Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2014-10-19 20:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

Craig Ball raised a good point in his latest blog, Does the evidence we use derive from discovery?. Where he seems to be questioning the value of the entire discovery/eDiscovery process, I am more interested in getting some ad hoc metrics from you about what portion of preserved or collected paper and ESI could be considered actual ‘evidence’. My recollection from my earliest scanned paper productions and trials back in the 1990’s was that our exhibits always seemed to boil down to a single box (roughly 3,000 pages). It did not seem to matter how many boxes we scanned, reviewed and coded, the trial team always came up with a single box of printed exhibits to take to trial. Extensive depositions, expert analysis or third party productions would throw off this rule, but my impression was that the volume of key exhibits related more to the number of significant issues and the volume of documents that lead counsel was comfortable juggling in his/her head. I do remember a brilliant regulatory defense counsel from Baker Botts who had the ability to keep hundreds of trader email and voice conversations on instant recall as a good exception to the one box rule. So how does that ‘one box’ rule hold up 20+ years later?

The strategic role of eDJ Group consulting engagements means that we focus well upstream of trial, which gives us limited insight into what portion of broad or selective preservations or collections actually has value in resolving the matters. When someone raises a question that we do not have an answer for, we do research or find existing research to get an answer. Craig Ball has already looked for hard metrics without success, which leads me to believe that there is no unbiased research available. Thus I created a fast 5 question survey to collect metrics from real world eDiscovery practitioners, namely you my Participating Members. The survey asks for average metrics and you can either provide those for all of your matter types or take the survey multiple times and indicate the matter type that they metrics apply to. I am well aware that most of you have different docket types or client types with wildly divergent discovery profiles.

So please take a second to contribute your metrics so that we can all understand better what portion of collected documents are actually used in negotiations, depositions, filings or actual trial as evidence. Remember to log in first to get full access to my recent research on Analytic Adoption in 2014.

Greg Buckles can be reached at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com for offline comment, questions or consulting. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s 2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more. Blog market perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment.

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