Offsetting Sticker Shock

By Tony Kontzer Print this article Print

Growing numbers of companies are using emerging e-discovery technologies to more effectively focus their document searches.


Offsetting Sticker Shock

Law firms are cognizant of this and are doing everything they can to reduce their e-discovery costs, most notably by adopting e-discovery technologies themselves. At Thompson & Knight, a 375-attorney firm based in Dallas, e-discovery tools have helped to offset the sticker shock clients used to experience when pricing e-discovery services.

In particular, Thompson & Knight is using Relativity, an e-discovery tool from kCura, to streamline its processing of collected documents. On a recent case in which the firm had collected 2.4 million documents totaling 450 gigabytes of data, it would have cost nearly $250,000 to have a third-party process those documents. Using Relativity in-house, the tab was less than $20,000.

Just a few years ago, that wouldn't have even been an option, says Danny Thankachan, Thompson & Knight's litigation support manager. "Bringing these kinds of capabilities in-house has helped us save clients enormous sums of money," he says. "The speed at which key pieces of information can be gathered has just improved dramatically."

Thankachan also wants to use predictive coding to bring down review costs, but third parties charge too much for the service for it to be a viable solution. Help is on the way, though, as he expects to have predictive coding capabilities in-house within six months, thanks to an expected upgrade to kCura's software.

And, as Rand's Pace notes, predictive coding and other technologies designed to supplant attorneys' eyes represent the future of e-discovery. Without them, he says, there isn't a whole lot more savings companies can squeeze out of the process.

"You get to the point where you've done everything you can to reduce the cost of e-discovery, and we're still talking about millions of dollars," he says. "You need to start moving away from the idea that an attorney has to look at all of those documents."  

This article was originally published on 2012-07-11
Tony Kontzer is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.
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