Closing The Loop

Logikcull now offers pay-as-you-go pricing: $40/GB/month with no minimum commitment. You can watch a demo and get started here

If you know anything about eDiscovery, you likely know enough to be outraged about its cost and complexity. eDiscovery is ridiculous. It is so expensive that it has been implicated by a prominent federal judge in driving an entire economic class out of court. We once estimated it costs the U.S. between $30 and $50 billion annually. Yes, billion with a "b."

For well-heeled law firms and their Fortune clients, the costs of eDiscovery are the costs of doing business. eDiscovery is a nuisance to be sure, but it's not a killer. It's not a deterrent to justice. But for the other two-thirds of practitioners -- to say nothing of pro se litigants -- the high price of evidence can be a non-starter.

It's for these firms and their clients that eDiscovery poses a catch-22: either pursue the dispute through to its merits and risk running up costs that outpace the value of the case itself, or attempt to bypass eDiscovery altogether -- either by coming to a mutual agreement that electronically stored information (ESI) will not be exchanged, or by relying on tools that are not equipped to handle the demands of modern eDiscovery. This is an equally bad option, as parties may severely limit their understanding of the case, its scope and the evidentiary issues at play by eschewing ESI. They also risk malpractice for failures of diligence.

In federal courts, where cost-taxing statutes mandate that the loser pays its adversaries' eDiscovery fees in certain instances, parties with budget limitations face additional chilling effects.

In turn, eDiscovery, due to its costs, is increasingly becoming an access to justice issue -- and one that, to be clear, cuts both ways. Plaintiffs, often the recipients of the majority of data in a case, often don't have the eDiscovery capabilities or the resources to pursue cases where the other side produces large amounts of ESI. By the same token, some large organizations often find it more cost-effective to settle claims with little or no legitimacy than to incur the costs associated with gathering, reviewing and producing large amounts of information. As U.S. Senior District Judge Mark Bennett told Logikcull: "With the system we have now, once you get through discovery, nobody can afford to go to trial."

Logikcull's Mission: Democratize Discovery

To further quote Bennett: "Something is rotten... Discovery -- a process intended to facilitate the free flow of information between parties -- is now too often mired in obstructionism."

It is for this reason that we created Logikcull, which has eliminated one of the justice system's greatest barriers to entry and leveled the playing field in a way that empowers everyone from solo practitioners to the Fortune 500 to leading non-profits to the largest city in the United States. In essence, the power of Logikcull is two-fold: to affordably, securely automate the complex chore of discovery, and to illuminate the darkness inherent to big data -- the haystack from which the needles that decide modern legal disputes must be plucked.

Having the means and ability to negotiate these challenges is arguably more important now than ever. While it is true that the incremental costs associated with data processing and search have come down significantly, the amount of data has risen exponentially such that, in the aggregate, the costs of eDiscovery are still prohibitive. Indeed, IBM recently estimated that 90% of the data created since the beginning of time has emerged in the last 24 months. This is staggering.

To boot, the most widely-used e-discovery software applications require a level of technical acumen and training that has the effect of excluding some large cohort of practitioners -- specifically, attorneys, the vast majority of whom have been removed from the important evidentiary analysis on which an increasing number of matters now hinge.

"eDiscovery for everyone"

To put the problem in perspective, according to the American Bar Association, almost two-thirds of attorneys in the private sector work at firms with five or fewer lawyers. These, by and large, are people who do not have in-house IT or support teams, are either unable or unwilling to engage high-priced vendors, and likely rely on either legacy eDiscovery software (e.g. Concordance, Summation) or non-legal review tools (e.g. Adobe Acrobat) -- neither of which possess the power to accurately or quickly perform the basic tasks of discovery. And, of course, the rise of law firm-focused cybercrime has added a scary new dimension to discovery, and laid bare the security inadequacies of most legal technology.

Logikcull addresses these challenges with cloud-based software that, by its nature, is infinitely scalable, inherently secure and built to be powerfully simple. It is for this reason that we've been compared to the Apple in a field of Microsofts, and that our customers have made us the highest rated and most reviewed discovery platform on Gartner/Capterra.

To further our mission of democratizing discovery, Logikcull now offers a pay-as-you-go option where customers pay a flat monthly, per-GB fee... and that's it. There are no minimum commitments, no minimum billing, and no additional fees, which means trying Logikcull is now essentially risk-free.

What does this look like in the real world? Consider Craig Ball's EDna Challenge, the profession-wide call to make "e-discovery for everyone" a reality. The parameters of the challenge are as follows:

  • 3-person legal team
  • Must process, search, review and produce a variety of PSTs, PDFs and other common files
  • 10 custodians
  • 10-12 total GB of data
  • the review will last 90 days; materials will be online for 2 years

The kicker? A $5,000 budget. Does Logikcull meet the challenge? Here's an itemized breakdown...

  • Automated data processing and hosting for 12 GB:
    $40 processing and hosting for the first 3 months: $1440
    Archiving fee) for remaining 21 months: $2016
  • Unlimited users: $0
  • Culling Intelligence search engine: $0
  • Unlimited exports/productions: $0
    Total cost: $3456

That's Logikcull's mission -- to democratize discovery -- in action. On a closing note, it is important to emphasize, given this discussion of cost, that cost itself only has meaning in the context of value. One dollar is a huge cost if you're getting 80 cents in return. It's dirt cheap if you're getting ten. To this end, when the unit of cost is the gigabyte, it must be said that not all gigabytes are created equally -- just as the horses under the hood of a Corolla are not equal to those of a Ferrari, even on a 1:1 basis. A 400-HP Ferrari will dust a souped-up 400-HP Toyota in any number of areas: speed, acceleration, driver experience, comfort level, etc.

Logikcull's processing engine drives this point home. Every piece of information uploaded to Logikcull is subject to more than 3,000 automated processing steps, such that all data ingested is preserved, indexed by metadata, deduped, imaged and OCR'd, scanned for viruses and (insert other 2,994 processes). Similarly, Logikcull's Culling Intelligence search and review platform was built to resemble the experience of shopping online -- where a seemingly infinite universe of options can be paired down instantly with search criteria. Think shopping for shoes on Amazon.com.

The upshot is that Logikcull users tend to get more, higher value work completed at a lower cost with fewer resources, gather a more complete picture of the evidence faster, and dramatically reduce the risks associated with data theft and loss. You can read more about our "why cloud?" value prop here: Making Your Organization's Case for Cloud.

If you'd like to create a Logikcull account and test our word against your own experience, you can do so here. You can also request a demo below. We look forward to wowing you.

This post was authored by Robert Hilson, a director at Logikcull. You can reach him at [email protected] 

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