I have just finished a cross-country conference tour. I started on September 16th at the Sedona Conference, Getting Ahead of the e-Discovery Curve: Strategies to Reduce Costs & Meet Judicial Expectationsin Vancouver. Moving east, I then participated in the Canadian Institute: Class Actions Litigation conference on September 23rd in Toronto discussing e-discovery issues. The last part of my travels took me yet further east to Halifax on September 30th to an Insight conference, E-Discovery and E-Documents. I can now safely say that I have heard from external counsel, in-house counsel, vendors, records management and IT participants on their latest issues and concerns surrounding e-discovery in Canada.
The buzz at all three conferences seems to be “early case assessment”. While the never ending issues of preservation and proportionality were discussed, there was a tremendous focus now on costs and how to reduce the costs of e-discovery. Peg Duncan and I prepared a paper for the Sedona Conference called e-Discovery: Bringing Down the Costs which garnered much interest at the conference. I have since had several calls and questions from lawyers and in-house counsel wanting to discuss early case assessment tools.
In practice, I have recently been involved with two cases where we have very successfully used early case assessment tools to quickly identify key electronic records in massive collections of data. Although this is not the end of the e-discovery review, it has allowed counsel to inexpensively and very efficiently identify key documents for their cases. It is the inexpensive part that our clients are most interested in achieving.
Wortzman and Nickle continue to look at early case assessment tools to provide our clients with advice on the best way to assess and analyze their electronic records and their case, early in the lifespan of a matter.