There’s an unusual dichotomy in the e-discovery industry right now. Industry observers see scores of e-discovery companies that have folded or disappeared as part of an industry shakeout, but at the same time there is agreement that there is still a growing opportunity to be had despite a slow economy. “There’s more than enough work for discovery consultants,” says Craig Ball, a court-appointed special master and e-discovery consultant in Austin, Texas. “In fact, as people recognize and understand the issue more, they have started to bring us in as early as they can.”

One reason for this trend is that e-discovery is different than your average niche information technology market. Unlike other technology purchases, law firms and companies cannot simply suspend litigation spending while waiting for market conditions to improve. However, in a down economy, litigants are changing the way they spend money on discovery services and are investing it more carefully.

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