Daegis, a US-based provider of ediscovery solutions, today announced its top five predictions for ediscovery in 2012 based on insights gathered from legal industry thought leaders, ongoing cases, and emerging trends among enterprise and law firm customers. Daegis anticipates significant changes to the prevailing ediscovery model and the rulings and regulations surrounding it, including a renewed emphasis on the role that people play in the ediscovery process and a seismic shift in pricing structures as the amount of electronically stored information continues to grow and clients demand more economically viable pricing models.

Daegis’ Top Five Electronic Discovery Predictions for 2012 are:

1.    Litigants will Focus On Leveraging Knowledge Gained In Prior Reviews
Enterprises and law firms will continue to see an increase in the volume and variety of data sources required for ediscovery. In an effort to control costs, serial litigants will identify new ways to repurpose and leverage attorney intellectual capital across multiple matters, rather than reinventing the wheel for each isolated matter. To accomplish this, the use of purpose-built repositories and master databases will emerge as a model for exponentially reducing costs across divergent litigation and regulatory matters. Using this model, review decisions made in one matter can be leveraged in subsequent matters any number of ways to save costs by streamlining and accelerating the review and reducing the total number of documents reviewed. As a result, consistency across matters can be achieved for both privilege calls and the production of responsive documents.   

2.    Out with the Old Pricing Model, In with the New
In this era of big data and data deluge, the amount of electronically stored information has continued to increase exponentially, and with it, the cost of ediscovery under the industry-standard per-gigabyte pricing model. Emerging challenges and client discontent will force the market’s hand in 2012. To remain competitive, ediscovery vendors will begin shaking up the stagnant pricing model with alternative fee arrangements and flexible pricing structures.  

3.    Cloud and Social Media Make Privacy, Security Issues Foggy
The cloud and social media will continue to blur the lines, as Facebook pages and offshore cloud servers are called into litigation. 2012 could be a landmark year for these two challenging mediums. Until then, enterprises must set up protocols for allowing or prohibiting access to social networks and understanding where data will physically reside before choosing a cloud vendor as this will have a direct impact on cross border global data transfers. Enterprises should also proactively focus on negotiating favorable requirements around ediscovery obligations.

4.    The Human Element Returns to ediscovery
As the pendulum swings, we will see a renewed focus on the role that people play in the ediscovery process. Hybrid solutions that take into consideration both the intelligent application of technology to automate and create consistency and transparency of process, combined with human expertise and judgment to ensure defensibility – all within a single solution – will prove to be winning models as enterprises strike a balance between predicting, controlling and decreasing costs and reducing risks associated with ediscovery.

5.    Judges, Regulators Increase Focus on ediscovery Rules
Rulings from the bench will continue to raise the bar on ediscovery best practices. We expect to see more courts take an aggressive stance on managing electronic discovery.  Regulatory and legislative authorities will follow suit, placing renewed emphasis on developing consistent rules and standards for ediscovery as well as requiring targets to defend their ediscovery processes. FRE 502, which now limits the repercussions of inadvertent disclosures in Federal Court, and the willingness of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee to contemplate rule changes regarding preservation and spoliation are harbingers of the increasing focus that federal and state legislators will place on the codification of ediscovery as a judicial process.   

“As the amount of electronically stored information continues to grow exponentially, it is becoming increasingly untenable, both from a cost and time perspective, for serial litigants to recreate the ediscovery life-cycle each time a new matter arises,” said Kurt Jensen, founder & executive vice president at Daegis. “In 2012, we expect the industry to stand up and take notice, manifested by shifts in both ediscovery processes – from collection and processing, to review and production – as well as pricing models. Client demands on the vendor community will pave the way for solutions that are more cost-effective, preserve the intellectual capital generated in previous matters, and meet increasingly stringent defensibility standards as the rules and requirements around ediscovery become more rigorous.”