Peer to Peer Magazine

September 2011

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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SMART MOVES Stepping Up to Fill the Role of E-Discovery Manager by Lynette Stocker, Senior Litigation/E-Discovery Manager at SUPERVALU INC. T he Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) changed in 2006 to include electronically stored information (ESI) in discovery, and since then large companies and law firms have been grappling with how to manage e-discovery. In the paper age, lawyers and paralegals each had their own way of collecting and producing documents. In the electronic age, with the vast amount of ESI, companies need to have a repeatable and defensible e-discovery process in place to comply with federal rules. Our company was no different — we had to figure out a way to preserve, manage, locate and collect our data. While evaluating this process we found that an effective litigation-hold notification and discovery- workflow-collection software system could minimize errors in notifying, collecting and tracking preservation and collecting ESI. Even with a system that connects the critical people on a single platform, we still needed someone to manage and coordinate the process. That someone turned out to be me. A ROLE ON THE RISE As e-discovery sanctions become more punitive, law firms and corporations everywhere are adding a new job title to their staff: e-discovery manager. The e-discovery manager needs to understand the legal processes, the people, the workflows and the technology that play a role in e-discovery. Although outside counsel can help with the later stages of e-discovery, having someone in-house to manage the process from preservation to collection helps improve efficiency and mitigates risks. It is also far more cost-effective to manage as much of the process in-house 34 www.iltanet.org Peer to Peer as possible, including paring down the massive amounts of data before presenting it to counsel for review. THE SKILLS TO SUCCEED As e-discovery manager, my days are never the same, and they are never boring. I have had to draw on and develop skills in specific areas to meet the job's daily challenges. These skills include: • Communication: Much of the e-discovery manager's time is spent communicating between the many people and departments involved in a litigation hold. IT may call to find out if we need to collect anything from a terminated employee's computer before they wipe the hard drive. The forensics team may need to go over keyword searches for a particular hold. I spend a great deal of time developing relationships and communicating with other departments who may be involved in the hold process in one aspect or another. • Education: Another important task for e-discovery managers is orienting people to the e-discovery process. It's easy to forget that e-discovery is still a relatively new concept, and that the rules that govern it are not well understood. People often don't understand why they need to comply with a hold. They may not think they have anything that is related to the case, or they may not understand the full ramifications of failing to fulfill the request. In some instances, an employee simply won't feel obligated to comply with a request from somebody other than his or her direct supervisor. My job, in this case, is to educate and encourage compliance.

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