It’s hard to keep up with all the developments in e-discovery. Some news and articles of recent note: firms let go of EDD expertise, Autonomy and Zantaz merge, and Information Week provides guidance for corporate IT departments on EDD and the amended FRCP. 

The Lost Treasure of EDD by Alan Cohen in Law Firm Inc. (June 2007) is an exploration of why “many big firms missed electronic data discovery opportunities because of a fixation on billable hours.” Cohen notes that while law firms do plenty of EDD work, they are focused only on a single piece of the pie. Their limited view of EDD has led to the formation of at least one law firm specialized on EDD (Redgrave Daley Ragan & Wagner) and the departure of other experienced litigators from BigLaw to consulting companies. Cohen laments the departure of EDD experts from law firms, concluding that they have lost a valuable substantive and competitive asset. This sounds historically true, but contrast this to my conclusion in June about “E-Discovery (EDD) Attorneys:” “I suspect more [firms] will hire “e-discovery attorneys” or start e-discovery practices.”

Merger news: Autonomy to acquire Zantaz. “The combination of Autonomy and ZANTAZ, market leaders in enterprise search and content archival, will redefine Information Risk Management by automating the full spectrum of consolidated archiving, e-discovery, analytics and real-time policy management which is fully integrated with day-to-day operational information systems.” Looks like more evidence of convergence of information management with EDD. [Spotted at the Orange Rag, blog of the Legal Technology Insider.]

E-Discovery: New Federal Rules Require A Proactive Strategy (Information Week, July 2/9, 2007) is a good overview of the issues facing and available solutions for corporate IT departments in dealing with e-discovery and the FRCP.