For many attorneys, confidence still remains low around ediscovery and electronically stored information (ESI). As attorney Neda Shakoori wrote in 2013, which remains applicable today, low ediscovery confidence can result in inefficiency, a lack of organization, increased costs, missed opportunities in the discovery process, court intervention, and even court sanctions. Then and now, an ediscovery liaison can provide valuable ediscovery knowledge and guidance, instilling confidence every step of the way.
But what, exactly, is a liaison?
In 2010, the 7th Circuit Electronic Discovery Committee rolled out the “Principles Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information.” Among the principles is Principle 2.02, specifically addressing meet and confer, which can be aided by the participation of an ediscovery liaison.
The ediscovery liaison meets, confers and attends court hearings. Regardless of whether this liaison is in-house or outside counsel or a third-party consultant or otherwise, the liaison must meet certain standards.
(a) be prepared to participate in e-discovery dispute resolution;
(b) be knowledgeable about the party’s e-discovery efforts;
(c) be, or have reasonable access to those who are, familiar with the party’s electronic systems and capabilities in order to explain those systems and answer relevant questions; and
(d) be, or have reasonable access to those who are, knowledgeable about the technical aspects of e-discovery, including electronic document storage, organization, and format issues, and relevant information retrieval technology, including search methodology.
While the principles were delivered in 2010, these standards continue to apply today as does the great value of having a knowledgeable, experienced ediscovery liaison on staff or as a third-party consultant to lead the way.
Think of a liaison as a highly experienced and knowledgeable guide with blended expertise in ediscovery, litigation and technology. As a result of this person’s role and oversight, there would be an increase in efficiency and organization, as well as a reduction in costs, court intervention and the chance for court sanctions.
With an ediscovery liaison in place, the benefits are many. It’s a move that a number of firms and corporations have made in 2017 and more are planning for in 2018.