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Elegance of a solution for e-discovery makes no difference and two other eyebrow raisers

The global e-discovery counsel of Google, Theresa Beaumont, shared recently her nine “key components of a successful, defensible e-discovery process.” As reproduced in InsideCounsel, May 2011 at 61, the second component raised my eyebrows.

“Accomplish what you must with the most elegant solutions and processes you can.”

One eyebrow jumped because that advice could just as easily (and implausibly) apply to any list of any recommended activities. It’s a useful as exhorting someone to “Think as hard and as well as you can.”

Another eyebrow jumped because the elegance of a system for treating requests for electronic documents matters not at all. The effectiveness and the cost of the process and its components matter, not aesthetics or cleverness. As for cost, maybe the trailing off of “… as you can” contains the unspoken “as you can afford.”

And both eyebrows climbed another notch because of the massive question begged by “accomplish what you must.” How well served is someone with advice to the effect of “Do what needs to be done”? Sure, but tell me what must be done!

Somehow, I think, Beaumont must have some good point in mind than “elegance” but the quote as stated leaves it, shall we say, low brow.