As courts continue to issue sanctions and opinions in the area of e-discovery, many e-discovery companies, law firms, and corporations are focusing on how technology can provide them the information necessary to meet evolving electronic discovery standards. The UTBMS eDiscovery Code Set (often referred to as “LEDES billing codes”), cloud computing and risk of sanctions are all factors that are effecting the handling of e-discovery in litigation.
One complaint that firms have had regarding e-discovery companies is that bills often show only one line item, without details regarding what services were actually performed, when and by whom. The Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standards Organization is expected to approve e-discovery billing codes in July 2011, in an effort to allow for uniform transparency as to what is being billed for e-discovery services. The billing codes are going to be divided into 5 categories, including: identification, preservation, collection, and review and project management. Intended for use with the Uniform Task Based Management System, the new codes are designed to align in part to the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.
When data is stored in “the cloud,” organizations may no longer have control over their own data. Although cloud providers often use as a selling point the fact that data is stored off of company servers, freeing up space and negating the need to continually add equipment, many seldom mention the limitations that may make effectively responding to e-discovery requests difficult and expensive. Many companies are not prepared to handle cloud e-discovery requests, which is why using specialized e-discovery companies is important when an organization uses the cloud to store data.
A recent study by King and Spalding showed that there has been a significant rise in sanctions related to electronic discovery and many in the industry expect this trend to continue. The Cost of sanctions is more likely to exceed the cost of defensibly preserving, collecting, processing, reviewing and producing requested electronic discovery. Preservation failures are anticipated to result in the majority of sanctions imposed, making preservation of data a key element in meeting e-discovery requirements. By using a consulting a electronic discovery service provider, such as Advanced Discovery, organizations can better plan for and implement preservation efforts and reduce the risk of potentially costly sanctions.