Budget boon-- Partnership offers solutions to litigation costs

By Christine L. Mobley

Legal News

The next generation of discovery management began with the teaming of two entities within the legal community.

Dykema and Lumen Legal recently launched Dykema-Lumen Discovery Management Solutions (DMS) in order to bring the legal community options to assist in controlling litigation budgets.

DMS' goal is to deliver results that achieve clients' litigation objectives through streamlining their legal work, according to a DMS brochure.

"The trend in the industry is to unbundle different processes of the litigation process because clients are looking for costs savings," Howard Iwrey of Dykema's Bloomfield Hills office says. "This to me - the discovery process - is the most expensive line item in any legal department and it can be effectively managed."

According to Iwrey, the new partnership is a natural one.

"Attorneys from Dykema have been working with Lumen for well in excess of 10 years," Iwrey notes. "We've identified Lumen as having a great strength in providing temporary legal professionals."

David Galbenski, president & CEO of Lumen Legal, agrees that the partnership is a beneficial one.

"One of the reasons that Dykema and Lumen have come together is we relied on that culture fit that says, 'Here's how we can attack these issues inside of e-discovery and put process and project management with the proper professionals together to get the best result.'"

"In the course of working with (Lumen) we have systematized and standardized discovery management, which would include working with contract professionals and also developing protocols to deal with a massive electronic discovery, filter the electronic discovery, and then train and monitor the most cost-effective professionals to handle the human review," Iwrey explains.

"We've been doing this effectively for our own internal Dykema clients for many years and we developed standards to market to legal departments throughout the United States, as well as to boutique law firms."

Corporations throughout the U.S. facing large-scale litigation and governmental investigations - even boutique law firms - can benefit from the services offered by DMS.

"The other law firms we see using (DMS) are boutique law firms who may not have either the manpower or computer infrastructure to handle discovery projects of this size, but they can utilize the Dykema-Lumen Discovery Management Solutions to help them handle the discovery portion (of litigation) and it would really free up companies to choose trial counsel of literally any size firm," Iwrey notes.

"More of the key statistics we see out there are that eight out of every 10 chief litigation officers in the marketplace on the corporate side are concerned with controlling their external legal staff. Litigation is generally the vast majority of expense of a corporation and the Discovery Management Solutions helps corporate legal departments achieve their number one objective of controlling their external legal expense," Galbenski says.

"We can come in with an aggregated rate within a $100 or more less than the most junior associates at law firms and even more when compared with junior associates in New York or California," Iwrey adds.

"Because we've been managing the data for so long, we've been able to reduce the amount of data that even has to be reviewed by humans by about 60% by knowing which files to review, by doing key word searches, by employing a lot of analytics to the data," Iwrey continues. "The amount that has to be reviewed we think we can cull down by 60% in most cases and just having someone responsible - that's focused on managing that process and reducing the costs of that process I think responds to the industry trend." Both Iwrey and Galbenski, both being Michiganders, agree that there's another exciting component to the Dykema and Lumen partnership.

"As (DMS) scales up and we continue to have success we're going to have additional opportunities in jobs here in Michigan based upon some of the early success we've had by providing contract professionals in the Solution," Galbenski hopes. "We believe we can create some significant jobs here in Michigan."

"Of the people we've approached, the response has been overwhelming positive," Iwrey notes. "They're very receptive to seeing a management solution that's focused on controlling costs on that element of the litigation."

More information on the Dykema-Lumen Discovery Management Solution is available at: http://www.dykema.com/ litigation/


Published: Thu, Mar 25, 2010