Email, once hailed as the “dawn of a new era” in human connectivity, may already be entering the sunset years, despite having made its grand entrance onto the current media stage less than 40 years ago. Newer, shinier options like Slack, Trello, and Podio (collectively termed WCTs or Workplace Collaboration Tools) have moved to the communications center stage. As of 2019, use of WCTs and is overtaking the use of email within many Fortune 500 companies.
Workplace Collaboration Tools and Legal Discovery
WCT’s are gaining in popularity, especially in the business world because they seamlessly combine the speed and cost-efficiency of email communication with the adaptability and convenience of modern mobile technologies.
For attorney’s, keeping up with WCT's, how to handle the resulting electronically stored information (ESI) that WCT’s produce, is essential to the discovery process of litigation. WCT’s are a new and exciting source of information that law professionals should pay attention too when looking to optimize their eDiscovery strategies.
As with every new avenue of communication that enters mainstream usage, legal professionals must adapt and find new ways to incorporate these latest trends as part of their evolving tactical repertoire.
WCT’s Offer Efficiency to the Legal Profession
Communication options that have exploded in recent years are as sophisticated as they are fun to engage with; making them wealthy resources for improving efficiency in the legal industry. Underneath their ability to add bunny ears or face-morphing filters to images, the new communication tools store valuable information that is inherently less likely to undergo spoliation than traditional email.
Workplace collaboration tools are designed to streamline and improve communication in the workplace, and it appears to be working; companies typically see a significant drop in internal emails after adopting WCT’s. In addition to improving efficiency in the corporate landscape, WCT’s have also improved efficiency for law practitioners.
WCT’s provide admissible evidence more easily than emails do, and in less time. WCT’s capture communications in their rough draft; communications that haven’t undergone untraceable editing changes like emails. Because of this, WCT’s are proving to be much more valuable than basic email in the edocument discovery process.
Client Care and Success is Improved with WCT Data
Attorney’s that go beyond traditional email document discovery techniques, that openly venture into all forms of ESI sources, are better equipped to serve their clients than those who rely solely on email for eDiscovery options.
Attorney's must provide their clients with the best legal representation possible, and that means law offices must continually strive to stay up-to-date with the ever-expanding portfolio of electronic discovery. A few ways to add WCT’s to the eDiscovery process can be:
- Include WCT to discovery production requests.
- Use WCT’s in depositions.
- Outsource eDiscovery services to experts in WCT data mining for legal processes.
ESI isn’t the Future of Discovery - it's the Present
Electronically stored information is outpacing storage of hardcopy data in both the legal and business world. With less paper being used, finding the proverbial “needle in a haystack” in the legal discovery process has shifted from physically searching filing cabinets to searching for information on laptops and in databases.
Law practitioners must keep up with technology in order to offer the best service to their clients. Being aware of the latest trends isn't about just keeping up with the zeitgeist; it's staying aware of how information is stored and knowing how to retrieve it. Finding the right information through WCTs could be the final piece of your eDiscovery puzzle.