Mark Yacano and Cat Casey of Hudson Legal have published the third and final of their InsideCounsel series on the role of knowledge workers and project managers in eDiscovery.
Their theme is the changing role of those who both undertake and manage eDiscovery projects, emphasising that technology brings a demand for new and specialist skills which can be acquired either by growing them in-house or by engaging the services of companies whose specialist area this is.
I have made the point, in recent articles about the document review services of Epiq Systems and Huron Legal, that you get more than just outsourced labour from such providers. Because this is what they do, all day every day, they have the experience and the metrics to be able to predict costs and time scales. Few law firms can match their costs; almost none can provide the statistical information which allows lawyers to make predictions of the kind which are increasingly required both by clients and, when cost budgeting comes into the UK rules in April 2013, by the courts.
The articles are a good introduction to the range of functions which are available from such providers, and the skills and training which are brought to them. Any lawyer offering review services as part of their practice ought to be in a position to compare the benefits of external providers as a comparison with their own best offerings in this regard.
By way of reminder, UK Practice Direction 31B does not merely require the use of technology – it does require technology to be considered and used where appropriate, but it refers also to the “techniques” which the lawyers must discuss. The use of outsourced document review is amongst the “techniques” which ought to be considered.