With the rising costs of e-discovery, clients may be tempted to procure temporary contract attorneys offered by staffing agencies and managed review vendors at the lowest hourly rate. While it is imperative to have an e-discovery strategy to control spend, narrow the scope of the review set, and utilize the latest defensible technology; if part of your strategy is simply to retain the cheapest contract attorneys available, there is one thing you should remember – caveat emptor.
Choosing a discovery law firm that employs experienced discovery attorneys is the much smarter path. While the practiced discovery attorney may bill at a slightly higher rate (although still substantially lower than junior associates at large firms), it is worth the investment. Remember, as the attorney delegating document review work to contract attorneys, you are still required to render legal services to your client with the “legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation, as required by Model Rule 1.1.” ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 08-451. This is best accomplished by using attorneys with substantial experience in performing the review tasks being undertaken.
Experienced discovery attorneys possess the necessary skill sets to review hundreds of documents per day for relevance, case issues, and privilege; are familiar navigating a variety of document review databases and platforms; and are capable of performing other necessary tasks like preparing key document binders or final privilege logs. Tanenholz & Ash has been working with many of the same discovery attorneys for years, and the quality of their work product is a major factor in our ability to consistently deliver the results our clients have come to expect. These veteran discovery attorneys have been through countless discovery wars, are masters of our quality control process, and provide our clients the confidence they are receiving the highest quality work product.
By retaining experienced and dedicated discovery attorneys, you will better protect your client’s interests, minimize malpractice exposure, and ultimately reduce your overall discovery spend.