The Masters Conference 2008: Fulbright’s Fifth Annual Litigation Trends Survey

Masters LogoDay 1 of The Masters Conference kicked off with a keynote address from Robert Owen, partner at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. who helps direct the firm’s Annual Litigation Survey.

Mr. Owen started off by telling a bit of history of how the survey got its start, and then proceeded to share some of his thoughts on the results (some of which were covered by Monica Bay on the EDDUpdate blog).

Mr. Owen spent some time on instant messaging (IM) reciting that 54% of the survey respondents stated that they allowed IM on their internal systems, mainly because they viewed IM as a productivity tool and enhancer. Some respondents logged IM activity while others did not. Mr. Owen noted that 24% of the respondents allow employees to attached documents and files to IMs, which favors the argument that instant messages are business records.

Over the last 3 years, Mr. Owen revealed that respondents have actually seen a dramatic reduction in e-discovery related disputes. Eighty-six percent of respondents reported that they rarely encountered an e-discovery issue, and 2/3 of respondents said they’ve never encountered an e-discovery issue.

On the topic of off-shore document review, Mr. Owen stated that only 2% of U.S. respondents have used off-shore document review services. Of those, 60% stated they were “somewhat satisfied” with the service, while the rest were “very satisfied” with the service.