Cost of e-discovery

There’s an article by John Sterlicchi at accountancyage.com called “E-trail leads straight to court”. According to the article, “the cost of e-discovery ­ revealing documents in the run up to a trial ­ may also have chief financial officers worried as evidence emerges that the process can rack up fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.There are numerous examples where electronic documents are in evidence. At present, emails involving Enron’s former CEO Jeffrey Skilling are being used by the prosecution at the fraud trial taking place in Houston”.

“Besides the costs associated with litigation, corporate CFOs are beginning to baulk at the actual cost of the e-discovery process. Anecdotally, one case is said to have rattled up e-discovery expenses in eight figures, and researchers say $140,000 is the minimum per suit.”

“With those kind of fees on tap, it is not surprising that a whole industry has appeared, consisting of dozens of companies that have developed a variety of technologies to either find and analyse documents needed in litigation or, better still, help businesses keep a handle on their electronic documents before a lawsuit is filed.”

EDDix research company has recently published a survey, which estimates that the e-discovery industry will generate $2bn in revenues for vendors this year and it has compound growth of 35%.

However, although nearly every civil court case in the developed world now involves e-discovery, “still more than half of IT organisations and in-house legal teams are not geared up to handle requests for electronic evidence,” according to Gartner research.

“Even more alarming, 65% of corporations do not include electronic documents in their document retention schemes, according to consultancy Cohasset Associates. ”

One of the proactive action that companies can take is to “archive their e-documents in such a way that those most likely to be subject to compliance or litigation reporting and disclosure are put in near-line storage and not hidden away on tape drives in a back room somewhere”.

This blog is run by the authors of FindProtected.
FindProtected is a security program that allows you to search your network for password protected and evidential files. With FindProtected, it is way much easier to discover electronic evidence that may be used in litigation.

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