My good friend Jeff Beard (www.lawtechguru.com) has an excellent column on Inside Counsel exploring the emergence of the “office of technology counsel” at many corporations. Jeff explains that these positions are being developed to address the “rising market of discussion about the e-discovery gap between IT and lawyers” and provides a handful of bullet points on their common responsibilities.
My favorite quote:
“This office’s [of technology counsel] mission is to transform the organization from one of reactive fire drills and ad hoc processes into a well-oiled machine to enhance repeatability, accountability, predictability and overall risk management. When done well, this translates into enhanced defensibility.”
It’s no secret that many corporations are aggressively exploring ways to better automate and manage litigation expenses in today’s world, which translates into less reliance on expensive, hourly-billable outside counsel. Jeff does an excellent job of describing how the new position of “technology counsel” can help corporations become more knowledgeable in the area of e-discovery and litigation compliance to create that “enhanced defensibility.”
Regretfully, I still don’t see many law firms recognizing this trend for corporate clients. I’m sure there are some law firms that are helping their corporate clients proactively prepare electronic data for litigation purposes (i.e. BEFORE they’re involved in litigation), but the majority of law firms are missing an important “value-add” opportunity.
Link to article.
(On an un-related note, check out Jeff Beard’s excellent blog post entitled “What’s New In Cordless Mice?” where Jeff reviews several portable wireless mice.)