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Big-company demand dropped for national or regional e-discovery counsel

From Fulbright & Jaworski’s Fourth Annual Litigation Trends Survey at 23 comes data on e-discovery counsel. The text explains that the data pertains to “companies that have retained or considered retaining national or regional counsel specifically for e-discovery issues that arise in matters” (emphasis added). The findings report emphasizes the dramatic rise of this form of assistance from the previous year’s survey.

I interpret the results differently. Among the 117 companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, the percentage who answered affirmatively plummeted from 77 to 48. That drop might be because the new procedural rules were better understood this year, in-house experience with e-discovery has risen, or litigation firms have developed more skills so there is less need for a specialty firm to pitch in on e-discovery matters.