Clearwell Systems, Inc., a leader in intelligent e-discovery, recently announced findings from a survey conducted in partnership with analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). The survey, titled “Trends in Electronic Discovery: A Market Perspective” quantifies both the rise in e-discovery and litigation over the past year. Additionally, the survey findings reinforce the need for increased enterprise readiness to manage the expected growth in volume of eDiscovery cases in 2010.

It has been three years since the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended with provisions centered on discovery and management of electronically stored information (ESI). In the same timeframe, the macroeconomic climate went from explosive growth to recession, forcing organizations to cut costs as quickly as possible. As companies continue to operate in cost containment or reduction mode, they are changing the way they conduct e-discovery, moving away from a primarily outsourced approach to bringing core elements of e-discovery in-house. The intersection of these two industry trends led ESG and Clearwell to survey over 100 Fortune 2000 enterprises and government agencies.

Key survey findings include:

—  78 percent of respondents said that the number of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries they experienced increased in 2009 compared to 2008.  The top two factors for the increase in legal activity were “increase in the amount of lawsuits” and “repercussions of the financial crisis”

—  53 percent of the respondents expect the number of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries to increase by at least 20 percent in 2010, with 13 percent of respondents planning for an increase of 50 percent or more

—  While most respondents taking the survey believe 2010’s increases will be driven by higher litigation, 46 percent of the respondents expect to receive more regulatory inquiries

—  48 percent indicated that they currently have an active project to bring segments of the e-discovery process in-house; another 36 percent will within next 12 months –  87 percent of respondents plan to budget for technology that specifically supports the electronic discovery process in 2010

—  22 percent of those surveyed have “E-Discovery Manager” titles, a reflection of the move in-house and importance of having a dedicated resource.

For business continuity planning groups charged with making recommendations for company eDiscovery strategies, and considering in-house vs. outsourcing their eDiscovery process, we recommend reading this report.  READ THIS REPORT.

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