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Has the Need for EDD hit Small Markets?

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Has the Need for EDD hit Small Markets?

I talk to 15 or 20 different Litigation Service Providers and at least 10 law firms througout the country every week regarding the Litigation Lifecycle, EDD and the technologies and services that are being used the most and having the biggest impact on day to day operations and case management. As such, I have a pretty good pulse on what the market is asking for and what the service providers and vendors are doing to fulfill these needs.

First of all, its an understatement to say that the market is growing at an accellerating rate. According to the Socha-Gelbmann Survey it is already a $2B market. However, what I have been investigating over the past couple of weeks is whehter all of this growth is with the Fortune 1000 and the big law firms in the large metropolian markets or if the need for EDD has made its way into the small and medium sized markets and thererfore the law firms and litigaton service providers that support these markets?

I think that the answer is yes in regars to the market and no in regards to whether or not the law firms and the service providers have the ability to provide the EDD support that is required.

Obviously, no matter what size market you live in, if you are involved in an IP, sexual harrassment, Human Resources or stock fraud case of any kind, ESI and therefore EDD is more than likely going to be a part of the case. As an example, just becuase you live in Eau Claire Wisconsin does mean that you don't have a laptop and use email. So, just like any other custodian, you are going to have 90,000 pages of potentially discoverable documents or about 1.5 GB.

However, what my travels and discussions have uncovered is that there are very few if any support infrastructure in these smaller markets to support these cases and thererfore the litigants are having to go to larger markets. As an example, I talked with the owner of a litigation services company in a medium sized market this past week and asked if they had "geared up to support eDiscovery" and if so, how much collection and EDD they were doing. He indicated that they really hadn't invested any resources in eDiscovery because they were not seeing very much activity. I countered by asking if maybe he wasn't seeing much activity becuase the market in general and his client base specifically didn't view his organization as capable of supporting eDiscovery and therefore were not even talking to them about it.

I am interested in input and comments on this issue and will continue to post my experiences and finding as they occur.

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At December 3, 2007 at 12:44 PM , Blogger Mark Kerzner said...

Charles, I feel the same way. We have an offering for small markets, DiscoverLite, where we charge for harvesting and hosting but allow free key work searches. I have been talking to attorneys and only a small percentage are ready.

However, your idea of talking to litigation support companies may be the right way to introduce them.

I have no doubt though that soon we will see small markets picking up.


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