Information Faster Blog

Generation E

By Adam Feher

As I continually interact with legal firms and individuals who are impacted by e-discovery, I hear more and more that there is a generation gap -- or perhaps even a mindset gap.  This gap exists between attorneys who are fighting the integration of electronic discovery into their skill set and those who are grabbing the wheel and going full speed ahead.  When you hear comments from leading e-discovery practitioners that “paper is the decided minority in most discovery cases – 95% is not paper”, it is hard to believe that there still exists such an unwillingness to accept the obvious.

Control, or lack thereof, is in a nutshell what the push back is all about.  Electronic data cannot be fully controlled for a variety of reasons.  Just look at wild fire content spreading technologies like YouTube, Box, and Skype – it is hard to imagine a future point in time where it is feasible to wrap your arms around all of the possibilities and outlets electronic media can take.  In addition to so many possible mediums, our common day to day lives increasingly involve working with electronically stored information (ESI) in one fashion or another.  This combination makes the dilemma enormous when you begin to think of the amount of data any decent size organization needs to get in front of, or what specific ESI can potentially be relevant during a legal matter. 

Working in the information technology space for a fair amount of time, the e-discovery problem, while offering many unique business opportunities, is definitely a trend which I would consider overwhelming the legal industry.  I have no doubt that for attorney’s contained within the fold of this generational gap, who enjoy the comfort of paper documents they can hold, e-discovery must seem like climbing Mt. Everest with no equipment.

It is interesting to ponder these issues in conjunction with attempting to understand why there are still a large percentage of legal firms who are not preparing themselves to handle e-discovery.  As I wrote in a previous blog, it is my opinion that precedence such as Zubulake Duty will start to force parties, one way or another, to begin to accept the fact that this major paradigm shift known as e-discovery is no longer a choice, but a standard obligation of comprehensive representation.  As this trend continues to build and electronic media begins to further incorporate itself into the legal world, the Information Management group within HP Software will be there to educate and guide customers to handle this enigma appropriately.


Labels: E-Discovery
| ‎01-15-2010 05:30 AM

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