Once again, we are on the road lecturing. We took a break from a warm and enthused West Virginia audience and had lunch with some of our faculty colleagues who follow the electronic evidence arena, including good friends Ross Kodner, Catherine Saunders-Reach and Brett Burney, who authors the well respected blog, ediscoveryinfo.
Everyone involved in EDD is hearing the whispers of doom. Corporations are slashing litigation budgets and limiting the use of outside counsel. Law firms, eager to make clients happy and avoid clients bolting, are more aggressively seeking to lower EDD costs, often pursuing settlements instead of litigation.
Consequently, there are a lot of folks in the EDD world who have the willies. Amongst our luncheon group, we talked about the recent demise of two mega law firms and wondered how much longer it would be before this phenomenon moved over to EDD companies. The consensus was “not long.” For the Goliaths of EDD, this has got to be a nervous time. If they are not well-capitalized, if they owe a lot of VC or other money, if their overheads are enormous, indeed they may be in trouble. Some of the EDD firms owe their existence to prosperity. In the absence of prosperity, it may be that only the strong will survive.
Our little group fears that there will be many in the electronic evidence world who are likely to receive a most unwelcome visit from the Grim Reaper. An apt, if gloomy, Halloween image.
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