The Discovery-Ready Enterprise II: Challenges and Opportunities on the Road to Litigation Preparedness
A survey conducted by Océ Business Services and released this week confirms what several other surveys released this month concluded, that a significant number of organizations are still grappling with preparing to comply with e-discovery requests. The following points highlights of the survey results:
- From the organizational perspective, the hallmarks of a proactive approach include key elements such as implementing a comprehensive records management program, establishing internal eDiscovery expertise, and hiring a service provider or law firm to consult with on implementing eDiscovery processes/technology.
- From the law firm perspective, the hallmarks of a proactive approach include establishing eDiscovery expertise exclusively within the firm or launching some internal and external expertise with one or more eDiscovery service providers.
- A total of 128 executives took the online survey. These executives are highly experienced in legal discovery and records management. The group of respondents consisted of 47 percent corporate counsel and legal/IT department staff and 53 percent law firm attorneys and litigation/IT support staff. Respondents were guaranteed absolute confidentiality. Among the corporate respondents, 55 percent have annual sales of over $100 million; of that total, 36 percent have sales of over $1 billion. A cross section of industries is represented including business services, healthcare/pharmaceutical, financial services, technology, retail, and government. Among law firm respondents, 53 percent have more than 100 attorneys in their firm; 29 percent work at firms with more than 500 attorneys.
- Nearly two years after the new FRCP rules pertaining to eDiscovery took effect, only seven percent of in-house attorneys feel that their organization is well prepared to comply with a legal discovery request involving paper and electronic documents. A significant number (39%) consider their company not well prepared. An even higher number of law firm attorneys agree – 57 percent of law firm attorneys indicate that their clients are not well prepared to comply with an eDiscovery request.
- Some enterprises are facing obstacles in deploying internal eDiscovery processes and technology. A significant number of in-house attorneys (42%) say that their company has not implemented internal eDiscovery processes or technology. There are several reasons for this inaction, including the view that establishing eDiscovery processes takes too much time away from case- and business-related matters.
- Records management still represents a significant obstacle on the road to litigation preparedness. Almost half of corporate counsel respondents (46%) say their company does not have a fully implemented records program. This contrasts with law firm attorneys, the vast majority of whom (82%) feel it is important for their clients to have a records management program in order to be well prepared for discovery.