Four Considerations For Global Litigation and E-discovery
Electronic Discovery or E-Discovery, as it is commonly known as, is the process of collecting, reviewing and presenting electronically stored information (ESI) in preparation for litigation. ESI can be anything from emails to presentations or videos, any information that requires a computer for usage.
When this information is not properly organized and stored, the process can become quite arduous. The wealth of data available, thanks to advances in technology, can seem to be a curse rather than a blessing as different data types and data volume increase. The more ESI there is to to collect and analyze, the harder the task of E-Discovery. When dealing with ESI in several languages, it gets much harder.
In a global litigation case, E-Discovery becomes subject to another set of rules. Here are four considerations for global litigation and E-Discovery:
Consider Global E-Discovery Before Litigation Occurs
When the time comes for E-Discovery, it is helpful to have information already stored and categorized. Many companies spend millions of dollars on records management systems and it can be a very complex process to manage data. Efficiently stored and organized ESI means there is more chance that the information given to attorneys is relevant. It is also likely to be a limited amount – meaning less time spent reviewing, equating and less reviewing costs.
Being proactive and having an efficient data management system is a measure taken before litigation and will help in the long run. Organizing your system also means that fewer people from your organization, in particular the IT department, will need to spend time collecting data.
Local Currencies, Standards and Regulations Differ
The E-Discovery process in one country can be tough enough, so when the E-Discovery process has to be done on a global scale, there are several other factors to be considered. E-Discovery for global litigation can induce higher costs, delays and legal issues if not dealt with properly. Hiring separate translators, reviewers or attorneys from foreign countries may be required which can become extremely costly. If you use this decentralized approach, make sure you agree on a currency for payment and stick to it, avoiding extra costs from the ever-changing exchange rate.
Data collection and transportation are also factors to consider when dealing with global litigation. Certain countries may have data transportation regulations, or will require permission from employees to collect data such as China, which can result in delays. Ensure that you know the rules and regulations for all the countries you will be dealing in regarding data laws.
Translation Automation Can Save Time and Cost
Machine Translation (MT) can work when the gist of a document is needed and not full human translation. However, there are instances where nuances in the language cannot be picked up by MT and important documents must be translated by experts; specialist legal translators and reviewers. Park IP Translations’ litigation expert, Bryan Melchionda, looks more deeply into the role of MT in the legal industry in his blog, Enhanced MT Reduces Language Review Costs.
How You Approach the Situation Affects the Outcome
How you decide to use attorneys, translators or reviewers will have an big effect on outcome. Consider the E-Discovery process very carefully to decide the best practices for your case. Focusing heavily on translation may be key to using and understanding your ESI to its maximum potential. Selecting a good translation firm means they will understand legal requirements and practices such as court filing deadlines,E-Discovery strategy and language certification.
With the world and international commerce becoming increasingly connected, global litigation is becoming more common. Progression in technology may mean more ESI to sift through, it also provides the tools we need for making the E-Discovery process simpler. It rests on ourselves to make sure that we are prepared, to know what works best for our case and to acknowledge the fact that although we are better connected, countries will have different ways of handling litigation and associated data.
There are several factors to consider. When done properly, evidence for your global case can expressively articulate exactly what you want to convey to all your audiences.
Louise Donkor is a member of Park IP Translations, a Welocalize company, Global Marketing and Business Support team.