In an earlier post we introduced some interesting findings from our annual Advice from Counsel study and highlighted some in-sourcing and outsourcing trends that corporations are exhibiting as part of their overall corporate e-discovery playbook. While the previous post discussed “plays” around collection and preservation, as well as guidelines for choosing service providers this post will focus on the smart plays around predictive coding and data re-use.

Only 17 percent of respondents recommended that companies bring predictive coding in-house. Most of the feedback suggested that while corporations should control the strategy, service providers are better equipped to execute predictive coding. One respondent said, “While the company does not manage predictive coding internally, it does drive the selection process and other elements.” It seems that though predictive coding has become an expected part of the e-discovery process, in-house teams still feel more comfortable having experts handle its deployment in practice.

Forty percent of respondents currently re-use coding decisions made on documents for previous matters, such as privileged documents. Eighty percent of this year’s participants would consider deploying a multi-matter repository that enables the re-use of document coding decisions if it required standardizing on one legal review tool. “Data re-use is an area we’ve identified for improvement since we’ve found that we review the same documents multiple times,” reported one respondent. “That is something we have always wanted to be better at because there seems to be a lot of potential,” said another. Data re-use definitely appears to be on the upswing as corporations look for ever more places to introduce efficiency and cost-savings in the e-discovery process.

The corporate-service provider relationship played a prominent role in this year’s responses. Most acknowledged that bringing the entire e-discovery process was not feasible due to budgets, staffing and the volume and variety of matters. In fact, 86 percent of respondents said there were no plans to bring the entire e-discovery process in-house. Because of this, maintaining strong, collaborative relationships with service providers was seen as a key imperative for any e-discovery program. Since more than half of the respondents have already standardized on two or three e-discovery service providers, and 17 percent are planning to do so in 2014, this trend seems likely to continue. While in-house teams see do-it-yourself as fine for some things, they also seem to see value in having a trusted provider to rely on.

Check back for the next post, which will cover additional key issues that emerged in the study. You can download the full Advice From Counsel report here.