A New Breed of Attorney Enters the Fray

In an article entitled “E-Discovery Attorneys: Hot or Not?” published at Law.com, a recruiter named Seth Davis contended that the recent technology boom has produced great demand on the part of corporations and law firms for a new kind of attorney — the e-discovery counsel. This article attempts to define the concept of e-discovery counsel by explaining the type of positions held by e-discovery counsel, and the responsibilities and skills required of them.

E-discovery counsel are attorneys who possess the technical and legal knowledge to understand and manage e-discovery. E-discovery is certainly not new. Attorneys have been involved in it from the moment records were produced through a computer system. However, the volume of electronically stored information involved in litigation today, combined with the complexity and varieties of technology used to store and retrieve ESI, have created a need for attorneys who specialize in e-discovery rather than merely deal with it once in a while as an ancillary matter. E-discovery counsel are sought by law firms that find e-discovery issues increasingly taking center stage in litigation and need a “go-to” person to resolve these issues. E-discovery counsel are also sought by organizations to serve as outside, in-house or national counsel.

Many attorneys who hold themselves out as e-discovery counsel engage in e-discovery as part of a complex litigation practice. However, there is a trend among larger law firms toward creating interdisciplinary groups dedicated to addressing e-discovery issues. Such groups are typically comprised of e-discovery counsel, paralegals and information technology personnel. They are responsible for helping other litigators resolve e-discovery issues that arise in the latter’s cases. Because e-discovery has become a pervasive issue in litigation, attorneys who practice in such specialized groups are likely to concentrate solely on e-discovery-related matters.

For more see law.com

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