E-Discovery Experts Name Top Five Trends for 2007

Growth, debate and change will be the norm in 2007 when it comes to the expansion and evolution of e-discovery technology according to an analysis of the e-discovery industry discussed and announced today by the newly formed LexisNexis® Discovery Services group. As part of its participation in Legal Tech® New York, the largest legal technology event of the year, LexisNexis Vice President of Industry Relations, Courtney Ingraffia Barton, Esq. and Director of Data Collection & Forensic Services, Tom Williams, hosted a session in which they reviewed the top issues in e-discovery in 2006 and predicted the top trends for 2007…“In time the ‘e’ in ‘e-discovery’ will disappear, illuminating the fact that document production in electronic form is fast becoming a routine part of all discovery,” said Barton. “2007 will see this evolution progress significantly as the primary trends in the industry drive corporations to collaborate across business units to create systems that combine information management with e-discovery, and partnering with market leaders in the field who can provide scalable end-to-end Total Practice Solutions.”

Top Five Trends for 2007

After reviewing the business issues and technologies that shaped the market last year, as well as anticipated milestones in the New Year, Barton and Williams announced what they see as the top five trends that will shape e-discovery use and growth in 2007. Specifically:

1. Amended Federal Rules Will Generate More E-Discovery

The most profound development for the e-discovery community last year came from amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure implemented in December. Changes have created requirements that will generate more e-discovery in 2007 and beyond. For example, amendments create an entirely new category of discoverable information: “electronically stored information” and authorize production of such information either as it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable format. The rules also now require counsel to meet, confer and agree on disclosure, electronic discovery and preservation issues – including form of production, potentially inaccessible data, and privilege or protection of trial preparation materials. These changes and others will increase the demand and need for discoverable documents to be found, processed and reviewed.

2. E-Discovery Case Law Will Evolve

2007 will see debate and refinement of e-discovery case law as judges and parties continue to grapple with the intersection of law and technology. Courts will interpret the gray areas in the federal rules with continued reliance on commentators, including the Sedona Conference® whose guidelines, principles, and definitions were frequently cited by judges in 2006. However, many courts are coming up to speed quickly and becoming less tolerant of litigants’ and lawyers’ claims of ignorance around e-discovery rules. As more lawyers and corporations also understand the rules, there will be fewer cases dealing with sanctions and more opinions on issues that remain largely undefined by the rules – such as form of production and the standard for inaccessibility under Rule 26(b)(2)(B).

3. Corporate Counsel Will Ramp Involvement in E-Discovery

While primarily motivated by the need to control litigation costs, the new Federal rules are necessitating greater corporate knowledge of and direct oversight of records management, litigation holds and data collection policies. The need to minimize the interruption these processes may have on a company’s business is also a key factor for this shift in the in-house/outside counsel relationship.

4. End-to-End Information Management Will Influence E-Discovery Offerings

The e-discovery industry will make it easier to comply with evolving technology, new rules and corporate demands. As parties integrate document management systems with e-discovery, more complete “end-to-end” discovery solutions will emerge to accommodate with greater compatibility and automation. This will make it easier for clients to abide by the rules and take advantage of some of the protections and benefits afforded there under.

5. Scalability, Flexibility Will Be Desired Traits for E-Discovery Services

Corporations will need to do their homework when selecting an e-discovery vendor with more entries coming into the marketplace. Astute corporations should determine what solution is best based not only on immediate needs, but which vendor offers the most flexibility and scalability for the fluctuations in litigation over the long term. Product choice, integration, predictability and streamlined processes all accrue to a vendor’s flexibility and scalability and value to the corporation.

The trends identified by Barton and Williams were among key factors motivating LexisNexis to form its new Discovery Services group. Comprised of market leading products such as Applied Discovery®, Concordance™ and Hosted FYI™; as well as expert consultants and digital forensics capabilities, Discovery Services provides litigators at law firms and corporate counsel a diversity of choices and flexibility for their varying e-discovery needs. As part of the LexisNexis® Total Practice Solutions strategy to help litigators win by providing them the most comprehensive set of tools, these services are available individually or via LexisNexis® Total Litigator – a single online destination providing litigators a complete and integrated set of tools and services to help them smoothly manage cases through each step of the litigation lifecycle.

About LexisNexis

LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading provider of information and services solutions, including its flagship Web-based Lexis® and Nexis® research services, to a wide range of professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. A member of Reed Elsevier (NYSE:ENL)(NYSE:RUK) (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in 100 countries with 13,000 employees worldwide.
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LexisNexis
Source: via Business Wire
Updated 03/03/2006 by company
Headquarters: New York, NY
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