That was the question Maura Grossman, Of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, rhetorically posed in her keynote at the Ontario e-Discovery Institute 2015 conference on October 29, in Toronto. Litigation holds are now fairly well understood in the legal profession, and there is a vast array of tools available for identification and collection of electronically stored information. On the review side, software has matured to a point where it can learn from reviewers and significantly speed up the process. So is e-discovery solved? Far from it. The fact is that after 15 years or so of e-discovery, we only have a good handle on dealing with the common sources of information such as file shares, document management systems, SharePoint and email.
As new communication and collaboration tools emerge, they create new and bigger challenges. Social media, group chat rooms, photo, video and audio sharing platforms are still a challenge in e-discovery. Add to that the looming data tsunami of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (or internet of everything), and there is little time for complacency in the e-discovery world.
What is evident is that e-discovery has not died, but it has evolved. The evolution has also created a need for greater technical competency in lawyers dealing with these new challenges. Keeping up with the developments in e-discovery is difficult and, as the pace of change increases, it will be come even harder. Lawyers who really understand e-Discovery are valued now, and will become even more of an asset in the future.