4. Play an active role in reducing first-level review costs. Many articles discuss taming the 3,000-pound gorilla of e-discovery costs: document review. The bottom line is that in-house counsel should play an active role in determining how to review documents to ensure efficiency and cost effectiveness.
The most burdensome part of this process is the first-level review because of the sheer number of documents. Some strategies for containing costs at this stage include using lower-cost attorneys to review the documents, employing search terms, the somewhat-controversial predictive coding, and utilizing software to group and de-duplicate documents. The legal department always must balance cost savings against the importance of identifying key documents.
Employing these strategies will not make e-discovery inexpensive; given the volume of documents in a typical patent case, that goal may prove elusive. But doing so can help keep e-discovery from overburdening a company's litigation budget.
Victoria Wicken is a principal in McKool Smith in Austin, and Leah Buratti is an associate with the firm.