The rapid advancements in technology have not spared any process from being automated. Today, every key process which earlier required lot of paperwork and frequent written correspondences now uses technology to make the user’s life easier. One key sector which has seen a massive change is the legal sector.
Legal process outsourcing (LPO) which sees a particular law firm, obtaining legal services from an outside law firm or legal support services company, has also transcended from the erstwhile stringent processes and transformed into a more efficient and competent online process. This, again, is due to new technology.
Over the past few years, the legal process outsourcing has matured and transformed itself from being a pure labor investment play. It now is a combination of best practices, process efficiency, and quality control which uses technology to its core. The FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) has also seen innumerable amendments over the past few years. These new amendments which have come into force, take into account not only the more fascinating sources of electronically stored information (ESI) such as smartphones and the cloud, but also stress upon the value of “cooperation among parties, proportionality in the use of available procedures. This is done with an aim for quick judicial case management.
Many states in the US have already adapted to these amendments. These new amendments will also see the need for new skilled lawyers. A few highlights of the amendments are listed below:
- Reduction in the e-discovery cost and thereby reduce the risks of facing sanctions as per Rule 37(e)
- The amendment to Rule 26 (f)(3)(C) extends the possibility of expanding the parties’ discovery plans.
- As per the amended rule 26(f)(3)(D), a party reserves every right to press the court to issue a Rule 502(d) order under the Federal Rules of Evidence.
- The Rule 502(d) order facilitates parties to return privileged documents produced during e- discovery without fear.
- Likewise, the amended Rule 26(b)(1) states that it is the joint responsibility of both the court and the parties' to collectively apply the constraint of proportionality to the scope of discovery, before placing any request.
- These amendments may be beneficial to the client in more than one ways like lesser business interruptions, cost savings and minimizing the risk of sanctions.
With these amendments to FRCP, the scope of discovery landscape is sure to face the brunt once again. Though these changes were thought about, way back in the year 2006, there are many who are yet to get the complete feel of these amendments and adapt to the changes. Hence, a wiser decision would be to analyse the effects of these changes on a day to day basis. There is unprecedented challenge in adapting to these rules. It’s not an easy proposition. The benefits may not come immediately, but in the longer run, clients will see a sea of change with respect to cost savings.