We get asked this question a lot. After all, the name calls to mind a room at the Pentagon, filled with generals, intently debating lights on a map. In the legal industry, the term “war room” is used to describe the conference room where the case strategizing happens.
In Litigation Is War, Frederick Whitmer explains: “The whole idea here is to think about litigation as an enterprise in which you are trying — as Clausewitz says about war — to impose your will on the enemy. Litigation involves the exercise of force through judicial compulsion, to impose your will on your adversary. And, if you’re a defendant, of course, to resist the other side’s will being imposed on you.”
Just as military commanders use tactics to outmaneuver their opponents, so litigation attorneys leverage evidence in a structured approach to achieve favorable settlements and judgments. Some people dislike the analogy. But like it or not, seeing litigation as war is extremely illuminating for many lawyers.
Discovery Is a Battlefield
“Discovery is where it’s at — only 1 percent of cases go to trial.” ~ Shira Scheindlin, U.S. District Court judge and authority on eDiscovery
Despite what TV shows would have us believe, lawyers know that the real action of litigation happens before the trial, during the discovery process. Each side collects, processes, reviews and produces evidence pertaining to the case. So, as Frank Easterbrook, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and one of the most cited appellate judges in the United States, once said, “That discovery is war comes as no surprise.”
Implementing a war room strategy is your key to obtaining a favorable outcome. Understanding your discoverable data before your 26(f) “Meet and Confer” session gives you a sizable tactical advantage. Whether you find the smoking gun, or you realize that a settlement is your best option, early case knowledge is power.
It’s also important to know which production format is most advantageous and cost effective for your case before the Meet and Confer. When you know and understand Electronically Stored Information (ESI) production formats (or include a WarRoom expert on your team), it is harder for the opposing party to use those formats against you. In addition, agreeing on a type of production format at the 26(f) helps contain both paper and electronic discovery costs.
If discovery is a battlefield, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is the battle map. Discovery can take many different paths, but adhering to the EDRM helps you navigate the litigation minefield. EDRM best practices are good for your wallet as well as your case outcome. Following the EDRM ensures you don’t miss a discovery step that could save you time and money. For instance, processing such as filtering and de-duping defensibly reduces the total amount of data to review, making it easier to assess the responsive data and reducing the likelihood of accidentally turning over privileged information. Defensible discovery is essential for your litigation success.
For Want of a Lit Support Provider, the War Was Lost
Surrender is not an option. Don’t wave the white flag because you lack the right software or equipment for your discovery, be it data collection or document production. Whether you need help deciding on the best tool for your eDiscovery, or you are drowning in stacks of paper crying out for tabs, binders, and Bates stamping, we are your complete litigation support provider.
Our quality team is ready to support you in the document review trenches. We offer cost-effective online document management and review solutions as well as technical support. In war, technology can provide a decisive edge, so don’t get left behind. Our eDiscovery software products allow you to obtain the facts of your case faster. Easy searches bring more responsive data to your fingertips in less time. This leaves you more time to devote to the actual information and strategies you will employ.
While it’s true that most documents are born electronically, it is sometimes still necessary to print them. As you may have already discovered, many legal documents are a nightmare to print, either because they are so large or because they need to be properly organized and bound to be useful. We provide high-volume litigation printing, copying and document scanning. If you need a job scanned, bound, tabbed, OCRed or TIFFed, 24/7, with no mistakes, it has to be WarRoom. We hand-deliver the documents you need, when you need them.
We are here to meet your every paper and electronic discovery need, at any point in your litigation life cycle. Whatever your discovery requirements, it is imperative that you have access to the right resources and well trained troops all at the lowest possible price point for victory. Drawn out discovery may cripple the opposing party. Don’t let it weaken you. Call 855-WAR-ROOM to marshal your special forces.