In recent weeks a raft of surveys have been released showing extraordinary growth in the e-discovery market accompanied by a host of problems in records management and a lagging familiarity with e-discovery rules by corporate executives. Results of the 2007 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey show an e-discovery market at about $2 Billion annually. Driven by the volume of electronic data created by business, the adoption of the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, sanctions and overall hardening judicial attitudes, and the proliferation of compliance and regulatory requirements, the e-discovery market is projected to grow to $4 Billion by 2009.
Surveys of the clients of the firms in this market, a cross-section of corporate America, were a bit less heartening, showing overall improvement over prior years, but still finding numerous problems with records management. The Cohasset Electronic Records Management Survey results point to a general lack of awareness of the importance of electronic records management. Key findings include:
- 35% of respondents evaluate their records management programs as marginal or fair
- 39% of respondents have no formal system for records hold orders
- 44% of respondents do not include electronic records in their record holds
- 46% of respondents do not believe their organization could successfully demonstrate that their electronic records are accurate reliable and trustworthy
These results portend a catastrophe for many organizations faced with responding to the e-discovery demands of major litigation.
The survey conducted by the Océ Business Services Litigation Preparedness Survey results were no less harsh:
- 55% of respondents say their organization is not well prepared to comply with a legal discovery request;
- 69% of corporate counsel do no understand the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure well
- 8% of respondents with fully implemented records management programs believe their program addresses electronically stored information well.
Perhaps the most intriguing survey results may have been produced in the 2007 Legal Technology Purchasing Survey. When asked what the biggest issue or challenge facing IT related to electronic data discovery, numerous respondents replied, “attorney education.” Together these surveys point to continued growth in the e-discovery market, accompanied by continued high levels of risk to organizations stemming from inadequacies in their information management infrastructure.