Question: Given the proliferation of electronically stored information (ESI), what changes will the economics involved in e-discovery lead to in the legal profession?
Yes, we have already begun to see a change in the ability of small and solo firms to perform e-discovery. In the past, the expense was so great as to be all but impossible for any firm without the financial ability to pay for the e-discovery process. So frequently, small or solo firms could not take on cases requiring much e-discovery. Also, smaller cases, even if e-discovery was important, were not worth enough to go through a true e-discovery analysis. Now, with the changes to rules of evidence, willingness of judges to require better cooperation on the part of the providing party, and new technology in terms of both storage and recovery, it is much easier for solos and smalls to perform e-discovery, even in smaller cases.