The ongoing massive Toyota recall and class action lawsuits that seem to be initiated every week highlights the demand for eDiscovery tools. I’m not a lawyer, but I do understand the concept of discovery and the enormous amount of effort that can be required for this phase of litigation. With such a larger problem at hand, its obvious that automating discovery process can be a big win for defendant. Instead of paying legal aides and support personnel to dig through thousands of emails and documents, why not just use a software package to do this work for them.
If the defendant doesn’t have these tools, then the advantage goes to the plaintiff. I can imagine the lawyers for the plaintiff requesting discovery to be so large that it could potentially financially cripple the defendant. I have heard that this kind of tactic is becoming common; find out how much money it would take defendant to get through discovery and then offer them a settlement below that amount. Depending on the type of lawsuit, the settlement could be in the millions. I’m guessing that the eDiscovery packages on the market are less than the payout of some of these lawsuits.
From my perspective, the real challenge of eDiscovery is being able to create a product that lawyers (and non-techies) can understand and use intuitively while providing the technology to really does automate the discovery process. I had a chance last week to review the latest edition to EMC CMA product portfolio -> Kazeon.
The feature set of Kazeon looks pretty extensive and they have about dozen connectors to various repositories that they can cull on. EMC claims that they can search against almost 90% of what people are looking for. How of this is hype and how much this is reality remains to be seen. I am looking forward to learning more about this new product and maybe seeing the product in action for a real client to determine if Kazeon really passes the litmus test.