Measuring Your E-Discovery Program Against Industry, 2015

Over seven years and nine reports, the Advice from Counsel study has shared the opinions and advice of inside counsel from some of the world’s largest corporations about the e-discovery process. The 2015 study builds on this strong tradition, with 31 in-house counsel from Fortune 1000 organizations sharing their advice and perspectives across a range of e-discovery trends. This year’s study covers a number of growing corporate challenges, from budget transparency and retention policies to data security and potential amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. From these results, legal teams can measure their own program’s effectiveness against the best practices of in-house peers.

Highlights from this year's Advice from Counsel study include:

Cost-Saving Analytics

A growing trend among leading e-discovery teams to use analytical tools earlier in the e-discovery process to reduce their overall spending (an amount that ranged from $1 million-$5 million annually for 43 percent of respondents).

Sensitive Data Protection

While 77 percent of respondents have security requirements for service providers, and 52 percent have them for their law firms, a number of respondents indicated growing concerns over the regular exchange of proprietary and sensitive materials between their firm and opposing counsel, especially on matters involving smaller firms with little or no security staff or safeguards. For matters that do not have "law firm parity," one lawyer respondent prevailed in the requirement that the parties use central repository controlled by a service provider for law firms to access produced documents securely.

Data Retention Concerns

As information governance grows in importance and cybersecurity breaches rise, many companies identified the need to update existing data retention policies or create new ones. In today's landscape, 41 percent of respondents said they retain emails for more than three years, and another 10 percent indicated they do not know how long the company retains documents, or if a policy even exists, further highlighting counsel's opportunity to influence these processes and mitigate risk.

The Impact of Changes to the FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure)

The vast majority of respondents – 87 percent – responded that they are following potential changes to the FRCP with most optimistic that impending changes will more clearly define preservation obligations.

Download the white paper here: Measuring Your E-discovery Program Against Industry, 2015.

You can also take the interactive survey and compare your answers to those of Fortune 1000 counsel.