eDiscovery is something that all enterprises have to adhere to. In cases of legislation, eDiscovery enables large sets of data to be condensed, so only the necessary elements are shown. Unfortunately, there have been situations in which this system, which was supposed to make things simpler, actually made it worse. Legal experts like Matthew F Knouff are aware of this, and they are building on systems that stop eDiscovery from being a burden.
Legal proceedings are traditionally slow. That does not mean that they are defective, however. Rather, it is very challenging to cull and condense data, and it is expensive to do this as well. As a result, opportunities to reduce risks are wasted, and this makes it look as if eDiscovery is flawed.
The main goal is to make it easier and cheaper to find evidence in a huge amount of data. Doing so, in principle, will make it easier for a court to reach a decision. However, the process of eDiscovery is still highly fragmented, which means it is often neither accurate nor efficient. This is precisely what Matt Knouff is trying to address.
Key Improvements to Make
Matthew Knouff has developed a number of key areas that should be focused on for improvement, being:
- Cost-effectiveness, as the goal is to make things quicker and therefore cheaper. This is likely to be an ongoing process in which multiple improvements have to be made to identify which costs are unnecessary.
- Having proper defense mechanisms in place, as good eDiscovery systems allow for an audit trail to be maintained, thereby ensuring an organization is protected as they go through litigation. The process can become more effective by monitoring which documents were culled and why, thereby minimizing guesswork, errors, and doubts.
- Ensuring collection procedures are preserved, but so that the right evidence is kept. This means the system must be able to identify the main components, looking at data ranges and data types. Once this is preserved, the challenge becomes how to collect it, which is the next main step.
- Technical knowledge must be improved, not in the least among legal professionals. Indeed, this is perhaps the strongest area of focus Knouff has charged himself with, as he wants to ensure all those in the legal profession have an understanding of eDiscovery, software applications, and big data.
- Dealing with deadlines, as there are often very stringent deadlines in place within legal procedures. A properly set up eDiscovery system should be able to ensure that all deadlines are met.
For Matt F Knouff, the important issue is that organizations and the legal profession as a whole understands what eDiscovery is and what its current limitations are, so that innovative concepts and solutions can be developed to make the tool as a whole less burdensome and more useful. In principle, the system has been designed to make everybody’s life easier, it just has to be implemented and developed properly before the principle becomes the reality.