The Duty of eDiscovery Competency in a Nutshell

With new federal and state ethical standards for attorneys, I thought it would be helpful to boil it down to the top 10 list of competency requirements for counsel when dealing with eDiscovery:

  1. Able to understand and analyze potential eDiscovery issues in a case
  2. Able to understand a client’s ESI systems
  3. Able to conduct effective custodian interviews
  4. Able to implement defensible legal hold procedures
  5. Able to competently advise client on collection and preservation options
  6. Able to accurately identify custodians with potentially relevant ESI
  7. Able to advise on defensible collection procedures that will maintain data integrity and chain of custody
  8. Able to conduct a competent and meaningful “meet and confer”
  9. Able to understand search options including computer assisted review
  10. Able to advise client on processing, hosting, review and production options including costs

Since eDiscovery presents a series of challenges, engaging an experienced vendor like NightOwl Discovery with discovery experts on staff should be a top consideration in all cases.
For more information, I recommend reading California State Bar Formal Opinion 2015-193 and Northern District of California E-Discovery (ESI) Guidelines.