Answer: There are many incredibly powerful tools in the market. The selection of any of them for your case is a complicated process that should be methodically managed and depends on many variables including budget, type of data, scope of the project, etc.
Answer: No. AI and all types of analytics tools are powerful allies for you. But there are a few things to consider before going down that rabbit hole. First, and foremost, consider the user. Lawyers are a skeptical bunch. And technology is as good as its user. Law will never quite catch up with technology but with the right process implementation, the use of analytics will expedite your case and significantly cut costs.
Answer: Put together an A team composed of an ESI expert, in-house IT and legal, outside counsel, and vendors; all working together. If litigation has commenced, prompt a meet and confer early—regardless of the procedural posture of the case. Pin down exactly what you are agreeing to do. That way there will not be costly surprises later.
Answer: This is the compound $64M question(s). The only answer is that it depends but proceed with caution because mistakes are costly. There are many variables, including, for example, the state of the data (active/inactive/recoverable or not, etc.); the type of files and document types and their characteristics; and the timing; etc. A quick tip: Making general calculations and pricing proposals based on gigabyte size across the board is unreliable.
Answer: Native production is finally gaining traction. For years, the industry standard has been to produce in black-and-white, single-page, 300 DPI, Group IV .tiff images, with each .tiff image file named with the corresponding Bates number, and with image and data load files compatible with the most recent versions of Concordance and Opticon. The format for delivery of load files should be .DAT and .OPT files. All Microsoft Excel files (and other electronic spreadsheet files), audio files (e.g., .mp3, .mpa, .wav, .wma), and video files (e.g., .mpg, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .jpg) should be produced in native format, including all formulae within the cells of the spreadsheet, any hidden rows or columns, and all other metadata contained in the file. All files produced in native format will have a corresponding single-page .tiff place holder stating “Document Produced in Native Format.” Structured databases should be addressed separately.