February 28, 2023
February 2023- The Changing Landscape of Litigation Services
Many things have evolved over the past few years, largely informed by changes made during the pandemic. The widespread acceptance of distributed work environments, new technologies and cloud-based solutions may have permanently changed how we work. And this new reality aligns well with the common goals of improving productivity, mitigating risk and driving cost efficiency – imperatives in the field of litigation just as in other areas.
With this backdrop, what does the future of the litigation services landscape look like?
There are a couple of different angles from which to explore this topic. The first is by examining the challenges of increasing data volumes, particularly from collaboration and chat applications. The second is by looking at the need for eDiscovery expertise and highlighting areas poised for increased litigation and regulatory activity given the rampant growth of security threats and use of technology across industries.
Modern Data Challenges
Collaboration tools and cloud-based platforms are useful in our daily work but create significant amounts of discoverable data. A 2020 report from the IDC observed that “[t]he amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years, and the world will create more than three times the data over the next five years than it did in the previous five.” Adding to the burden of dealing with all that data is its complexity. Collaboration and chat-based platforms, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, and virtual meeting platforms like Zoom and GoToMeeting are used to create and store various types of data, much of which cannot be collected and processed by traditional means.
Legal service providers must be ready to support the integration of this data into eDiscovery workflows. Technical vendors must overcome challenges for collecting, processing and rendering the data, and managed review providers must analyze how this data fits into existing workflows and what accommodations are needed for successful review.
Efforts to reduce data volumes also have become an industry focal point, as they are a prime way to reduce eDiscovery spend. Data reduction is a battle that can be fought on two fronts—prelitigation preparedness and the use of early case assessment and technology.
With data volumes growing in both size and complexity, leveraging technology and innovative processes continues to be critical to eDiscovery success, which requires expertise in both process and defensibility. Providers must maximize their command of technical tools to provide comprehensive support, which requires vetting and understanding new technologies, continuously evaluating workflows and keeping pace with industry best practices. Yet, most important is monitoring the development of legal precedent to ensure defensible work product.
There are several areas in which this expertise will be invaluable in the coming years, including COVID-19-related litigations that are expected to persist, data privacy and the increased regulatory monitoring of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance.
As we enter the new normal, let’s embrace the creativity that was required during the pandemic to continue to innovate in the litigation services industry. Our industry is adaptable and resilient in the face of challenges, and adversity has a way of inspiring innovation.
Interested in reading more? A recent QuisLex article series published by Legaltech News explored the Accelerated Evolution of Litigation Services. Read part one, “Complexities & Challenges of Modern Data” and part two, “Preparing for What Comes Next,” to learn more on this topic in-depth.