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2010 eDiscovery Predictions

by on December 28, 2009

Predictions December is the traditional time for prognosticators to take their runes from the closet and give us insight into the future. Bob Tennant, CEO of Recommind, a legal knowledge management outfit based in San Francisco, provided some insight a few weeks ago in a Web posting on the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel site.

 

Not surprisingly, Tennant sees emerging technologies continuing to create nightmares for in-house lawyers and outside law firms. Web 2.0, unified communication, virtualization and the cloud all present new forms of information risk that will keep eDiscovery and compliance people awake at night.

 

Of particular concern to lawyers is the movement of data off site and into the cloud. Once in the nimbus, can the data be retrieved quickly to comply with eDiscovery, subpoena or regulatory requests? What form will the data be in when it arrives? If the data is searchable in the cloud, will such searches yield relevant results or create an ordeal for document reviewers?

 

At the very least in 2010, Tennant sees lawyers participating more actively in drafting agreements with cloud vendors, especially when crafting level of service agreements to insure that the terms in those pacts allow a company to meet the demands of eDiscovery and compliance.

 

For lawyers looking for a hot job in 2010, Tennant predicts advocates with legal and IT expertise will be in demand, performing as a liaison between IT and legal professionals, as well as assessing the impact of proposed technology purchases on eDiscovery, compliance and retention.

 

Tennant also sees more law firms investing in eDiscovery systems and departing from the outsourcing model that’s been popular for so many years. He predicts:

“Law firms that invest in an ediscovery platform with differentiating technology such as integrated conceptual search, support for non-linear review and email analytics will be able to offer their clients more effective, higher value and lower cost ediscovery services alongside their traditional legal services.”

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