Why We Need to Redefine eDiscovery and Information Governance

Why We Need to Redefine eDiscovery and Information Governance

The relationship between information governance and eDiscovery has been poorly defined in the legal world. Typically, legal firms view eDiscovery as a byproduct of forcible legal action; an individual process only addressed when a party “legally anticipates litigation.”

However, the mindset of viewing eDiscovery in a bubble separate from information governance costs businesses big in the way of inefficiency, over-collection, and disjointed organizational goals.

Defining the Relationship

Past models, such as the EDRM model, have been used to define the relationship between eDiscovery and information governance. EDRM represents information governance as a discipline that feeds into the eDiscovery process—a feature inherently misaligned with the mission of information governance.

The more recent IGRM model comes closer by including legal, compliance, IT, and business perspectives in the equation, but fails to show the full life cycle of information governance and its relationship to eDiscovery. Joining the two by presenting IGRM as the “other half” of the EDRM coin provides a clearer picture of process complexities, but still falls short by depicting eDiscovery as a natural progression of information life cycle.

Big Data Information Life Cycles

To truly define the relationship between information governance and eDiscovery, businesses must use technology to make sense of the noise and offer a clearer view of data life cycles. Organizations must first use this technology to help distinguish which data is transient and which data is necessary for business decision-making.

Why We Need to Redefine eDiscovery and Information Governance

Fortunately, data analytics and machine learning technology have progressed far enough to enhance efficiency of information governance processes, including categorization, improving access to data, and supporting data destruction under retention policies.

These analytic reviews should begin early in the information life cycle. As soon as information is created or received, analytics can automatically classify documents into categories based on content and prepare them for future analytic processing, even at scale. However, analytic technology alone can’t solve every business’s information woes. Analytics can’t be applied en masse to random data sets; processes for applying technology must be efficient and scalable to remain financially viable.

Above all, the long-term impacts of these analytics tools must be assessed, both on the business and individual user levels. Data security and privacy should remain a priority throughout these processes too—sacrificing security for the sake of efficiency is not a viable solution. With new models being devised and new technologies to apply, legal firms are in a good position to tackle the broader problem facing discovery: how to define the relationship between information governance and discovery in a way that leads to better efficiency throughout the data life cycle.

Dean Van Dyke iBridge LLC

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

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5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New eDiscovery Platform

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New eDiscovery Platform

With the wealth of advancements being made to the eDiscovery world, it’s natural for legal firms to want software that promises the most efficient discovery at the lowest cost.5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New eDiscovery Platform

Unfortunately, choosing a new discovery platform isn’t simple. Legal firms must be aware of the costs and considerations that go into implementing new software. Ask yourself these five questions before breaking the bank on new discovery tools:

1. What software is preferred by your attorneys?

Involve your attorneys in the research process when selecting a new platform. Given that your legal team will be the ones using the software, their likes, dislikes, and preferences should be considered. This will help guarantee a smooth transition when implementing the new program, and ensures that your team will be prepared for its use.

2. How will the technology be used?

The way the software will be used by your attorneys will dictate which platform will best suit your needs. Why strain your budget purchasing advancing analytic and reporting capabilities if your legal team will never use them?

3. Can the new technology be adapted to your IT system?

The eDiscovery platform of choice must be adapted to fit in your IT infrastructure.

Involving your firm’s IT department in software selection is a necessary part of the process. Your IT administrators can help determine whether the specs of eDiscovery software can integrate with your hardware and other programs. Involving IT experts in the selection will also prepare them to implement the software after purchasing.

4. Do you understand all technology costs?

The costs of a new eDiscovery platform aren’t limited to those proposed by the vendor. Before purchase, firms must understand their software’s cost. This includes cost of purchase, external costs to operate said software, and the time of the contract.

Internal costs and project management expenses eat up more of your budget than many attorneys’ realize. Variable vendor fees can also create situations where attorneys must choose where to allocate their resources. These hidden expenses make the true cost of new eDiscovery software tricky to assess.

5. Where will you store the data?

Data storage is a pressing concern for the eDiscovery landscape, particularly as data security becomes more important for legal teams and their clientele.

Some vendors offer cloud-based storage for legal client data, while other firms may prefer to store their data in-house. Each of these options presents its own set of challenges and expenses. Firms must assess their own security capabilities and determine whether third-party data storage is more secure and affordable than the measures they already have in place.

Dean Van Dyke iBridge LLC

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

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Why is eDiscovery a Mystery to Attorneys? Pt. 2

Why is eDiscovery a Mystery to Attorneys? Pt. 2

Back in March of 2015, we wrote about why eDiscovery, one of the legal profession’s most powerful tools, is also among the most poorly understood by attorneys.

Almost a year later, not much has changed. Here’s part 2 of why eDiscovery is still a mystery to attorneys.

It’s critical for organizations to easily access documents, emails, and even text messages. If those forms of information are deleted without being properly preserved, they could be lost forever. This poses an issue when a company must provide these records to aid regulatory compliance, a legal case or an employee dispute.Why is eDiscovery a Mystery to Attorneys?

There have been countless examples of how an archiving system has affected a company, both negatively and positively. Easily accessing archived documents, emails and messages takes the guesswork out of certain situations and will ultimately protect your company if used correctly. Greg Arnette, founder and CTO of Sonian, a pioneer in cloud-powered archiving, has identified nine situations in which having records accessible, or not having records accessible, has largely affected companies and employees.

Lack of Understanding that ESI (electronically stored information) is More Than Any Other Office Document

YouTube videos, Facebook and Twitter posts have been used as evidence. Voice mail, calendar and journal entries, and instant messages also fit the bill. As Kentucky attorneys Michael Losavio and Jennifer Hans points out, ESI can be stored just about anywhere – including such places as hard drives, RAM, cell phones, PDAs, flash or thumb drives, and even MP3 players.

Fear or Inadequate Knowledge of ESI (Remember ESI can make or break your case)

It’s a lesson California-based outdoor furniture supplier Creative Pipe had to learn the hard way. After the company allowed opposing counsel to use an untested keyword search tool that unearthed 165 documents of privileged data during the discovery process, the court determined Creative Pipe had waived privilege on those documents because it had not taken care to protect them. Creative Pipe’s opponent could use any of those documents as evidence against Creative Pipe.

Non Pro-Activeness to Approach ESI in the Right Manner

The best approach to ESI is a proactive approach. Attorneys must understand that ESI will avoid errors like those made by Creative Pipe and others who have been in the news the past few years, it is not wise to put ESI archiving/eDiscovery policies on the back burner. Figure out where all of your ESI is, and how or whether it can be quickly accessed, then address how any new ESI that comes into the system will be managed. Waiting until you have an actual eDiscovery request or regulatory audit notice in hand before deciding what to do is just seeking for trouble.

Lack of Best Practice

Best practice is crucial. Developing best practices is the key to navigating the complexities of global eDiscovery matters.

Lack of Procuring Right Technology and Tools

The right technology can make all the difference. Like any software or service, eDiscovery solutions come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether it’s an appliance, a hosted solution, or a custom, site-specific implementation, you must shop around to find the one that best which meets our needs.

Neither IT nor Legal Should Tackle eDiscovery alone.

Neither IT nor legal should tackle eDiscovery alone. That’s why it’s important to teach the departments of Attorneys how to work together to accomplish eDiscovery goals. Some companies are looking to a new breed of IT professional, who reports up through the general counsel’s office to lead the efforts. Others take a team approach, with representatives from each group providing input at the planning and implementation stages.

This post was contributed by Jai Santosh, HR Team Lead.

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The Coming eDiscovery Tsunami

The Coming eDiscovery Tsunami

Law firms engaged in eDiscovery activities face a daunting task: dealing with the sheer volume of data, the endless emails, word-processing documents, spreadsheets, CAD drawings, and databases that must be examined to unearth those few crucial nuggets of information that can make (or break) a case.

Technology can help, but only to a certain degree. Technology-assisted review (TAR) tools can use advanced text mining algorithms to filter out irrelevant items, but that can still leave an overwhelming number of files that must be examined by a human (or, more likely, a team of humans). And TAR has its limits—can a TAR tool look at a CAD drawing file and decide whether a certain hardware feature relates to a patent claim? Probably not. Simply defining the criteria for what is and is not relevant can be a major challenge.

So even with TAR, the costs of eDiscovery have been on the rise, with law firms adding staff just to deal with the load.

Here’s the bad news: It’s about to get worse.

Monumental Increases in eDiscovery Complexity

Three areas are expected to dramatically complicate gathering and processing eDiscovery data for a case: social media, cloud storage, and mobile devices.

eDiscovery

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Social media: As companies increasingly turn to social media to stay in touch with their customers, eDiscovery will involve more Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, and other data on social media servers. Some of this data is by nature ephemeral; Snapchat, for instance, provides shared items for only a few seconds, after which they are automatically deleted. There are open legal questions regarding ownership of social media data and to what extent social media services can be forced to provide non-public user information. And then the sheer volume of additional data must be reviewed, much of it photos or videos that are difficult to evaluate with TAR tools.
  • Cloud storage: For many reasons involving cost, reliability, and disaster recovery, businesses are taking advantage of cloud storage services to store and process electronic data. Here, the data ownership question is more clear-cut, but there will be exceptions. If a party to a suit doesn’t pay its cloud storage bill, and the cloud service provider deletes their documents, then what? Can the cloud service provide be compelled to provide the documents from backups (if any exist)?
  • Mobile Devices: As phones and tablets become more sophisticated and powerful, more of them are being used for business. Some may be the only place that some relevant documents are stored. Further complicating matters is that companies are increasingly embracing “bring your own device” (BYOD), where employees use their own devices for company business. Some companies have a policy that such devices be wiped of their company data when an employee leaves the firm, and when that data is gone, it’s gone. Even for companies without such a policy, tracking down current and former employees who might have data on their personal devices adds a new and daunting level of complexity to eDiscovery.

We are entering a new era in eDiscovery, where there are few legal precedents and the ability of technology to cope will be severely taxed. The process probably will get harder before it gets easier. So strap in—we’re in for a bumpy ride.

Desh Urs iBridge LLC

Written by Desh Urs

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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Industry Insiders on Responsible eDiscovery

Industry Insiders on Responsible eDiscovery

Is eDiscovery a practice too risky for continued use in the legal world?

This is the sentiment voiced by Andy Wilson, CEO of the automated eDiscovery service provider Logikcull, who characterized the process as a “stain on our legal system” in an open letter to legal practitioners.

eDiscovery Logistics

Wilson argued that the expense and complication of eDiscovery makes the practice unhelpful to legal firms and forces fast settlements between parties that cannot afford prolonged litigation. Despite the positive reception that Wilson claims his letter received, he reined in his comments during a recent statement:

“We are obviously not calling for the end of the discovery process or the exchange of electronic information—which is an intractable part of litigation,” he said. “What we are calling out is the waste, inefficiency, antiquated workflows, extreme cost and poor technology that comprise the eDiscovery category of solutions, services and processes.”locikcull

While Wilson’s radical views on eDiscovery give a voice to the legal practitioners frustrated with the practice, it remains unlikely that industry-wide changes will be made any time soon. Geoffrey Vance, litigation partner at Perkins Coie and chair of his firm’s eDiscovery practice, was quick to dismiss Wilson’s claims that eDiscovery was wasteful.

“While eDiscovery can be costly and risky if done wrong, the risk and cost associated with eDiscovery are at all-time lows, while the ability to identify and analyze electronically stored information is far better than in the paper discovery days,” he said.

Responsible Discovery

Though both experts have differing viewpoints, both make the same argument—eDiscovery, when poorly handled, creates unnecessary drains on time and finances. Neither professional is arguing for the complete removal of eDiscovery (as Wilson was quick to point out in a rebuttal to the original article where his initial comments were posted), but rather a revival of the way eDiscovery is handled in this digital age.

Wilson maintains that the cloud-based discovery platform provided by Logikcull does not avoid the process of discovery, but streamlines the process for increased security, simplicity and affordability—goals that his open letter stressed as eDiscovery priorities.

In a fast-expanding digital landscape where cybercrime is rising, this increased security and simplicity may be all that some firms can hope for.

Desh Urs iBridge LLC

Written by Desh Urs

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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The Changing Landscape of eDiscovery Security

The Changing Landscape of eDiscovery Security

Legal discovery has undergone a transition since implementing digital information storage. Discovery has shifted from digging through file cabinets full of documents to digging through online databases and electronic systems that house information, streamlining the process and facilitating better information transparency for all parties involved.

But despite the widespread implementation of in-house database security, many firms still fail to meet basic security standards during the eDiscovery process.

Challenges of eDiscovery

eDiscovery is often a transfer of large quantities of data from one party to another with methods that lack the same security regulations as normal systems. According to Jeff Kerr and John Mays, the founding partners of legal firm Mays & Kerr, the information transition period of eDiscovery is when confidential data is most vulnerable:

“In eDiscovery matters, the client is often asked to turn over a large amount of its raw data, either to counsel or to a vendor. Transferring that data creates risk that it can be breached during transit, and storage in multiple locations creates more attack surfaces,” Mays said.

photo-1437422061949-f6efbde0a471Unfortunately, legal firms must comply with these eDiscovery practices, regardless of whether each party involved is taking necessary security precautions. However, the increased incidence of digital data discovery and sharing will help create new policies to govern the flow of sensitive information.

“There is a connection between discovery and information governance, and it fits into security with respect to managing the number of times sensitive data is duplicated. You likely want to have that information backed up, but additional copies may increase risk,” said Mays.

Building Better Security

Legal firms are no strangers to cybersecurity breaches. Information losses can occur at every point of the information chain, creating a need for enhanced security standards that reflect the needs of an electronic legal landscape.

Secure passwords, firewalls, encryption and malware management are all essential to maintain for a protected digital environment. But being aware of the issues is not enough—legal firms need dedicated staff members who understand the challenges of IT security and the best way to deploy strategies to keep their data secure. This is true for in-house security, but also applies to areas of heightened data vulnerability, such as eDiscovery.

Until legal firms can guarantee a secure information transfer process during eDiscovery practices, the risk of cyberattacks and compromised data will be a notable concern.

Desh Urs iBridge LLC

Written by Desh Urs

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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eDiscovery: The Weak Link in the Cybersecurity Chain

eDiscovery: The Weak Link in the Cybersecurity Chain

Data security is a pertinent issue for every business that handles the flow of sensitive information, but legal firms responsible for the transfer and management of large amounts of confidential data show an inability to meet basic cybersecurity standards. This puts their clients’ information at risk for data theft and security breaches. This is true when eDiscovery is shared with opposing counsel, as legal requirement forces legal collaboration with firms that have inadequate cybersecurity standards.

Partner Security

A 2015 Advice From Counsel study by FTI Consulting shows that law firms are the weak link in the eDiscovery process, with in-house counsel and companies they partner with providing less data security than other businesses at the industry standard. The study also showed that 48 percent of responding law firms had no security requirements for the firms with which they partner. With the incidence of cybercrime on the rise in the legal world, it’s disconcerting that so many law firms maintain lax security standards for information sharing.

eDiscovery: The Weak Link in the Cybersecurity Chain

Image courtesy of tigger11th at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While law firms have come under fire for their lack of data security and eDiscovery practices with the clients they work with, Mike Kinnaman, senior managing director at FTI Consulting, explained that the quality of data security depends on the firm you hire.

“You’ll have some that are very, very tech-savvy and others that are not,” he said. “…They are much more focused on the service providers right now. We see it all the time.”

Sharing Vulnerability

Some firms may have the security protocols in place to protect the privileged data of their clients, but the report by FTI Consulting highlighted another concern faced by legal firms for the viability of their security: the presentation of data in eDiscovery to opposing counsel ill-equipped with the security staff or data safeguards.

Basic discovery and information sharing are vital parts of the legal process, and are another way that legal firms with inadequate security standards become interconnected and reliant on each other. Many firms are comfortable with the security found in larger organizations, including firms from the Am Law 200, but smaller firms still must keep up with these more complex standards.

Until security standards are maintained for all legal firms that share discovery with opposing counsel and their partners, data losses through inadequate eDiscovery security will keep rising.

Desh Urs iBridge LLC

Written by Desh Urs

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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Legal Technology: The Shift Towards Digital Discovery and Data Analytics

Legal Technology: The Shift Towards Digital Discovery and Data Analytics

New technology and discovery practices are changing the landscape for legal professionals. Legal firms are taking a page out of the marketing research manual and exploring the value of data analytics for eDiscovery and case management.

This comes when firms are realizing that traditional methods of data management are falling by the wayside in favor of the wealth of information available through digital means. Recognizing the trends of data discovery and the importance of keeping up with these patterns is causing more firms to devote a larger share of their financial resources towards IT development and the associated practices for digital discovery. To best utilize technology for managing client cases and cost reduction, data analytics are being applied in ways never before used by legal firms.

computer-on-desk-5

The Measure of Analytics

Data analytics were seen only as a measure to improve cost management and savings, but the potential applications of these metrics goes beyond mere budget reduction. Providing more funding for technology-related purposes is part of a larger shift towards digital information governance. This shift will create better tracking of risk management, improved decision making, heightened security of privileged information and better overall contributions towards the goals of the firm.

The value of digital analytics for legal firms is becoming widely recognized, but industry standards have yet to emerge for their practice and application. These standards will establish a framework and mitigate the risks involved with their use, but are developed through a time consuming process of trial and error. Legal firms that take initiative to blaze the trail for establishing digital discovery practices may reap benefits greater than those that are slower to adapt.

The Future of Legal Technology

As eDiscovery shifts from a growing trend to the new normal, patterns emerge that dictate how metrics can be used to analyze aggregate information and provide a comprehensive view of a client case.

Legal firms must manage both the client outcome and costs associated with legal work, but data analytics have not yet been utilized to their full effect in either area. With the primary focus of analytics being on cost savings, the benefits to case work and discovery are areas that require further research before they are utilized.

Desh

Written by Desh Urs

Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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Software Innovations and the Rise of eDiscovery

Software Innovations and the Rise of eDiscovery

Two issues that remain a big concern for legal firms are data management and workflow. Digital data appearing in online archives is growing fast, requiring a bigger commitment of time to sift through during eDiscovery.

Outdated technologies slow down the discovery process further and cause an unnecessary burden on employee manpower and efficiency. This is one of the essential problems faced by legal firms trying to stay on top of their game, as technological innovation in the past has had little value in the traditional infrastructure.

The Need for Technology

While available data is increasing faster than firms can keep up, this is not the only limiting factor for legal teams that must optimize their discovery. The abundance of information is necessary for firms that require a wide spectrum of data to find literature. While too much information overwhelms firms with inefficient means of searching or those that are understaffed, reducing available information is not the answer.

Instead, firms should focus on new methods to locate the data that they need. In the age of information where anything you need to know is only a mouse click away, it is not about what you know, but how well you can find it.hands-typing-2

Shifting Priorities

Tech corporations like Altep work to change the trend of low-priority technology by creating software that automates eDiscovery to make it streamlined and more affordable. This comes at a critical time in the legal world, as traditional means of data discovery give way to newer, more efficient methods. Using new technology provides firms with options to diversify their discovery and compliance techniques, benefitting both the client and the firm.

Budget Reduction

The increasing need for technology has forced legal teams to update their eDiscovery practices and improve their technology to allow for streamlined searching of information. Many firms find these tech advances cut their costs by optimizing the data discovery process and making it easier to avoid cluttered search results.

In the past, cost has been a limiting factor for firms when implementing new technology, but this drawback diminishes as eDiscovery software developers try to bring down their complexity and cost.

New software can make gathering analytics, evidence synthesis and reviewing of data easier than ever for legal teams burdened with an abundance of work they are ill-equipped to handle.

For these law firms, new discovery technology may be the answer. With simplified, cost-efficient systems that streamline the data searching process, firms can reduce their overhead and save on employee time for faster, more complete service that sets them apart from the rest.

Desh

Written by Desh Urs

Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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Navigating International eDiscovery

Navigating International eDiscovery

Conducting eDiscovery in foreign countries is often a dicey proposition. Privacy laws, cultural differences and language barriers can all frustrate an eDiscovery effort. With the right approach, however, it is possible to get custodians to cooperate. Here are ideas that can help:

Get local help. Local counsel will be familiar with the country’s privacy laws, which differ from U.S. laws regarding what types of data can be shared, how it can be shared and under what circumstances. Local counsel will also know more about expected cultural norms and how to approach custodians to get maximum cooperation and compliance. Engaging with local counsel early will ensure they know exactly what is needed and reduce the chances of misunderstanding.

Magnifying Glass With Earth Globe

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Be transparent. By being clear and specific with both the local counsel and custodians about what data is needed, why it is needed and how it will be used, they will be more comfortable and helpful. Arrogance, threats or perceived half-truths or untruths will derail the discovery process. And, because foreign custodians are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, there is little that can be done about it.

Ask only for what you need. U.S. attorneys gather more data than they need for fear of missing something important by gathering too little. This approach will not go over well in foreign countries, especially those that have strict data privacy laws. In keeping with the transparency theme, it pays to be specific about what data is needed and not overreach.

Work to overcome cultural misperceptions. Some custodians and local counsel are biased by misunderstanding of the U.S. legal system based on popular culture, such as American movies and television. Take pains to make them understand how the process really works and how it benefits both sides in litigation. Provide opportunities for them to ask questions and make time to answer them honestly and completely.

The main ingredient in obtaining cooperation from custodians and having untainted data for discovery is trust. Building trust across national, cultural and language boundaries is difficult enough outside the context of litigation; having litigation as the starting point for a relationship makes earning that trust all the harder. By following these tips, barriers will be lowered and you stand a better chance of getting usable data for discovery.

Desh

Written by Desh Urs

Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.

As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decisions Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.

Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.

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