American Bar Association Section of Litigation Pretrial Practice & Discovery
Strategic Use of E-Discovery Counsel to Manage Risk and Cost
Technology has forever changed civil discovery. Gone are the days when a requesting party could reasonably ask for “all documents related to” a dispute, and a responding party could reasonably expect to meet that request with a thorough search of its file room and perhaps offsite storage. Nearly all information created today is created in digital form, with dizzying arrays of technologies creating dizzying arrays of data types, at rates and in volumes that continue to grow geometrically, with an estimated 89 billion business emails sent each day and large organizations now measuring data stores in petabytes. At the same time, advances in digital forensics, information retrieval, and other disciplines have yielded a plethora of tools that make it possible to conduct discovery in even the largest cases in a manner that is defensible, timely, and cost-effective. Put simply, technology has affected discovery so profoundly that lawyers today cannot ignore electronic discovery any more than the eighteenth-century Luddites could ignore the Industrial Revolution.