Electronic discovery is often discussed through the lens of big-ticket commercial litigation and high-stakes federal investigations, matters typically handled by large law firms and government litigation teams. There is good reason for that, of course, since the dollar amounts involved with eDiscovery in large cases can be staggering.
But as legal technology expert Craig Ball says, “eDiscovery is for everybody” — for cases of all sizes, for plaintiffs and defendants of all sizes and for law firms of all sizes. The challenge is that small law firms by their very nature lack the staffing and financial resources to conduct eDiscovery on an equal footing with larger opposing counsel.
To help solo practitioners and small law firms manage this dilemma, LexisNexis recently hosted a free webinar for legal professionals to learn more about how they can increase efficiency in their eDiscovery workflow. Here are five tips that were shared:
1. Limit your hardware investment
Capital is precious in any small law firm. It’s important to seek out technology solutions and software tools that will work with virtually any technology platform, hardware devices and with minimal technical experience on the part of the law firm users.
2. Move to electronic review
In all walks of life, technology is a great equalizer – it allows us to do more with less. The same is true in eDiscovery, when a small law firm makes the transition from banker’s boxes and file cabinets to electronic review of documents. Seek out software tools such as the venerable Concordance® litigation support product that make it easy for small law firms to move to electronic review.
3. Make use of tags
For years, litigators have used yellow “sticky notes” to flag specific pages or individual lines they want to focus upon for depositions, briefs, motions or trial arguments. Small firms can gain huge efficiencies by replacing those sticky notes with simple “tags” on electronic documents, which can be searched at any time to surface the content you need.
4. Collaboration tools
Small litigation teams need to work together seamlessly and quickly in order to work as efficiently as possible when facing larger opposing teams. Use software tools that allow you to collaborate with your team members, co-counsel and clients on a real-time basis, from any location. Software products such as the CaseMap solution were developed for this very purpose. Also see: Basics and Best Practices for Litigation Presentation Software
5. Mobile devices
Another key to maximizing workflow efficiencies for a small law firm is to be able to do as much as possible while on the go. Mobile devices, such as Apple iPad, are amazing vehicles for keeping you connected at all times with the eDiscovery work underway on your cases. Make sure that the software products you use for eDiscovery management offer mobile apps for the iPad (and other devices you may use in your firm) so that you have the most reliable access and easiest user interface for your mobile devices.
To download an audio recording of the “Small Law Workflow” webinar from LexisNexis, please click here.
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