Reducing the Cost of eDiscovery Through eNeutrals

21 January 2016 Publication
Authors: Peter Vogel

Texas Lawyer

As evidenced by Chief Justice Roberts’ 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, eDiscovery has clearly become the dominant factor at the courthouse, and as the Chief Justice pointed out, the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (effective Dec. 1, 2015) are directed at trying to rein in the exploding cost and complexity of litigation. Regardless of whether you graduated from law school 30 years ago or last year, every lawyer involved in litigation has had to learn about electronic evidence, like it or not. Further, those lawyers who are not computer technology savvy find that eDiscovery is more of a challenge than those lawyers who feel at home with computers.

Because the current volume of electronically stored information has become so unwieldy, lawyers are reliant on outside consultants and using very sophisticated software to search ESI. Significant amounts of motion practice about eDiscovery disputes continue, which puts the eDiscovery burden on trial judges, but more often than not, the trial judges are not any better equipped to understand the eDiscovery disputes than are the lawyers presenting the motions.

What too often happens is that the eDiscovery motions lead to confusion among judges, resulting in inconsistent rulings. This confusion and case economics can both be minimized though the use of eNeutrals. Our experience has been that the use of eNeutrals will reduce motion practice significantly so the overall cost of litigation declines since eDiscovery is the most expensive component of litigation, without question.

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