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Clients, Lawyers Undertake New eDiscovery Roles

September 22, 2008

Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West, is quoted throughout the LawyersUSA article "Clients Take the Reins in E-Discovery; Risks, Rewards for Lawyers."

Brownstone discusses the increasing number of clients who are taking on the duty of obtaining electronic discovery in preparation for litigation. This trend, foreign from the historical reliance upon outside vendors or law firm associates to spend hours upon hours digging for documents, is a result of shrinking budgets and new technology. Companies are weighing the cost and efficiency of in-house e-discovery and deciding which elements can now be internally, or which pieces are still simply too complex.

As technology improves and the process of e-discovery moves further from the attorneys' radar, communication is key. "Even though a company may have IT people who are capable and very tech-savvy, there are some major differences in what one does when doing e-discovery than what one does running systems day-to-day, Brownstone says." Brownstone describes the Fenwick EIM tech-savvy approach as entailing attorneys sitting down with their clients up front to understand the breadth of information electronically stored, as well as oversee the client's progress throughout an efficient and legally compliant eDiscovery process.