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Clearwell Publishes “Top 10 Trends In E-Discovery”

Survey of Corporations and Law firms Identifies Important E-Discovery Strategies and Observations

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—August 6, 2008Clearwell Systems, Inc., a leader in Intelligent E-Discovery, today announced a “Top 10 Trends in E-Discovery” paper outlining the most important e-discovery strategies and observations based on feedback from corporations and law firms.

All of the trends highlight that corporations are taking greater control of e-discovery processes and partnering with their law firms to lower the cost, risk, and complexity of e-discovery. A detailed paper on the findings can be downloaded from Clearwell’s Web site at http://clearwellsystems.com/offers/top10/.

The top ten trends are:

  1. “E-Discovery Teams” are Coalescing — Recognizing that e-discovery is changing from an ad-hoc event to a formal business process, both law firms and corporations are beginning to develop cross-functional “E-Discovery Teams” to help navigate the transition from reactive fire drills to proactive management.
  1. Early Case Assessments Become Mainstream — Understanding where a party stands at the earliest stages of litigation is critical to the outcome of a case. By selecting the right technology and implementing tools optimized for e-discovery analysis, legal professionals are better able to find and interpret key case facts from mountains of electronic case data.
  1. Search Goes Under the Microscope — Recent case law scrutinizes attorneys who navigate the search process alone; consensus between parties is critical. For a keyword search to pass judicial muster, it must be an agreed upon “Collaborative Search Approach” or adopt a “Best Practices & Data Driven Search Approach”.
  1. E-Discovery Moves In-House — Corporations are bringing pieces of e-discovery in-house to reduce costs and streamline the process. Certain tasks will likely remain outsourced (e.g., forensic collection, large scale distributed review), whereas other routine tasks are quickly being brought in house (e.g., searching, culling, processing, analysis).
  1. Review Mantra: “Smarter not Harder” — Reducing the size of case datasets by removing irrelevant documents has been proven to lower processing costs by up to 80 percent, and reduce review workloads by up to 90 percent. In-house and outside counsel have significantly fewer documents to review, thus lowering resource requirements and cost.
  1. The Standard of Care is Rising — Rapidly — The bar and bench is now using a common language around a new set of e-discovery challenges that did not exist until recently. As a result, attorneys and the parties they represent are getting fined and sanctioned for e-discovery negligence and abuse that would have been overlooked a year or two ago.
  1. ESI Expands Well Beyond Email — Legal professionals recognize the need to choose an e-discovery method that is flexible enough to encompass emerging communication technologies such as blogs, Wikis, voice over IP (VOIP), Webmail services, text and instant messaging, etc.
  1. Custodial Data Increases by Orders of Magnitude — Increasing volumes of data have reached a critical “tipping point”, placing greater importance on data searching and aggressive use of ECA to quickly cull down data sets, in addition to automated document review methodologies.
  1. Non-Manual Document Review — Rising costs and compressed production deadlines are influencing attorneys to employ an iterative searching process that automatically weeds out confidential and other non-responsive and/or privileged documents prior to production.
  1. Vendors Struggle to Adapt to the Evolving Landscape — E-discovery has become more complex and specialized; thorough research must be conducted prior to selecting a solution.

“This year marks a turning point in e-discovery, where corporations are making significant investments to lower the cost, risk, and complexity of e-discovery,” said Dean Gonsowski, vice president of E-Discovery Services, Clearwell Systems. “We believe the trends within our own customer base are consistent with the views of the larger market. People are getting smarter about the technologies and processes they are implementing, and the legal system is developing a better sense of awareness about e-discovery. These two factors are creating a real sense of urgency for both enterprises and law firms as they increase their focus on e-discovery.”

About Clearwell Systems
Clearwell Systems is transforming the way enterprises perform e-discovery in response to litigation, regulatory inquiries, and corporate investigations. By automating the processing, analysis and review of all electronically stored information, Clearwell enables enterprises to accelerate early case assessments, lower processing costs, reduce review workload, and gain control of e-discovery. Clearwell was ranked a “Top 5” e-discovery software provider overall as well as a “Top 5” e-discovery provider for processing, analysis, review, and production in the 2008 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey. For more information, visit www.clearwellsystems.com or read the E-discovery 2.0 blog at: http://www.clearwellsystems.com/e-discovery-blog/.