The litigation support and e-discovery market has felt chaotic for years now: rapid growth, technological shifts, emerging judicial reviews, and changing roles of the the main players (law departments, vendors, and law firms). EDD SHOWCASE: Strange Times by George Socha & Tom Gelbmann (Law Technology News, August 2009) provides good market insight. 

For anyone in EDD land, this is a must read. My key take-aways:

  • Law firms nationwide purport to harbor deep EDD expertise – much of this is a convenient fiction
  • No more than 30 companies have deep EDD expertise; others struggle to build it
  • The fear of EDD cost and risk drives the market; “seldom mentioned, is every litigator’s fundamental need to find the data necessary to tell a compelling tale…. Finding the right data and figuring out what to do with it should be primary drivers, yet all too often these considerations are not even part of the conversation.” [See my June post , E-Discovery Goal: Win or Avoid Disaster?]
  • “Increasingly document review has become the purview of specialized review shops — some domestic, others partially or predominantly offshore.”
  • Survey data show a 9% dollar contraction in EDD yet market participants expect growth around 25%. My take: volumes continue to grow; unit costs are shrinking (and will continue to do so); more reluctance to share data so results may not be as reliable; and costs are shifting to earlier in the EDRM cycle where measuring them is harder.
  • “In a crowded, noisy market, too many providers are making unsubstantiated claims and creating consumer confusion, while consumers lack effective means to compare technologies and methods. “