What to Look for in an eDiscovery Provider?

The Paralegal Resource
April 30, 2014 — 1,218 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

What is electronic discovery or eDiscovery? It is basically, any process by which electronic data is obtained, saved and searched. The objective is to use the data as evidence for a civil or criminal case in a court of law. It can be done both offline and online, depending on your need and the eDiscovery providers services.

Tips for identifying the right eDiscovery provider for you

Do not complicate the search for an eDiscovery provider. There are mainly three things you need to keep in mind. Price shouldn’t a factor till you have looked at these three things.

Trust and integrity

Can you trust the consultant interacting with you on behalf of the service provider? This is extremely important, because if you can trust the person, you can have frank discussions regarding all aspects of the service. The consultant should be able to explain why the higher upfront cost of their service makes sense in the long-run. Also, why is the cost higher? Is it just because of the brand name, or is it because of the sophisticated technology that enables this service?

Experience

Industry experience of the service provider is another important point you need to consider. You can ask your colleagues and friends in the business about the standard of service provided by this particular company. You need to find out if they are good with data security and the other necessary prerequisites for an eDiscovery service provider.

Customer service and support

This is the third, but equally important consideration.  Tech services are bound to throw up issues that require immediate attention and resolution. Can this service provider deliver on this count? Plus, how much importance does the service provider place on customer service? Will they be providing a dedicated line or a project manager to oversee the operations in your firm? Is there a group email address that you shoot a mail to? Ideally, you should have the cell phone number of the project manager that you can call anytime of the day. If every time there is an issue you need to fill out an online form or dial a 1-800 number, then you need to reconsider this option.

Pricing comes after these. Ask the consultant to give you different payment options, and select one that suits your budget.

What if you need to switch providers suddenly?

Internal communication – This is most important for making a successful and smooth transition. The management and stakeholders should be notified of the change.

Transition team – There should a dedicated team to oversee the transition.

Ensure defensibility – Data security and integrity is extremely important. The transition team should include members with both technical and legal expertise to ensure this.

Identifying a new eDiscovery service provider – Follow the steps mentioned above.

Data back-up and transition – It will cost a lot and eat up a lot of time to transfer the entire electronic database to a new provider. So archive most of the old data, and only transfer those that pertain to active matters.

The Paralegal Resource