Fenwick’s Director of Information Technology Kevin Moore and Director of Practice Support Brad Bonnington are quoted in a DatacenterDynamics article on e-discovery titled “Present Your Evidence.”
The article says that over the past 10 years, “e-discovery has come of age and has become an industry of its own.” While most law firms still choose to outsource their e-discovery needs according to the article, Moore and Bonnington discuss how Fenwick has invested in creating a robust in-house infrastructure for handling e-discovery.
Bonnington says that managing costs is one reason that Fenwick has chosen to keep this function in-house – “[o]ver time you’re going to save a lot of money and you’re going to save clients a lot of money" – as well as the private and sensitive nature of the corporate information involved in the e-discovery process.
Email, mobile devices and cloud storage services are causing the amount of data retained for e-discovery purposes to grow at an exponential rate and overflow is becoming more common. Moore says the storage needed for litigation cases can vary widely from lawsuit to lawsuit, with one case requiring about 1TB of data extracted from seven or eight custodians.
“Storage is getting cheaper,” Bonnington says. “People are keeping email longer. Email systems have been around for a lot longer. If they keep that data in place, we often go get it. It seems like we’re implementing new [data-storage] stands and shelves every few months.”
To store all of this data, Fenwick created its own infrastructure – separate from the infrastructure that provides the firm’s regular IT services – partnering with Lateral Data in the development of its Viewpoint platform. Importantly, Viewpoint does not require that data be stored at a third-party data center, allowing the data to remain within the Fenwick infrastructure.
Bonnington says that the new e-discovery capabilities have made the litigation process a better informed one based on the amount of evidence accumulated,.