Deloitte Financial Advisory Services Online Poll during live webcast, “Strategic Discovery: Taking Steps to Avoid Litigation’s Black Hole”

Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey

The bad news: many of our organizations are feeling overwhelmed by e-discovery. According to Deloitte, data volumes are doubling every 18 to 24 months, and strategic planning is essential to handling e-discovery correctly. The bad news: in 1997, organizations spent over 40% more than they did the year before for e-discovery services. So where’s the good news, you might ask. There actually is some. Better software is leading the way toward a manageable e-discovery process.

The Deloitte survey was conducted during its Strategic Discovery webcast this past April. The National Law Journal reports that survey participants included executives from the banking, securities, financial services and technology industries. Survey results indicate that the number of source devices out there, employees using email as a file system, and messages in foreign languages all contribute to the growing complexity of e-discovery.

The survey suggests that there is plenty to be concerned about and plenty of executives are concerned. According to the National Law Journal, over ten percent of respondents reported no document retention and destruction policies in place and over 17% characterized their organization as “not ready to handle complex discovery requests. Almost 50% of respondents cited the expense of searching large volumes of information topped their list of worries, while 16% feared court sanctions from error and almost 13% are concerned about meeting court deadlines.

Deloitte recommends implementation of the following practices:

  • Prepare and implement an e-discovery program
  • In conjunction with counsel, create records management policies, procedures and retention schedules
  • Map the company’s data system and data source catalog
  • Manage and remediate legacy data
  • In conjunction with counsel, develop a legal hold strategy and process to preserve all forms of relevant information in the face of litigation
  • Establish discovery protocol with regulators

“Discovery is a very serious issue to business today. There are real stakes and real penalties associated with poorly handled discovery.”

The sixth annual Socha-Gelbmann ED Survey reports significant growth in information management services, but also sees a shift in the market from primarily services-based to a much greater role for software to assist in identifying, preserving and collecting Electronically Stored Information, as well as managing the litigation hold process.

This is a very important development, and good news indeed. Over time, they will lower costs and provide organizations with much greater ability to control electronic records management and the e-discovery process. It will not, however, make up for a lack of advance preparation.

Read about the Deloitte Webcast

Read about the Deloitte Survey results

Read about the Socha-Gelbmann Survey