The eDiscovery “Slippery Slope”

What is the “slippery slope” of eDiscovery data? It is the transfer of data from corporation to law firm to legal service provider without confirming data security protocols.

A corporation creates, maintains, protects, backs up, and defends all data that its employees create. Within the corporation, backups, firewalls, and antivirus programs are used to protect the data. Policies such as Acceptable Use, Clean Desk, and Incident Response are also in place for protection. Despite all these measures, the breakdown occurs when a company must submit the data to an outside source for litigation purposes.

The slope begins with the law firm. Often times, companies are not requiring outside law firms to complete security questionnaires. These questionnaires ensure the firm is keeping the data secure.

It’s not uncommon for a law firm to employ an outside litigation support company to process all the data. The litigation support company processes the various data, culls them down to what is potentially reasonable as well as relevant, and creates a database for the law firm to analyze. Once the law firm outsources the corporation’s data to a litigation support company, the slope slips even more.

If a corporation is working diligently to keep its data secure, why wouldn’t it want to ensure all other parties are maintaining the same level of security? It simply comes down to timelines and cost. What is your lowest cost per GB, do you charge for analytics, and do you charge for production are a few of the most common questions asked of a litigation support company.

While making the smartest financial decision is important, equally important is ensuring the litigation support company maintains the appropriate levels of security controls that are most similar to that of the corporation. If the corporation and the law firm do not have the required amount of competency in relevant technology to understand whether or not the company’s security protocols are acceptable then how can they confirm the data is protected? By requiring a security questionnaire is completed.

In order to diminish this “slippery slope,” corporations and law firms must shift more of their focus from timelines and costs to security measures. Litigation support companies must continue to provide excellent service while protecting their client’s data. Once a trusted partnership is created, all parties will reap the benefits.


For more Tidbits & Thoughts, please click here.