Year-End Countdown: The Best of eDiscovery (Part 2/4)

RVM’s Managing Director of Professional Services Laura Kibbe shares her thoughts on the changes and challenges that have impacted the eDiscovery industry this year, and what we should expect from the fast approaching year 2016.

To read Part 1 of Laura’s interview, click here.

During the conference, you moderated a panel on the future of eDiscovery. What does the future of eDiscovery look like?

Our keynote, Chris Surdak, was an incredible speaker and truth be told, scared all of us just a bit. The future of technology and how we interact with it in our everyday lives, from surveillance cameras to predictive analytics, not only changes the way we live as humans but drastically changes the practice of law. The message was clear: either you get with the program and evolve as a lawyer embracing this technology or using it to better serve your clients, or you will have no practice. eDiscovery will not be as much a specialty in the future as much as simply the way discovery is done. Lawyering will be more like a business process in many ways, and while the strategic thinking will always be unique and valued, certain tasks, like many included within eDiscovery, are business processes that the most efficient lawyers will get.

Since eDiscovery is becoming so prevalent, will paper discovery completely go away?

No. There will always be paper, just less of it. But now any printed piece of paper can become a significant piece of evidence during proceedings, so we have to pay attention to the paper we leave behind. To avoid any potential friction, it will be common practice to request an agreement from opposing counsel clearly stating that no paper discovery is necessary.

What other challenges does the industry face?

Big data will keep growing, but so will the technology to weed out junk data. Wearables and the internet pose some interesting challenges because of the privacy and other implications incident to the technology. And there’s definitely the issue of the disappearance of safe harbor rules and the future of privacy. How eDiscovery will be impacted is still unclear.

To be continued…