If you don’t work as an interdisciplinary e-discovery team, you will likely lose the game of e-discovery. You will make mistakes and get sanctioned, or pay too much, or both. Lawyers need to work with IT, techs, and others to do e-discovery right. But that is not enough. Even if you have a team, if your team doesn’t cooperate with the opposing players, or at least try to and go to the referee if they refuse, you may still lose. Teamwork and cooperation are the first two of the three pillars of e-discovery. The third is metrics and technology. You can probably avoid sanctions without the third pillar, but not high costs, and so you may win, but your client will still lose. This week in the eleven minute video below (yes, I know, it’s a minute too long) I explain the first two pillars of e-discovery. Next week I’ll tackle the third. Open the video below and watch in full-screen HD.
As lawyers, we have an unfortunate tendency to wish either to control or to abdicate. Add to this, among many older lawyers, a residual keyboard taboo and, among many lawyers of all ages, poor or no programming skills, and teamwork within an eDiscovery team becomes difficult.
I suggest that for litigators the duty of competent representation will be increasingly hard to carry without an understanding of a key defined term: algorithms + data structures = programming (N. Wirth, 1976). It does not mean that lawyers have to be able to write code, but they will need to be able to read and understand it.
Fortunately, for men and women who pride themselves of parsing, it’s less difficult than the Blue Book.
NOTHING is attainable without teamwork and cooperation, except playing solitaire 🙂