It’s a rising trend that states require eFiling, or eDiscovery, to share pretrial and discovery submissions on both sides of a case. And we all know what a trend in the legal field results in: regulations. In truth this method once consisted of paper files and some email correspondences, but in our modern and highly strategic court system, eDiscovery requires not only documents, but the data that ensures that the documents have not been tampered with and are correctly associated with an individual or entity.
What does this validity requirement mean? Well, not just data collection is of import to your case file submissions. Meta-data collection plays a huge part in your ability to represent, submit, and successfully meet discovery requirements in each and every case. Since this collection must be done in a timely, organized, acceptable manner, the field is in need of severe programming – otherwise that paper you once just had a paralegal or two scan, duplicate and mail away will take you even longer to file, and risk missing deadlines or being unable to submit key documents in court.
How Did eDiscovery Begin?
This field is a machined answer to the tedium of civil litigation. It is not only a lucrative industry (in and of itself), but acts as a simplifier and time-management tool – and in that respect it’s here to stay. It makes the lives of attorney’s, courts and regulators easier. It is more than just an in-depth management tool, but a method of providing those necessary items that will produce a correct and accurate outcome in a case or investigation.
What does this mean for the industry?
The legal field is moving well past document recovery and into computer forensics. Be prepared to get even more digital in the upcoming years! As with all things computer related, best to start learning them now. It’s unlikely you’ll have the fortitude of a toddler to pick up digital swipes as they evolve MUCH faster than case law.
I have a small private practice… why should eDiscovery be necessary?
Simply put, litigate, cry or pray as you might, eDiscovery not going to go away. eDiscovery exists because attorneys and their clients have obligations to the courts. As the requirements and expectations become more standard and rigid, the tools must evolve to that anticipated next step of where the current requirements will travel. Firms who have not yet invested in this tool, or those who have older versions of this software may find themselves not only dated, but pressed to produce information that they are unable to provide with their limited functionality. While not every firm requires a large document management tool, every firm requires an e-discovery tool in order to accurately meet the expectations of the courts and governmental agencies, as these agencies now have standards of how documentation and discovery must be delivered: digitally.
The fact of the matter is that once courts and agencies are used to receiving data and discovery in a particular format, that format becomes standard. Precedence is set. No firm, especially those involved in civil litigation, can afford to be behind the times.
5i Solutions, Inc. creates document management solutions for every size law firm. If you haven’t already looked into increasing your power of discovery, call today to find out more about how we can help you become compliant.