I wrote last week applauding an e-disclosure services company which had launched an electronic disclosure service at a relatively low fixed price per Gb (see e-Disclosure pricing not just for large matters). It appeared that they had told everyone but me about it, which seemed a bit odd given that I am known to be keen to promote the fact that electronic handing of electronic data is not as expensive as it is assumed to be.
I wrote a story about it anyway, if a post without any actual facts in it can be called a story, and it got nearly 50 hits in a couple of days (that, I should tell you, is not at all bad for what remains a niche interest). One of those was obviously the company concerned, who wrote at once to say that the mailing list had gone awry for all the press contacts and that it was not just me who had been left in the dark.
The company is Trilantic and their press release is premised on the general assumption – which they are keen to correct – that e-disclosure is expensive and only to be used for the largest matters. I wrote about this assumption recently when it arose at a conference (see If I had known the cost was hundreds not thousands…). It came up again yesterday at lunch with a roomful of judges when one said “What you say is all very interesting but it is much too expensive for the cases I get involved in”. Mike Brown of Epiq Systems was on hand to correct this impression (he had just shown them what a review platform can do using DocuMatrix). My concern is how we (that is, all of us who are keen to promote e-disclosure) can convey this without face-to-face meetings with every judge and practitioner in the country (I am doing my best on this, but it takes time).
Trilantic’s offering is a flat rate of £465 per Gb per month to import and host e-mail data using iCONECT, with de-duplication and key word searching. That is for five users, but you can add users for an additional £50 per user per month. Training and add-on services are available for modest additional sums.
As I said in my original article on this, the significance of the offer is not necessarily the price itself – I made the point firstly that you would want to get comparative quotations and secondly that pure price is not the only factor to reckon on – but that Trilantic have taken a big step towards making the pricing accessible and have given potential users a guide as to the order of costs involved. Just two factors – the removal of duplicates and the cost of printing which would otherwise be incurred – make pricing of this order within the reach of anyone with even modest volumes of e-mail data.
There are many reasons for going down this or a similar route. The one which may prove most compelling is the growing likelihood that judges will expect you to be able to say at CMCs what the costs would be of at least one electronic means of capturing electronic disclosure data. You will be pushed to answer the question if you have not made a couple of calls to find out.
What has changed is not the actual cost of electronic disclosure, but a realisation on the part of judges (if only because I have had the opportunity to tell them) that the costs generally are not as high as has been assumed – and that in any event, it is not good enough for parties simply to rely on such an assumption without checking it and factoring it into their management of the documents.