Though the legal world continues to evolve at a rapid pace, trending toward more digitally based litigation proceedings, the statutes that have been in place for decades related to early case assessment (ECA) and discovery still must be followed. This poses several challenges when conducting eDiscovery searches and retrievals, and service providers continue to refine software and practices to make the processes more efficient, accurate and standardized.
However, ECA has been around for decades, and is now being adapted to the demands of the electronic litigation process. In fact, several new service providers offer impressive software and strategies that can reduce the overall costs of the eDiscovery process through ECA practices.
As the amount of data that needs to be reviewed is often a strong gauge of the overall costs incurred by participating businesses, ECA cuts down on the total pot early on, reducing the total necessary expenditure.
Early Case Assessment 101
Large enterprises with legal departments have likely been at least introduced to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. TechTarget recently explained how ECA tools help meet the legal requirements of these statutes, while keeping costs and processes manageable. In short, the best defense against an extremely costly eDiscovery proceeding is having structures already in place should data requests be made.
According to TechTarget, ECA tools cut down on the overall amount of data to be reviewed, helping manage the review and analysis phases of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) and thus reduce costs and time spent completing the tasks. Further, these tools can often be used as a method of risk assessment for firms, as the legal information of a firm will be readily at hand and managed to cut the wealth of information down to a more palatable size.
Further, TechTarget explained that ECA tools and other eDiscovery software can help identify all custodians that should be involved in a legal proceeding quickly, reducing the time spent actually searching for where the information might be stored.
The case for Relativity
Giants in the eDiscovery software industry, most of which were early entrants into the technology, have set the stage for a variety of smaller producers to create new strategies and systems. This spring, Gartner released it Magic Quadrant for eDiscovery Software, which listed kCura – the maker of Relativity – as a challenger expected to give the larger, more popular firms a run for their money.
Relativity is a highly compatible and collaborative software line that aids, among other tasks, the processes of ECA and pre-collection analytics, thus reducing the overall amount of data to be reviewed. This is often an invaluable service for firms that field data retrieval requests, as it sets the stage for a more affordable and accurate eDiscovery proceeding.
In a functionality overview, Relativity cited its use of text analytics, computer-assisted review, structured data analytics, productions, security and more, coupled with the wealth of affiliate software it refers to as the Relativity Ecosystem. Through the use of these systems, enterprises can ensure the most efficient and effective eDiscovery process.