January 25, 2013
In light of next week’s Legal Tech 2013 event in New York (stop by and see Proofpoint at booth 2607), we wanted to recap some of the really terrific insights from our recent web seminar on eDiscovery process efficiency.
In that webinar (see, "Improving eDiscovery Efficiency in a Cloud-based World"), our special guest speaker, Jonathan Rudolph, attorney for medical device manufacturer C. R. Bard, raised some very interesting points that might be useful for those heading to Legal Tech next week.
Jonathan was a key part of the team that selected and deployed Proofpoint Enterprise Archive at C. R. Bard and has a unique role in that he serves as both the eDiscovery manager within the IT organization, as well as an attorney within the legal department for this global manufacturer and marketer of medical products, based in New Jersey.
His role as IT-legal liason makes him uniquely qualified to discuss the challenges faced by organizations attempting to improve discovery processes, as well as offer best practices to get past common obstacles. Some of the key points he highlighted:
- eDiscovery remains a matter of perspective, with organizations struggling without a common vocabulary and shared priorities. This gap is made more challenging by the fact that it limits the ability to create a shared view of the problem, which then contributes to a set of common priorities across IT and legal teams. Judges, however, remain above the internal fray and bring unpredictable knowledge (and comfort) of how, when, and where technology and eDiscovery processes intersect.
- For some, today’s processes for identifying and collecting email for discovery can be like a rat maze. He notes that some archiving solutions even return different sets of search results for the same query at different times, leading to completely unpredictable (and clearly incomplete) discovery results. This type of problem not only consumes IT resources, but entails significant organizational risk and can result in multi-million dollar costs to have outside counsel filter through "junk" results. There are no shortage of recent court rulings that highlight the potential impact (e.g., Samsung v. Apple, Hynix v. Rambus) and costs of "discovery gone wrong."
- Many organizations cannot “break the monkey machine”. In his remarks, Jonathan refers to unbending organizational processes as "the monkey machine." The monkey machine has always done things a specific way, and has embedded that into the company's organizational culture and fabric. To "break the monkey machine," Jonthan argues that it's imperative to involve both the legal and IT departments from the outset, and that it's helpful to have an individual who can “speak both languages.” Further, it's critical to be able to quantify savings delivered by any technology-enabled eDiscovery process improvement.
- The goal of defensibility is a myth: Defensibility as a goal often leads to reactivity – which provides a poor starting point and places the burden of persuasion with you, not your adversary. Companies are better served in moving toward a position of justifiability in order to better dictate the rules of the game.
- Security in the cloud is an internal obstacle – that can be overcome. It is inevitable that IT will continue to look for opportunities to cut costs by moving to the cloud. Legal teams - who are often reluctant to embrace cloud-based approaches to eDiscovery - can be persuaded by showing them the advantages of strong service level agreements (SLAs) and security features (such as Proofpoint’s DoubleBlind Key Architecture) which leave data access and control decisions in the hands of legal decision makers – not cloud service administrators.
Using Proofpoint Enterprise Archive, Jonathan and the team at C. R. Bard have already realized the benefits of automating critical, early-stage discovery tasks. After using the system for 4 large matters, he is happy to report that the solution delivers as advertised and has already proven its ability to provide cost reduction and enable greater process efficiency.
To hear all of Jonathan's insights, watch the replay of "Improving eDiscovery Efficiency in a Cloud-based World."
And if you're in NY for Legal Tech next week, please stop by and meet us at booth 2607!