Early Case Assessment
What is Early Case Assessment
Early Case Assessment (ECA) solutions allow the office of general counsel and litigation support staffs to efficiently gather, pare down, and review electronically stored information so they can make better-informed decisions concerning litigation risk, to control outsourced processing expenses, to reduce outside review fees and to improve litigation outcomes.
Before any other litigation strategy work is done (“Early”), corporate counsel and lead case attorneys need to have answers to these questions to properly analyze the risk of prosecuting or defending a legal case:
- Does the case have merit?
- Who are the key custodians?
- Is there real liability?
- What are/were the legal hold requirements?
- What are the potential issues with the ESI?
- Are there additional relevant custodians?
- What keywords and other search criteria should be negotiated?
ECA is an initial data assessment application that quickly delivers answers to these questions before legal processing and review. ECA really is a Risk Analysis application for case matters.
The Challenge with Using First Generation ECA Solutions
First generation appliance-based ECA solutions have typically been deployed in response to a specific matter or case. However, first generation solutions are limited by:
- Inability to handle popular file types - Scanned images - TIFF, JPEG, GIF and other file types have to be processed using ancillary methods requiring manual intervention
- Restricted scale - ECA appliances top out at 250-500 GB - they cannot easily or efficiently manage large volumes of data or be expanded or grouped together in a unified fashion
- Inefficient design - Early solutions cannot process data in-place; rather, they unnecessarily copy and move large amounts of data, which are then processed in blocks - an inefficient, risk-inherent, and time-consuming approach
- Narrow scope - It is overly complex and difficult to partition ECA appliances to accommodate multiple users, projects, and review teams
Digital Reef Early Case Assessment
The Game Changer in Initial Matter Risk Analysis
In contrast, Digital Reef provides the scalability and performance needed to achieve comprehensive data discovery, including intelligent culling and prioritization of responsive data quickly, accurately, and automatically, no matter how large the collection of data. Digital Reef's ECA solution empowers corporate counsel and litigation support teams with additional content and time required to effectively lower costs and risks.
Using Digital Reef, IT can cost effectively gather and process enterprise-wide ESI in support of litigation risk analysis and eDiscovery identification activities. Corporate counsel is armed with better information allowing them to effectively assess the risk and economic impact of potential lawsuits (settle vs. fight costs) and qualify cases (evaluate merit, identify smoking guns, assess likely outcome), plus take a proactive role in eDiscovery matters (compliance monitoring).