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Boosting efficiencies in dispute resolution: How eDiscovery tools can help

| Written by Altlaw

In eDiscovery, we often focus on the use of our tools and processes to support litigation matters and court proceedings, however, eDiscovery can be used for a much wider variety of dispute resolution techniques. In a previous blog post, we studied how eDiscovery tools can be used to enhance arbitration cases and improve efficiency, but what about the other sub-divisions of dispute resolution?  

Dispute resolution - the process of resolving conflicts or disputes between parties, typically without resorting to litigation or court proceedings. It encompasses various methods and techniques aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to the disagreement. Dispute resolution can occur in a variety of contexts, including legal, commercial, interpersonal, community, and international disputes.


What does dispute resolution cover? 

  • Negotiation - Parties engaging with each other to find mutually beneficial solutions to their circumstances. 
  • Mediation - An impartial third party helps parties come to a voluntary agreement by facilitating open and effective communication. The rulings made within mediation are non-binding
  • Arbitration - Similar to mediation, arbitrators assist parties in reaching agreements, however, unlike mediation, some arbitration decisions can be binding. 
  • Litigation - Solving disputes through the court system, presenting your case to a judge and/or jury to receive legally binding judgements. 
  • Conciliation - Parties working with a neutral third party that can take a more active role in proceedings, offering advice, suggestions and proposing solutions. 
  • Online Dispute Resolution - A newer addition to the ranks of dispute resolution techniques, this encompasses all the other dispute resolution options, simply in an online format. 
  • Collaborative Law - each party is represented by a specially trained attorney, and the parties commit to resolving their dispute through negotiation rather than litigation. 


How can eDiscovery be used in these fields?

  • Data Collection: eDiscovery tools can collect electronic data from various sources such as emails, documents, databases, social media, and more. This ensures that all potentially relevant information is preserved for the dispute resolution process. As an end-to-end eDiscovery provider, Altlaw regularly undertakes forensic collection projects to make sure all data is collected in a safe and secure way that keeps metadata intact. These collections can be completed remotely, in person at your office, or even abroad at your client's office if that is what's needed. 

  • Data Preservation: Once you have collected your data, eDiscovery tools then help preserve electronic evidence in a forensically sound manner, ensuring that it remains unaltered and admissible in legal proceedings.

  • Data Processing: eDiscovery software can process large volumes of data, including text, images, and metadata, to organize and index it for easy searching and retrieval. Having all your data hosted and processed in one central location minimises transfer risks and helps keep your data safe. As data becomes increasingly more varied, eDiscovery platforms such as RelativityOne constantly innovate to be able to process and handle more complex file types. This means you can always rely on providers who utilise industry-leading technology to be able to support you in your matters. 

  • Data Review: One of the most critical aspects of dispute resolution is the review of evidence. eDiscovery tools utilise advanced search and filtering capabilities to identify relevant documents quickly, saving time and reducing costs associated with manual review. There are a number of tools at your disposal ranging from simple keyword searching right through to AI and active learning. To find out more about these tools and how they can support you in your review projects, check out our Analytics Tools eBook!

  • Data Analysis: This step occurs before your review begins and is crucial in saving you time and money throughout the dispute resolution process. Being able to reduce review populations in an accountable and defensible way that offers insight into your data is a key highlight of eDiscovery platforms and tools. Analytics tools help legal teams identify patterns, trends, and key information relevant to the dispute. These tools often incorporate analytics features such as concept clustering, predictive coding, and sentiment analysis.

    analytics tools guide
  • Document Production: eDiscovery tools facilitate the production of relevant documents to opposing parties or the court in a timely manner, adhering to legal requirements and deadlines. Your project manager will liaise with you to ensure only the documents you want to produce are included, and all documents can be kept safe within the platform or in cold storage or an archive if you anticipate needing access to them again in the future. 

  • Collaboration: eDiscovery tools enable collaboration among legal teams, allowing them to work together seamlessly regardless of their physical location. This improves efficiency and ensures consistency in the review and analysis process.

  • Compliance: eDiscovery tools help ensure compliance with legal and regulatory obligations regarding the discovery and disclosure of electronic evidence, reducing the risk of sanctions or adverse legal consequences. Platforms also provide an audit trail so you can be aware of any and every action taken to further your project.