It’s common for large law firms to maintain a team of experts in the area of eDiscovery, with some firms even building dedicated practices to assist clients with their eDiscovery challenges. But for small and midsized law firms, it’s difficult to justify the allocation of resources needed to create a full-time, in-house team.
For firms of this size, an increasingly popular strategy is to build strategic alliances with specialty providers of eDiscovery services to law firms.
“We’re primarily focused on serving law firms with 50 or fewer attorneys, firms that typically don’t have the resources to maintain their own full-time eDiscovery team,” said Dana Conneally, Esq.,chief strategy officer for Evidox Corp., a boutique eDiscovery company based in Boston. Conneally is a litigation attorney and Certified Examiner in computer forensics that previously served as the National Manager of Litigation Technology at an AmLaw 100 firm.
Firms such as Evidox focus on educating law firms about the rules of eDiscovery, keeping them updated on the leading-edge technologies in the marketplace, providing them with solutions that are built on strict data security protocols and delivering efficient services throughout the eDiscovery workflow.
“Our view is that eDiscovery is not a technical issue, it’s a legal issue with a technical solution,” Conneally told us. “We have a team of attorneys on staff who advise clients on both digital forensics and eDiscovery challenges that emerge in a wide range of litigation and investigations. That allows us to serve as strategic partners to law firms who need the expertise and support without incurring the cost of maintaining their own internal team.”
One of the keys to the success of boutique eDiscovery service providers is their reliance on cost-efficient technology tools to help them deliver fast, accurate results to law firms. A crucial tool in the Evidox arsenal is LAW® PreDiscovery® – an advanced imaging and eDiscovery software application from LexisNexis.
“We’ve been using LAW PreDiscovery since we opened our doors in 2006,” said Conneally. “We seem to buy more licenses every year, which is a good thing for us because it means we have more and more data to process. We really use LAW as the backbone of the company; it seems like every piece of data that comes in our doors finds its way into LAW for one purpose or another.”
Conneally explained that the biggest benefit his firm realizes from using tools such as LAW PreDiscovery is that they’re able to have multiple team members working on the same project at the same time. This allows for real-time collaboration and more efficiency as professionals can be engaged simultaneously at different points in the eDiscovery workflow.
Law firms can also benefit from the expertise of boutique eDiscovery service providers because they tend to be more familiar with how to leverage multiple software tools to obtain the products’ highest and best uses.
“For example, we combine the use of LAW and the LexisNexis Early Data Analyzer software tool, which has helped to make us a go-to service provider for clients when they know they have a very large data set and need a very quick turnaround,” said Conneally.
LexisNexis Early Data Analyzer works in tandem with LAW PreDiscovery software to help users capture a document set, assess it early and cut it down to size, according to Steve Ashbacher, vice president of litigation solutions with the LexisNexis software and technology business.