Shifting Roles and Responsibilities: Litigation Management, Outsourcing and the Emerging Role of the E-Discovery Czar

The new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are having a profound and lasting impact on how companies manage litigation. The rules changes will prompt companies to create a new corporate function that blends legal, IT, compliance and operational expertise. Litigation support managers (aka paralegals) may, in the near term, be asked to fill this new hybrid role.

Meanwhile, the telephone lines of legal/tech placement and executive search firms are smoking, but there are few, if any, qualified candidates in the market place to be had.

This new role is needed because obligations to preserve electronically stored information (e.g, email and other unstructured data like presentations, letters and spreadsheets) are triggered well before a corporate law department assigns a new case to outside counsel. In addition to the obvious legal risks involved, the cost of preserving, searching, reviewing and producing e-discovery is very expensive and needs full-time management attention. Lawyers are not suited to play point guard and manage the labor-intensive duties involving IT systems mapping, compliance monitoring and vendor management — all regular duties associated with the Brave New World of e-Discovery.



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