Search processes must be documented

Gartner says companies must document their online search processes

By the end of 2012, enterprises that fully document their search processes in e-discovery will save 25 percent on their collection processes, according to Gartner.

Enterprises of all sizes, and those facing any number of legal actions annually, should have a simple set of practices to follow anytime they need to embark on an e-discovery process in the near future the company believes.

Although no single relevance model or cocktail of relevance models will be effective in the next five years, Gartner predicts that by 2014, lawyers and technologists will use a customary means of recording search processes in e-discovery.

“Addressing the ongoing challenge of the IT perspective of litigation management demands both that the technologies be acquired and that procedures for using them be established,” said Whit Andrews, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Companies need to own the products that will be necessary for them to address litigation and understand that those products will not have the same positive impact unless they are supported by repeatable, effective, systemic processes for lawyers and IT to follow.”

Gartner identified five guidelines to ease the first steps of addressing e-discovery for litigation:

•    Open communication wide, and include potential custodians.

•    Get a senior litigator involved immediately. High hourly rates are compensated for through effective decision making.

•    Analyze the corpus of documents and data early.

•    Estimate the price scale for collection based on what it will cost to pursue strategies of different degrees of intensity.

•    Document your decisions.

“Codifying these guidelines in order will further enhance efficient proceedings and improve the successful resolution of litigation,” Mr. Andrews said.

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Search processes must be documented