eDiscovery is changing.

We should all be thankful for the remarkable amount of innovation our industry has offered in the last few years. Those charged with data processing initiatives and reviewers have more options today than they ever have before. More ways to control cost and better ways to review are everywhere. However, in this whirlwind of new choices and thoughtful innovation, something important seems to be left behind. And that my friends, is Litigation Support.

Platinum knows more about LitSupport than most organizations. After all, we’ve been focusing directly on it since 2001. Processing Solutions and review platforms come and go and we’ve even hosted several different solutions ourselves.

Platinum serves hundreds of matters every year. When the smoke clears on these important matters, our clients don’t thank us for the brilliant innovation behind our review platform. They don’t thank us for the way that we’ve scaled infrastructure to meet their demanding deadlines with accuracy and defensibility. They thank us for the human touch the responsiveness and the creativity employed in solving their most challenging issues and they thank us for helping their client control cost.

Long story short, real, experienced litigation support experts are extraordinarily valuable to have on every matter. However, not every litigation support solution actually provides litigation support. Many of the new generation of litigation support solutions are wholly automated and give the perception of low cost and ease of use, seemingly negating the need for real live human litigation support professionals.  Some solutions give the illusion of a replaced need for human ability with seemingly simplified automations.

Let’s get something straight. It is true that the entire eDiscovery data processing model can be largely or even wholly automated. But what happens after that? What happens when data needs to be filtered by an extraordinary long list of keyword search terms and booleans? What happens when complete sections of the review database need to be walled off for witness or opposing counsel review? What happens when it’s time to go to trial? What happens when we need to make 1000 exhibits from 50000 pages and change designations 300 times at the eleventh hour before making a production? This is where human expertise really shines, and is a substantial differentiator between top-tier litigation support solutions and automated processing solutions.

A top tier processing solution Can utilize eDiscovery data processing automations in order to reduce labor and improve time to deliver on data processing assignments. Companies that choose to do so can remain competitive in this marketplace and provide a much higher level of service than companies who have wholly automated the entire processing and review experience.

Some automated processing solutions give the illusion of cost control through a flat per gigabyte processing model which at the onset of a case is attractive. but with a simple spreadsheet it’s easy to realize that the total cost of ownership is much higher than it may appear with some of these offerings.

For example, a 1000GB project with a popular tool @$20/month will cost $240,000 yearly. Many review teams are optimistic about the life cycle of their case considering that it may only need review for three months. If that timeline isn’t accurate, over time the high cost of low price becomes apparent.  

I think the biggest benefit of this model is the cost confidence found and a flat rate per gig cost.  However,what about all of the additional Support Services that we’d discussed? What about support while we review, what about organization of data, what about Trial exhibits?

Well the answer is pretty simple, you’re basically on your own.

However, some providers offer the entire scope of Litigation Support solutions for a simple flat rate that’s more affordable than the competition. Clients can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly for an even greater savings. The offering even provides a much-needed exit strategy for teams that feel trapped in a residual bleed pattern with no-cost migration from these solutions.

Consider what’s included when firms and providers choose a top tier Litigation Support solution.

Before committing to an all-inclusive eDiscovery and review program, ensure you’re considering the big picture.  After all, the litigation discovery and review process is more than just processing and review.

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