E-Discovery and Litigation Consulting
E-discovery is one of the newest areas of preparation for trial. It is supposed to reduce the amount of work that has to be done to get ready for trial and potentially it can do that. However for right now while everybody is still learning the ropes it is actually making things a little bit more complicated. This is why most law firms will hire a specialist to help them with the process.
E-discovery is basically the process of doing discovery online. Traditionally discovery is done when both sides will show each other what evidence they will be presenting at trial. Normally this required both sides to sit in a room with stacks of papers going over what they would be presenting at trial. However it is now possible to do this online, each side simply makes the documents that they wish to use at trial available online for the other side to see. This allows the lawyers to review them at their own convenience. E-discovery is still fairly new so many lawyers don't have a lot of experience with it. This is why they usually bring in an expert to help them.
There are some issues that need to be dealt with in order to use E-discovery; the biggest is that most of their clients are not really capable of putting together the required documents of for E-discovery. Since most of the documents that you require are going to come from your clients it is important that they be able to make them available online properly. Failing to do so can make them inadmissible at trial. Unfortunately most clients really don't know what they are supposed to do so they will need an expert there to show them what to do.
Even if you can get your clients to get the right documents up where they need to be and do it in a way that ensures they can be used at trial cost is going to be a problem. In many cases it will be necessary to put the documents up several times as they need to re-file them to correct errors. This will really increase the cost of what is already an expensive process. Using an expert to help get it right the first time will really help to bring down the cost.
E-discovery is still fairly new and most lawyers are still learning their way around the process. Nobody is entirely sure how it is going to work out in the long run since it will be necessary to wait for rulings on what is admissible and what isn't as the result of E-discovery. Until all of this gets resolved it is a good idea to have a consultant who specializes in the area to help guide you through the process. This will help to make sure that you get the best possible results.