eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Project Management from Both Sides: eDiscovery Best Practices, Part Four

Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems.  He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars.  Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Preparing for Litigation Before it Happens, which we covered as a webcast on September 26.  Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding pre-litigation considerations titled eDiscovery Project Management from Both Sides that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog.  Enjoy! – Doug

Tom’s overview is split into four parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was covered last Monday, part two was covered last Wednesday and part three was covered last Friday.  Here’s the fourth and final part.

Conclusion

So, that’s both sides of the PM discussion. It is clearly of importance to both lawyers and PM specialists, but do they have common ground?  If so, how can we reconcile their positions where they differ and then get both sides to work together towards their common goal?

Not only that, are there really just two sides here?  There are more potential “players” in a typical eDiscovery project than just the project manager and the lawyer.  For starters, there is even more than just one lawyer to consider here: there is the lead attorney, who is looking to win the case (or obtain a favorable settlement) and maximize billings and there’s also the attorney who manages the review effort.  Review is still a majority of the expense in a typical eDiscovery project and the attorney who manages review has to fill the role of both attorney (to understand the legal issues of the case and how they apply to reviewing the client’s ESI) and project manager (to manage multiple review attorneys to keep them on schedule and generating high quality results).

There are also other “players” who can figure into the project.  There are a lot of organizations and law firms that employ litigation service providers to perform services that include culling and processing of ESI and generating productions to opposing counsel.  Those service providers have to be successfully managed – poor communications with an LSP can sink any eDiscovery project by missing deadlines, inadvertent disclosures and more.

Just as there are service providers that are part of the process, there are also eDiscovery software providers.  Managing and coordinating eDiscovery projects also means getting the most out of your eDiscovery software, whether that involves early data assessment, analytics, processing, review or production.  As we have seen in at least one recent high-profile example involving a major financial institution, failure to fully understand the eDiscovery software tools you’re using can cause many of the same problems as poor communications with your service provider.

And, many eDiscovery projects involve the use of technology specialists, for areas such as forensic collection and technology assisted review.  Effective management of these technical resources is also essential to a successful project result.

With so many “players” in a typical eDiscovery project, meetings can involve participants from as many as five different organizations and execution of various tasks within the project can involve multiple participants as well.  So, how do you manage it all?  One place where you can get answers to that question and many others related to eDiscovery project management is the CloudNine sponsored webinar that I’m doing with Mike and Doug Austin on Wednesday, October 31 (yes, Halloween) titled Get a “Clue” Regarding Your eDiscovery Process.  We will discuss the various participants in the eDiscovery process, what motivates each of them, and best practices on how to avoid becoming the next high-profile eDiscovery disaster.  Hope to see you there!

So, what do you think?  How does your organization apply project management to your eDiscovery projects?  As always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.