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eDisclosure costs to rise in 2013?

Posted by: Laurence Simons 14/02/13

The cruel advance of technology marches onwards, with in-house lawyer jobs caught up in the forward momentum along with everybody else. According to a new report from Epiq Systems, the cost of eDisclosure - which is the process of capturing, collecting, restoring, manipulating and searching electronic documents as part of the system of disclosure in civil litigation - is likely to increase over the coming 12 months.

While it is uncertain just how expensive eDiscloure will become when we all have computer chips embedded in our cerebral cortex from the age of six as part of a mass programme of government control, what is clear is that the process is becoming an integral part of litigation practice as more and more data is stored online.

Information that would previously have been kept in a diary or filed away in a dusty cabinet is now being uploaded to the sinister and amorphous 'cloud', or stored in the memory banks of a smartphone.

According to the majority of international law firms and companies surveyed by Epiq Systems, eDisclosure activity is likely to increase over the course of 2013.

Furthermore, some 92 per cent of law firms and 75 per cent of companies suggested that there will be more technology assisted review seen at their organisations throughout the next 12 months.

Commenting on the findings, Epiq Systems international managing director Greg Wildisen said: "As data volumes continue to increase, it is crucial that law firms and companies implement proportionate and efficient strategies in preparation for litigation and regulatory investigations. Failure to be adequately prepared can further increase the expense of the eDisclosure process, and lead to inefficient and ineffective responses to legal requests"

Investment in new technologies can help make this new burden on legal staff easier and ensure that not too much time is spent on eDisclosue requests, improving the overall efficiency of in-house legal departments, according to Mr Wildisen.

The dazzling array of information sources that have proliferated in the last few years, from Twitter to Instagram, has made eDisclosure an increasingly hot topic - as well as making it easier for people to share the latest details of their diet or carry out a mind-numbingly banal interior monologue in public.

Many lawyers feel that a combination of technology and human insight are important in assessing the eDisclosure situation, ensuring that people do not need to plough through huge amounts of data in order to work out what is and isn't relevant.