The year saw an increased focus on smart phones and texts as sources of discovery in many areas of litigation. According to partner James M. Boyers, the cost of document collection, review platforms and electronic data review continued its drive downwards as the implications of the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have become more apparent through Court decisions and technology development allowed for greater efficiencies. Opportunities to bring even greater efficiency to these litigation costs will come from more proactive data and record management by companies. Law firms well-steeped in the E-Discovery process can be tremendous assets to this proactive management which can also enhance business efficiencies.
John C. Babione weighed in with, “These 52 weeks continued the trend of an evolving world of electronic data for those involved in E-discovery work.” As organizations continue to move data to the cloud, and the ability of individuals to do more on their mobile devices ever increases, a whirlwind of regulatory change and uncertainty mixes in with technological advances to create shifting sands under the feet of those trying to manage, collect or produce data. Fresh on the heels of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in Europe (but aimed at the globe), California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) has ushered in what may be the future of state-mandated tighter privacy controls on corporate data. And while the CCPA has not even gone into effect yet, further change is already brewing as 2018 saw a distinct uptick in discussions on Capitol Hill on possible federal privacy legislation. Ongoing data breaches and privacy scandals at large tech companies may have provided an issue both political parties have the will to address. This changing regulatory environment will continue to shape the data landscape that must be navigated by E-discovery practitioners.