Survey on Pursuing the “Discovery-Ready Enterprise”

Océ Business Services and their CaseData division have published a survey entitled “In Pursuit of Proactive Litigation Preparedness: The Dawn of the Discovery-Ready Enterprise.”

The study was conducted in March & April of 2007 and the results are based on 101 completed surveys – 42% corporate counsel/legal department staff and 58% law firm attorneys/litigation support staff.

Generally, the results mirror what other surveys have found – that a large number of corporations are unprepared to respond to an electronic discovery request. In the Océ Business Services survey, only 10% of in-house counsel consider their company very well prepared to comply with a discovery request for electronic and paper documents, and 55% consider their company NOT well-prepared.

The survey further reports that both corporate and law firm attorneys agreed on five major factors that are important to effectively comply with an e-discovery request:

  1. Having a functioning e-discovery response strategy in place
  2. Having a well-planned and complete records management program in place
  3. Knowing the IT structure of your company/client
  4. Consistency in implementing discovery practices
  5. Having a legal hold system in place

I enjoy the sections of the survey that examine scenarios such as “The ‘We are unaccountably unprepared’ effect” and “The ‘We agree we must be more committed’ deflection.” Here are some of the more pungent numbers from the survey:

  • 33% of corporate counsel frankly state they do NOT understand the FRCP amendments very well
  • 50% of large enterprises do not have a fully implemented program to manage records
  • 92% of the surveyed companies with record programs are vulnerable when it comes to ESI and preparedness for e-discovery

Link to survey