Legal teams may recover eDiscovery fees
September 6, 2011
A recent court ruling may pave the way for triumphant legal teams to recover certain eDiscovery costs from non-prevailing parties.
According to eDiscovery Law Review, The U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania recently reviewed Supreme Court precedents relating to the billing of legal fees. The court clerk ruled that there is a "heavy presumption" that prevailing parties may recover eDiscovery costs by billing the opposing legal team for certain relevant expenses. Traditionally, this has meant fees related to making copies of trial materials, including documents, models and charts. However, the new ruling expands the list of defined materials to include electronically stored information.
Earlier this summer, the same court awarded a prevailing defendant $500,000 in recovered eDiscovery costs. The judge ruled that the restoration of backup tapes, de-duplication of documents and several other archival functions were billable to the opposing party.
This decision may have a variety of implications for eDiscovery processes in the future. The revelation of exactly how expensive document review projects can be may inspire more nimble and efficient strategies. Conversely, it may inspire companies to exhaust more resources in powerful eDiscovery tools as the the costs of losing a court case may be immense.