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Again, not surprising that even large legal departments don’t segregate and track e-discovery costs

In Met. Corp. Counsel, March 2012 at 16, an FTI consultant shares some findings from FTI’s interviews last fall with 31 in-house counsel. The topic was e-discovery and the participants were primarily from huge U.S. companies. He writes, “In spite of greater emphasis and attention on e-discovery, corporations still don’t have a concrete understanding of how much they spend year over year.” The consultant was also surprised that “most participants don’t yet have a line-item tracking system for all expense areas [of e-discovery].”

Others have bewailed the same omission (See my post of Dec. 30, 2011: absence of tracked data on e-discovery attributed to smallness of companies.). It is quite understandable why law departments do not pin down e-discovery expenses. It is a sufficient spur that those costs are exorbitant; no need to weigh an elephant to know it eats a lot. The perceived benefits of granular numbers don’t outweigh the costs to collect them. Further, to pinpoint e-discovery dollars burdens you with difficult assumptions, complex definitions of actions, undesired spotlights on individual or team performance, and heavy-duty analysis of the data that spews out (See my post of April 23, 2006: Uniform Task-Based Management System data lies fallow.).