5 Trends That Will Transform eDiscovery in 2021

  • Will Pfeifer
  • July 16, 2021

 Any way you look at it, this is an exciting time for the eDiscovery industry. 

Now in its second decade, eDiscovery is growing by leaps and bounds. Technology is maturing, and more and more eDiscovery professionals are making their way into this emerging field. 

At the same time, federal and state laws continue to evolve to meet changing eDiscovery needs. The court system is now highly in tune with the digital era. With new improvements rolling out across both levels of government, the industry continues to mature.

With all this in mind, let’s take a look at how the industry is changing and what you need to keep tabs on in order to keep your eDiscovery game as sharp as possible.

Key Rule Changes Impacting eDiscovery

Here’s a breakdown of some recent regulatory changes and some developing ones to keep on your radar.

FRCP Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2004 Amendment 

The Amended Rule 2004 impacts the production of electronically stored information (ESI) and the general production of documents.

As of December 1, 2020, you now have to issue subpoenas from the court where the bankruptcy case is pending using an authorized attorney for that court. This applies regardless of where the Rule 2004 examination occurs. 

Bankruptcy Rule 9036

The FRCP is beginning to phase out paper in some areas. As of December 1, 2021, Rule 9036 will require some high-volume notice recipients to switch to paperless transmissions. 

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 25

Rule 25 is currently under review. If the change goes through, Rule 25 will grant the same privacy protections in railroad retirement cases as in Social Security, limiting access to ESI filings. This rule would apply after December 1, 2022. 

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 5005 

A proposed change for Rule 5005 allows for the electronic transmission of paper files to the US trustee, removing the requirement for filing transmission evidence.

North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments 

Recent amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure have a direct impact on eDiscovery—including an important change to email notification. 

As of October 1, 2020, issuing a discovery or plea by email is no longer a courtesy. It now impacts service through the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. 

Revised Discovery Rules for the Missouri Supreme Court 

If you’re working with clients in Missouri, you need to be aware of changes to the state’s revised discovery rules. The Missouri State Supreme Court recently confirmed the state’s overall discovery rules will more closely align with the FRCP.

One noteworthy item is the new language in Rule 56.01, which places limitations on discovery and eDiscovery. Moving forward, the court has to limit the extent and frequency of discovery. Further, all parties must make reasonable efforts to cooperate to minimize the burden or expense of discovery. 

In addition, Rule 56.01 discovery methods now officially allow ESI requests. However, responding parties do not have to comply if an ESI request isn’t reasonably accessible. 

Top Trends in eDiscovery for 2021

The technology landscape is rapidly advancing, bringing many new changes to eDiscovery. Here’s a breakdown of the key trends taking place across the industry so you can keep up. 

1. Data Production Is Skyrocketing 

Across the board, data is increasing at an exponential rate. On a global scale, we’re looking at around 1.145 trillion MB of data coming into existence every day

Simply put, this is an unfathomable amount of information. 

Companies face many new challenges with all this data consumption. Legal teams increasingly need solutions for processing and analyzing data at scale. They also need to figure out how to cull data sets to sort through the noise rapidly.

2. Enterprise Computing Strategy Is Evolving 

Corporations are now changing their computing strategy to process internet of things (IoT) data more easily. By 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down traditional data centers in favor of cloud and edge deployments. 

Organizations are increasingly processing data closer to end users in strategic markets instead of in centralized locations. As such, legal teams need to keep up with how, when, and where clients process data to ensure optimal and efficient data collection during eDiscovery. 

3. Slack and Teams Usage Is Increasing

Microsoft Teams and Slack adoption skyrocketed during the pandemic. Companies in all industries now use these platforms to communicate and collaborate across distances. 

As such, legal teams need to have a framework in place for efficiently exporting Slack and Teams data for eDiscovery. 

Fortunately, both platforms have mechanisms in place to capture and export data. Microsoft integrates eDiscovery into the Microsoft 365 suite, and all Teams one-on-one and group chats funnel into user mailboxes for easy access.  

Slack also offers export functionality for Pro, Business, and Enterprise Grid accounts. Check out Slack’s primer on exporting data from public channels for an inside view.

4. More Users Are Hyperlinking Files

In the early days of eDiscovery, most file-sharing took place by attaching files via email. But now, we’re in the cloud era. Often, eDiscovery sharing happens by sharing hyperlinks to cloud databases.

Legal teams should strongly prioritize hyperlinking when it makes sense. This approach improves access control and prevents unauthorized users from accessing files. It also makes the eDiscovery process easier. 

5. The Need for Certification Is Increasing 

A growing number of eDiscovery professionals are going through certification learn new practices and adjust to the changing landscape.

Legal eDiscovery certification isn’t a requirement. That said, it’s a great way to stand out and show that you’re on the cutting edge of policy, procedure, and innovation. 

Interested in earning a certification? You can do that through a group like the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists. This is one of the oldest and most trusted industry groups for eDiscovery. 

On top of a general certification, you can also achieve product-specific certification.

For example, Venio offers a comprehensive certification program for legal eDiscovery professionals. Sign up to learn how the platform works, and get access to some best practices and expert insights on making the most out of it.

Stay on the Cutting Edge of eDiscovery With Venio

As a busy eDiscovery professional, you probably don’t have time to continuously monitor the evolving industry changes and laws. After all, you have deadlines to meet and clients to serve. 

Instead of constantly researching changing discovery trends, you can deploy a platform like VenioOne, which delivers a one-stop shop for end-to-end eDiscovery management. 

This platform is highly scalable, enabling you to accommodate any client regardless of size or industry. VenioOne also offers enhanced security, making it ideal for teams that are spread out in hybrid deployments and accessing files from potentially insecure home networks.

In addition, VenioOne also has AI-powered reviews. This powerful feature makes it faster and easier than ever to sort through large data sets, understand the information you’re working with, and determine what’s relevant for a particular case. 

Using VenioOne, your team will move faster and more efficiently than ever. The platform reduces risk when procuring and managing data during court. It also gives your team more time to focus on building cases instead of digging through back-end systems and manually compiling reports. This is especially important in a world that moves faster every day.

Add it all up, and VenioOne could be the major difference-maker your team needs to take its eDiscovery strategy to the next level. Experience the power of Venio for yourself by requesting a demo today.

This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science, and creativity can help workers be more productive. In his spare time, he likes seeing or playing live music, hiking, and traveling.