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Early Case Assessment Tips
Early Case Assessment is becoming an important part of the ediscovery landscape. Those who have thorough ECA practices will often see an increase in ROI on cases as analytics tools become more robust. Proper ECA practices allow a law firm to plan strategically for litigation, in addition to reducing overall ediscovery costs. While ECA is not a money-saving silver bullet in every case, there are steps your law firm can take to reduce overall cost while improving the quality of output.
The first step is often to identify the key players in the pending litigation. This is where you’re going to want to question key witnesses and construct an organizational chart of parties that may be involved. With this data, you can better evaluate whether this litigation is going to be quick, or if you may need to dig in for a protracted battle.
At this stage, you now have enough information to issue litigation holds for key custodians and be able to determine the potential scope of ediscovery. Server shares, mail accounts, document management software, and backup tapes should all be evaluated for litigation responsiveness.
There are further steps, of course, but at this point you should have a grasp of the amount of data that could potentially be involved in this litigation. Additional steps will depend on the amount of data you have identified and collected, but you will likely want to load this into a document review platform (if the data set is small and is ready for attorney review) or into a tool with more robust features such as Clearwell or EMC’s Kazeon.
Early Case Assessment is an important tool for reducing overall cost and better preparing you for litigation. The longer you ignore tools and processes like this, the faster you will fall behind the ediscovery curve.