Organizations have always been aware of the risks of being sued as part of just being in business.  And, if a law suit was issued against an organization, they might well be aware also of “discovery” being an important early stage of that litigation process.

Today that term “discovery” has been extended to include an “e-discovery” element.

The fact is that that awareness of the importance (and risks) of electronic documents has spread down to records managers and up to corporate offices. The notion that all paper documents in a company might become evidence in a trial was daunting enough. Extending the liability posed by all things electronic — yes, including and often especially emails — has given records departments increased stature and legal departments more to worry about.

When weighing the cost of deploying e-Discovery tools to possibly mitigate those risks and costs, organizations appear to be taking two separate approaches. First, they’re looking to extend investments already made in content management software, policies and procedures. Secondly, they measure these investments not only in what they cost to acquire, but also by how much they save by not having to pay lawyers.

In a recent Gartner report, E-Discovery: Project Planning and Budgeting 2008-2011, it was determined that one gigabyte of data can result in $18,750 in legal review costs. In the event that an organization is facing litigation expenses, it was also implied from that report that a company practicing good records management policies, and with strong content management and document classification and retrieval systems, can conduct much of this work internally.

Because the risks of litigation are closely related to the rising number of data breaches suffered by both public and private enterprises, and, considering the fact that costs for legal discovery are forecasted to only increase in the future, many organization are awakening to the realization that now is the time to investigate, evaluate and consider those potential litigation costs more closely.  In addition, organizations are now beginning to realize that whether they win or lose in such litigation — those costs are more likely to remain their responsibility.

The result of this logic is making many organizations ask the question, “Can I bring some of these costs in-house, and thus potentially, avoid having to pay a $200+/hr rate to a legal reviewer?

Click here to read more about this topic in an article written by Dan Bolita in a recent publication of  the Integrated Solutions Magazine.

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