eDiscovery Professionals: Order-taking or Consulting? – Consulting Opportunities
September 05, 2012
This blog series is aimed at helping you to move into an eDiscovery consultant role in a law firm. We’ve covered the advantages to doing so, transitioning into a consulting role, and tips for being an effective consultant. In the last posts in the series, I’m going to discuss opportunities to provide consulting services in a typical case. And, I’ll use the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) as a guide through potential consulting tasks.
Information Management: This first phase of the EDRM is often outside the scope of responsibility and expertise of law firm eDiscovery departments (it is, however, often handled by law firm eDiscovery practice groups). I know of a few departments, however, that are offering consulting services to their clients in this area. They provide consulting services in:
- Drafting document retention and destruction policies and procedures
- Drafting computer-use policies
- Recommending document and data management technology.
Identification: Consultants can assist in several ways in the identification step:
- Selection and use of early case assessment tools to identify sources of potentially responsive documents.
- Creating interview questionnaires and conducting interviews of IT and Records Management personnel and custodians
- Preparing an identification plan
Preservation: As a consultant, you can assist litigators in preservation in a few ways:
- Provide preservation policies and procedures to litigators (instructions for what types of notices should be sent, by whom, and how often)
- Provide template litigation hold letters and notices to litigators for use in distributing to clients
- Assist in preparing litigation hold schedules
- Record keeping for defensibility purposes.
Meet and Confer: While this isn’t a step on the EDRM, it is an area where you can provide helpful consulting assistance. You can assist with:
- Determining preferences for handling and producing ESI
- Developing a discovery plan
- Attending a meet and confer and functioning as a translator and advisor regarding technical issues
Collection: In the collection step you can help with:
- Developing a collection plan
- Recommending collection tools and technology
- Maintaining chain of custody records
Processing: In the processing step you can help with:
- Evaluation and selection of vendors and/or technology
- Education regarding processing options and determining an appropriate approach for a document collection
- Developing procedures for auditing processing activities and doing quality control
- Maintaining documentation that demonstrates a defensible approach
In next week’s post, we’ll continue going through the EDRM and identifying consulting opportunities in each phase. In the mean time, please let us know your thoughts on this. How have you assisted the litigators in your firm in a consulting capacity throughout the life of a case? And please let us know if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.