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Economists rarely agree on anything. But, if the Fed’s recent actions are any guide, most believe the U.S. is already in a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth). This downward economic outlook for the country will soon begin impacting corporate budget discussions, forcing every department — including legal and the law firms that serve them — to re-examine their expenses. When companies are struggling to grow the top line, every cost gets scrutinized. Legal expenses are no exception, especially given the sharp increase in spending and dollars going towards e-discovery.

According to Gartner, the market for e-discovery products and services is growing by more than 37% per year. Similarly, IDC’s recent forecast for the legal discovery market predicts spending will reach a staggering $21.8 billion by 2011.

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