I admit it. I was wrong.
During the last decade, legal technology pundits promoted the idea that lawyers could cobble together eDiscovery software from free or inexpensive desktop solutions. I was guilty of this myself, as in this ABA Journal piece, where I suggested lawyers should buy their own desktop software for extracting and managing electronic records in litigation.
I thought that for small matters, a solo or small firm could perform their own digital forensics, process data on a desktop computer, and search for relevant data with a free search tool.
It should have been obvious that this was not a workable solution. Any lawyer attempting this approach would have to be both extremely tech savvy and understand eDiscovery workflow, chain of custody rules, and all of the nuances of uploading, processing, indexing, searching, and producing records for litigation.
Anyone can become good at any one of these tasks, but even large law firms and corporate law firms have trouble managing them all at once.
What I Should Have Said…
Lawyers began to realize earlier last decade that eDiscovery software is too expensive to maintain for small matters. But judging from the talks at last week’s ABA Techshow, it seems that lawyers have finally given up on the idea that eDiscovery is something they can do on their desktop.
The eDiscovery punditry seems to recognize that Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud computing is the only sensible eDiscovery solution, at least for small matters.
Tom Mighell, Senior Consultant with Contoural, Inc. spent a couple of hours reviewing Nextpoint and other cloud eDiscovery tools for his ABA Techshow talk, Using Cloud-Based Tools for E-Discovery. “If I can get up to speed in two hours, you can use these tools,” he said. “The security, features, and ease of use means these cloud eDiscovery services are ideal for solo small firm lawyers.”
Why it Makes Sense
The world of litigation support and eDiscovery has been ruled for years by comprehensive systems like Summation and Concordance that have histories going back several decades. These platforms require sizable investments in software, hardware and training to operate fluently within a law firm environment. For lawyers in smaller firms, these tools are impractical, requiring more investment in infrastructure than makes sense for law firms with fewer attorneys.
The security, features, and ease of use means these cloud eDiscovery services are ideal for solo small firm lawyers.
However, the rise of cloud technologies gives small firms litigation support tools once available only to AmLaw 100 firms. Nextpoint is the most feature-rich and mature of such solutions.
You can see for these claims yourself on our website, where its features and capabilities are specified and explained. The bottom line is that Nextpoint provides most of the major features found in the larger server-based products with more flexibility, easier management, and of course, a much lower cost of ownership.
It’s easy to forget that cloud computing has become important only in the last few years. But the rise of SaaS technology like Nextpoint means that no one should ever consider trying to cobble together a home-built solution. I’m sorry if I steered anyone wrong.