DCIG: “Electronic Discovery: Legal counsel’s mood and can we handle blogs and wikis?”
From wikis to blogs to litigation readiness: a four-part discussion on a variety of e-discovery topics with Jim Wagner.
DCIG: In your work with corporate legal counsel, how do you help them synchronize their policies and their IT? What is the mood of legal counsel out there?
Jim Wagner: There is a lot of confusion out there, among legal counsel and IT alike. Legal counsel may follow their clients in taking an “IT first” approach, assigning IT to the issue of solving the eDiscovery business process. Typically, the firm’s IT staff will have software tools for collecting data, but they have less documentation and understanding of some of the legal components required for the electronic discovery process, particularly at the point of review and production. Thusly, organizations will allocate resources from within the legal group to act as a steward of process. The process steward will collaborate with IT to help develop the technical solutions to support the organizations legal risks and challenges.
Furthermore, organizations’ legal counsel and IT teams in the process of “getting up to speed,” or making technology investments, need to be careful when taking the advice of eDiscovery “shamans”. In a positive context, a shaman is a helpful guide. In the eDiscovery world, though, some shamans have used scare tactics and limited knowledge of client bases to instill fear and uncertainty about the eDiscovery process, generally for their own gain. For example, a few years ago DiscoverReady had a conversation with a lawyer who needed high-level help understanding the basics of eDiscovery. Three months later, he was listed on his firm’s website as the eDiscovery practice leader. DiscoverReady recommends legal counsel be aware of self-proclaimed experts and stay deeply involved in the eDiscovery process…