“It’s trite to say that the internet and web-based applications have changed everything, but they have,” says Cleveland, Ohio based Andrew G. Fiorella, partner, co-chair of the financial institutions and securities litigation group and co-chair of the e-discovery group at Benesch Law.
Maximizing time and money
In litigation, the process of discovery is one of the most important — yet time-consuming and costly — phases of bringing or defending a civil or commercial case for a client. But it doesn’t have to be.
E-discovery platforms can help reviewers easily and quickly identify needed information, saving precious time wasted sifting through a client’s files. They also can help save tens of thousands of dollars, says Fiorella, whose firm has used several such tools, including Everlaw. The tool helps reviewers painlessly access and interpret various document types — from medical images and spreadsheets to videos and computer-aided design files — regardless of language or country of origin.
Customers love Everlaw’s easy-to-understand predictive coding search feature. Also known as machine learning, this system empowers attorneys to find relevant evidence adjacent to their search terms. This cuts down on review time and cost, saving dozens of hours.
Making the switch
Everlaw’s StoryBuilder tool can also help facilitate collaboration among teams, including seniors, during case prep. “Because discovery is the most important and expensive part of your case, senior-level employees need to stay involved to pass along information to make the process go smoothly. Often, they understand the case and client best,” Fiorella says.
Fiorella acknowledges that moving to electronic tools may seem daunting for some, but the payoff can be substantial, even when considering the cost to use services like Everlaw’s, which charges firms a set price-per-gigabyte per month. For Benesch, the switch has resulted in a more efficient and cost-effective discovery process. “I would encourage people to look at these platforms and compare how they work to what you’re doing now,” Fiorella says. “This tried-and-true way of conducting the discovery process for the past 15 to 20 years is changing in a positive way.”