Hiring a Litigation Support Company?

When you’re hiring a litigation support company, does location matter? It can — but probably not as much as you think. Engaging with a local support company can make sense in a small number of cases, but generally location won’t matter as much as the company’s technology and expertise. Here’s everything you need to know.

When Doesn’t Location Matter With a Litigation Support Company?

A knowledgeable and experienced litigation support company will already be skilled in supporting clients from anywhere. Both technology and properly developed support protocols will render location essentially meaningless for some critical litigation support services.

  • General consulting. Litigation support companies are experts in a wide variety of situations and environments. A knowledgeable organization can provide general consulting services to companies anywhere, determining whether their current protocols and technology are suitable and whether there are adjustments that they should make. If your organization wants to improve your processes and technology, your litigation support company’s location isn’t likely to matter.
  • Early case assessment. Early case assessments are a critical stage of the eDiscovery process. The better the early case assessment is performed, the more likely the firm is to perform up to their own and their client’s standards. Litigation support companies can provide accurate and timely early case assessments from just about any location.
  • Document review. Document review is mostly handled through technology today. With the right cloud-based system and the right processes in place, a litigation support company can easily produce document review from anywhere in the world.

These are many of the services that a firm will need and encounter — especially smaller and mid-sized firms that are simply seeking some additional support. On the other hand, there are some areas in which location might matter.

When Does It Benefit a Firm to Have a Local Litigation Support Company?

Whenever on-site or physical services are needed, a local litigation support company can be necessary. Of course, as we enter into an increasingly digital age, this becomes far less common. Here are some services that do benefit from a local provider:

  • Analog (paper-based) review. The paper-based review process is best facilitated by an on-site partner that knows how to properly scan and prepare documents. Consequently, those who can send contractors on-site will be beneficial and may even be able to significantly speed up the process. Contractors will be able to scan high quality documents, sort them through OCR, and prep them for trial.
    • Data collection. Depending on how much data needs to be collected, the types of data that need to be collected, and where all of that data is stored, it may be better to get local help. When data collection has to be overseen on-site, it may be prohibitively difficult to dedicate your own staff members to the project. A local litigation support company will be able to send extra hands to aid you in managing the process. Regardless, any good litigation support team should be able to recruit and manage remote resources when it’s needed.
  • Exhibit prep. Analog review comes with another component: paper exhibit preparation. If you need services that will help you with exhibit preparation, a local support company is usually your best option. It’s prohibitively difficult (and really not advisable) to have to transport documents or exhibits from place to place.

For the most part, many firms will find that they don’t need a local provider at all. But there are some situations in which a local provider can be better. On a whole, you will want to focus more on finding an experienced, educated partner than a local one — but it also doesn’t hurt to stay local if you can. For more information about the eDiscovery process — and getting the most out of it — download our eBook today.

ebook How to use ediscovery to compete with the big boys