In a previous post, we explored three big reasons to move away from old-school, manual legal hold processes into the excitingly efficient new realm of SaaS legal hold solutions.
As we mentioned, a legal hold can be complex, resource-devouring, and maddeningly inaccurate, and opens up risks of noncompliance and less-than-ideal litigation outcomes.
Those three reasons for moving to a SaaS legal hold solution – to avoid the costs and sanctions of failing to comply. to certify you’re reaching the right custodians, and to ensure their compliance – are pretty powerful. But they’re by no means the only justifications for evolving beyond traditional, error-prone processes to SaaS-based legal hold management.
Below, we’ve dug into reasons 4, 5, and 6 for making the move. If you’d interested in reviewing the entire list we’ve assembled, you can download a copy of a new ebook, 9 Reasons You Need a SaaS Legal Hold Solution, just by clicking on the adjacent image of the ebook.
To better integrate & collaborate
In a fair-sized (or even small) in-house legal department, there’s a constant flurry of matters to be managed and tasks to be executed. Outside of the legal department, different corporate units and groups are naturally consumed with running their own complex operations.
But to reduce the risk of accidental spoilation, it’s imperative that cross-functional units and teams across the entire enterprise are aware of legal holds and the specific data or assets they’re aiming to identify. Using manual, conventional approaches to coordinate this and achieve the right results? It’s practically impossible.
As we pointed out in Reason #2 in our prior post, a SaaS legal hold solution that’s integrated with an HR or enterprise database can quickly and accurately identify the right custodians for particular data and materials. But the benefits of cross-platform/product integration can extend even further if a legal hold tool is connected with systems for matter management, content and asset management, email, global directories, and more:
- Better, automated communication vastl improves data preservation, while maximizing efficiency and savings.
- Legal holds can be launched from within integrated matter management, rather than separately.
- Custodian and data preservation status can be centrally monitored and reported.
One other key benefit?
- Improving communication, collaboration, and responsiveness between the legal department and other corporate teams builds partnership – and elevates the stature of Legal within the organization.
To contain vendor costs for ESI collection & processing
A poorly executed legal hold can drive up e-discovery costs. How? Once you’ve identified relevant ESI, the next task is collecting and processing (“culling”) it to eliminate any data or material that’s irrelevant, and storing it for review.
To accomplish this, in-house legal departments often turn to outside vendors, forensic consultants, or even their own IT departments. But if identification mistakes have been made during the legal hold process – such as failing to identify all relevant data – it can entail additional collection and processing costs.
Collection and processing costs can mount up in a hurry in the first place, since many vendors charge on a per-hour or per-device basis for their work. Here’s an elementary example that’s on the lower end of the scale, for a single relatively modest matter:
Now extrapolate that to multiple matters, or to more complex matters involving many more devices across a large corporate environment – and then figure in the additional costs caused by a subpar legal hold process.
An additional vendor cost? This data needs to be loaded into a document review tool. This, too, often gets outsourced, and vendors typically charge by the gigabyte for both processing and loading the data. That can cost approximately $150-250 for processing each gigabyte, and another $50-100 per gigabyte for loading into the review tool. Again: imagine the cost if there are tens of thousands, or possibly millions of documents associated with an individual matter, and a deficient legal hold process results in still more vendor work needing to be done.
To eliminate custodian interview costs
The legal hold process is built on effective engagement with key custodians of potentially relevant data or documents. Once the necessary data has been identified, part of the process of locating that data involves interviewing potential custodians to assess exactly which data, documents, and records need to be preserved, and where those items reside: in emails, on a disk drive, in a mobile device, even in text messages or social media posts.
Traditionally, it falls to the legal department to either conduct in-person interviews with these custodians to ascertain where this information is held or, frequently, to delegate the job to outside counsel.
The price of compliance can get steep, even in this very conservative example:
Automating this step using a SaaS legal hold solution can spare a legal department much of the cost involved in this part of the process. How?
- Using drag-and-drop interfaces, an in-house legal team can design customized, self-guiding questionnaires to custodians, using templates incorporating legal best practices and court-vetted questions.
- The simple and clear design of a good web-based questionnaire means custodians can respond quickly and accurately, obviating the need for sit-downs with attorneys.
- Automated reminders and escalations can maximize compliance, too.
- A quality SaaS solution will instantly generate audit-worthy reports on the legal hold process so you can take the right measure to make it stand up to scrutiny in court.
Want the complete list?
It’s all in the ebook, 9 Reasons You Need a SaaS Legal Hold Solution. Exploring your legal technology options or putting together a case for adoption to put in front of other stakeholders or management? It’ll be a useful tool in evaluating the many pros (and nearly non-existent cons) of SaaS legal hold software.