Many years ago people would not have thought that something like computers would ever exist, let alone be such a magnificent tool for business. Computers have caused many changes in the way business is conducted, and now that the internet has been unleashed in full force, there are no limitations. Legal firms are just one sort of business that benefit, and have recently started tapping into the power of electronic discovery statistics.
There will probably always be paperwork that is necessary to complete and perhaps store, but at least computer technology has provided us with other options. Legal companies benefit greatly from electronically stored information, as it results in faster document retrieval. There is no longer the need for tedious manual searches through thousands of papers.
When paperwork has been transferred onto a PC it can be searched very quickly. This enables professionals to save a lot of time because they don’t have to do the task manually. The documents are more easily viewed from a computer screen, and are in a good order. Large warehouses may also not be needed anymore, which could help the company save money.
In addition to e-discovery, lawyers now use the internet for legal research purposes. Many of their cases require some intensive research, and before, this was done by reading through large volumes. Today, lawyers have quick access to online legal databases, from where information regarding case law, legal forms and many other things are available. Software is also used to track billing hours, and the internet is used for the solicitation of new clients.
There are certain laws in place that govern e-discovery, and they are the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. One such law states that companies must have a detailed plan of the data they store, and this is why most have e-discovery data maps. Companies must know of information they store, and from where it can be accessed. Data maps are often developed by the combined efforts of staff in the legal, IT and records management sections of the company.
A law firm should consider carefully how their e-discovery map will be created. If they have IT personnel that can efficiently handle the work then that is ideal, however, it is also advisable to consider hiring an expert. An expert could be hired as an independent consultant who will work with the company until the map has been developed. Software that has been developed for mapping can also be useful, and there are several varieties available.
A new e-discovery map should always be put on trial before it can be determined as adequate. The trail can involve actual or pretend information. Once it has been tested and everything is in order, it can be used help retrieve e-discovery requests.
When new litigation arises, the discovery map should be appropriately updated so that the electronic discovery statistics is always the latest. The IT, legal and records departments of the company will need to regularly get together to stay informed. Certain personnel can be put in charge of the e-discovery maps.
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