ‘legally defensible’

The key to a good e-discovery process starts way before litigation. It starts with having an IT team equipped with the tools to manage all of a company’s data. Ideally every potential custodian’s data is culled, searchable, and available in anticipation of litigation. This level of preparedness, combined with advanced indexing – and thereby search capabilities gives enterprise counsel a formidable tool kit, from early case assessment through the latest discovery requests.

This is old news. All vendors preach end-to-end e-discovery. We talk about finding and implementing the perfect solution. This is lazy metaphorical language. A true information governance solution isn’t a destination you arrive at, but instead a process that you work to reach and then maintain. At the core of that process belongs a flexible, customizable software which is capable of merging with an enterprise’s existing legal workflows and IT capabilities.

The landscape of Discovery has changed drastically in the last several years, and these changes will continue to come. Both legal and IT teams need to guard against the trap of buying out-of-the-box solutions which won’t adapt with changing discovery requirements and practices.

My work in project management at ZL Tech is an exercise in working with others to find productive compromise at the intersection of theoretical solutions and the technical implementation of those solutions. Personally, I enjoy following baseball, learning about word etymology, and dancing (albeit not particularly well).