(Ron Friedmann, June 2005)
The e-discovery explosion creates a risk that firms will lose sight of the larger litigation support picture. There may not be a single right way to “do lit supp” but firms should analyze their processes and strive to develop consistent guidelines.
The table below presents a framework for thinking about litigation support. Columns represent phases of a case and rows represent player roles, software involved, and issues to consider.
The text in each cell is merely suggestive. Each firm, indeed each case, may have different answers. Even the rows and columns can differ. The point though is twofold:
- Make explicit and informed litigation support decisions.
- Analyze processes at both a micro and macro level and strive to develop a consistent approach based on adherence to a set of guidelines that covers typical scenarios.
|Vendor Role||Primary||Primary||Primary||Limited, unless using hosted system||Print or format conversion||Typically limited role||Trial presentation; site support|
|Lit Supp Role||Input||Input to active involvement||Input to active involvement||Set up and tech support||Tech support||Tech support||Tech support|
|Legal Assistant Role||Supervise||Input to active involvement||Input to active involvement||Searches; substantive support; monitor review progress||Help select documents; assemble production sets; review, track||Prep for depos; support all lawyer work||Supervise vendors; coordinate all necessary tasks|
|Lawyer Role||Guide||Guide||Guide||Review strategy; doc-by-doc review||Review production sets||Drafting, depos, research, etc.||Hands-on|
|Software In Use||Outsource primarily; limited in-house||Outsource or advanced semantic tool||Outsource primarily; limited in-house||Concordance, Summation, Ringtail, etc. OR Hosted solution||Concordance, Summation, Ringtail, etc. OR Hosted solution||Lit supp system; CaseMap; databases; other (e.g., decision trees)||Trial presentation system (e.g., Sanction or Trial Director)|
|Issues to Consider||