Lynn Reilly, Director of Hosted Solutions at Lighthouse e-discovery, discussed the challenges to effective risk management in e-discovery during her presentation at the 2015 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. on June 16. In her presentation, Reilly said there is an enormous gap between how an in-house lawyer would think about e-discovery risks and how a litigation counsel might go about managing them.
Costs can challenge legal professionals, Reilly said, and there are many hidden costs that often go unmanaged. However, Reilly said discussing all costs, and their impact on risk management, is key. If an organization wants to successfully control risk, Reilly said, members of its legal team must collaborate to fully understand all costs: “Anything that is going to involve accepting a tiny bit of risk for less cost is always going to come from your side and not from the advice of your outside counsel. So I would just encourage you to discuss with your counsel whether the many dollars that are going into avoiding ever producing a privileged document is money well spent.”
There are also significant costs associated with a lack of cooperation, Reilly said. However, legal professionals who are upfront with opposing parties, Reilly said, can take the necessary steps to limit these costs: “The cost here is pretty obvious, it’s just a missed opportunity for cost savings. We see this all the time, even really simple things like e-mail threading which can eliminate about 15 percent of the documents from your review. People perceive that as being sort of chancy. They don’t want to talk it with opposing counsel so they forego all kinds of cost saving opportunities. I would encourage you to just be aware that you may be looking at an exaggerated sense of how transparent you need to be in order to use these technologies.”