What Training Will General Counsel Look for in 2012?

General counsel for corporations are necessarily focused on the legal expenses related to litigation and the use of attorneys outside the legal department.  Just like any other “department,” they have a budget.  Litigation is generally known to be costly, unpredictable, and somewhat painful…even for corporations who  view it as a routine cost of doing business.

The rise of electronically stored information – the “stuff” of voice mail, email, computer memory and cell phones – over the past fifteen years has made the cost of litigation rise, as well.  Finding that “needle in a haystack” in the memory of corporate electronics is costly, but frequently pursued in the discovery phase of litigation.  Who pays for that pursuit is a new battle ground for litigators, and the stakes are high.

And, General Counsel has to make the decision to gamble on the fight, risking footing the bill if the battle is lost.

Unsurprisingly, General Counsel are looking for ways to handle e-discovery in responsible ways and vendors are lining up to show why they are the technical partner that will enhance the litigation experience.  Indeed, it is not the law firms that are offering the seminars these days on how to conduct e-discovery well, it is the techies who didn’t go to law school.  General counsel recognize this fact and are looking to add e-discovery and technical training to their “to do” lists (or to focus on what external lawyers they are using who have taken such training) in order to mitigate the risk of huge e-discovery costs.

General Counsel should also look to mediation and arbitration for e-discovery matters, as well.  Training from organizations such as the American College of E-Neutrals may also assist in getting discovery out of ruts and also provide means to be more proactive (even at the Rule 26(f) conference) about e-discovery before avoidable stand-offs arise.  

One Mediation’s mediators and arbitrators have e-discovery training, e-discovery experience as litigators, and the skills to assist parties, their attorneys, and their technical advisers with striking a discovery agreement that moves the case forward and often faster (and without risk of appeals) than would be achieved through a court order. Contact One Mediation for more information on our e-discovery experts Jennifer Keaton and Lorene Schaefer.  

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