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How can I best manage the e-discovery process in the US?

Managing Intellectual Property

My company is facing increased litigation in the US and I am concerned about the amount of e-discovery required. How can I minimise costs while still fulfilling obligations?

The in-house counsel

There are five key factors to remember when considering how to navigate the e-discovery process:

1. Minimise the universe of e-discovery. I encourage the company to return to the era of telephone and to opt for in-person meetings in lieu of email. I also encourage people to overwrite documents. For example, instead of saving monthly reports in sequence in a folder, simply overwrite the previous month's report. I encourage employees not to use project names, molecule names, etc in emails and to minimise email recipients.

I encourage use of email tools that block the forward/copy/save/print features to prevent undue replication of the email. I also give lectures to various internal groups, where I discuss best practices in document management. During these sessions I display emails that have caused me angst in later litigation and explain why or how the email was used against us later, in order...

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