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Litigation Readiness in the Wake of a Pandemic

by Christina Ling

When organizations were mapping out their 2020 strategies and initiatives, most weren’t aware of the impact that COVID-19 would have in shaping their businesses. As a result, it’s become nearly impossible to operate in the same capacity as previously anticipated; however, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a roadmap to move forward. In his famous 2015 TED Talk, Bill Gates spoke about the possibility of a global pandemic and how proper investment and planning could help with navigating a potential global crisis. In the wake of the recent economic fallout, organizations, especially those in the legal industry, will need to alter their approaches to adjust to this new reality.

According to Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2019 Litigation Trends Annual Survey, 64% of respondents agree that economic downturns tend to increase the volume of litigation. In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, the legal profession is now bracing for a wave of litigation, with almost 800 claims filed in less than two months. Under normal circumstances, this would be a massive win, but legal organizations need to make adjustments in what is shaping out to be a prolonged period of remote work. Armed with this knowledge of increased litigation, corporate legal teams and law firms have the opportunity to prepare for ediscovery ahead of time by evaluating the technology solutions that best integrate with their existing legal workflows and accommodate the new reality. Preselecting vendors that meet this criteria will aid in turnaround times for discovery, enabling teams to more quickly decide whether to litigate or settle disputes.

Selecting Ediscovery Vendors in Advance of Litigation

In preparation for the upcoming wave of litigation, legal professionals will need to evaluate the current marketplace and identify potential vendors ahead of time, no matter how well-versed they are in the world of ediscovery. Starting the research process now rather than later, is crucial in ensuring litigation readiness, especially considering the vendor procurement and onboarding process may take several weeks after selection. Ultimately, selecting a vendor should be seen as entering a long-term relationship with a trusted business partner that offers a solution to meet the needs of their enterprise.

However, the plethora of ediscovery solutions on the market makes it difficult to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses. Asking the right questions helps not only differentiate between vendors but can also help tailor the overall approach to vendor evaluation. At Everlaw, we encourage buyers to ask these five critical questions when evaluating ediscovery platforms:

  • Is security a priority? (Have any third parties certified or assessed the security of the solution?)

  • Is the vendor transparent with their pricing or their product capabilities? (I.e. Are there hidden fees or costs for services?)

  • What is the pace of innovation? (For example, how does the vendor enable virtual collaboration for remote or geographically distributed teams?)

  • Is there an affinity for speed? (E.g. How fast does data load?)

  • Does the company respect its users? (What do they say about the software and the services?)

For more information on these crucial questions, download Everlaw’s white paper, “A Critical Evaluation of Ediscovery Vendors” today. Additionally, if you’re interested in staying up-to-date on the lawsuits and claims materializing from the coronavirus pandemic, sign-up for the webinar, “Emerging Claims and Trends in COVID-19 Litigation.”