According to a recent survey conducted by The Cowen Group, a search firm specializing in staffing litigation and practice Support and eDiscovery professionals, Early Case Assessment (ECA), while being implemented by roughly 75 percent of the participants surveyed, is still only being used by those in the legal sector. Non-legal corporations accounted for only 37 percent of ECA use.

In the report “Market Snapshot: Evaluating Early Case Assessment Tools and Offerings” participants were surveyed during their attendance and participation at the Thought Leadership Roundtable Series on ECA, an event held in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Participants cited many different benefits of ECA, from reducing costs and expenses, providing strategic planning, optimizing resources, to helping to manage budgets.

Yet, with benefits, come challenges. Respondents also cited reliable access to case information, available automated technology and time and resources, as the most common hurdles to implementing and conducting ECA.

The Who, Why & What of ECA

ECA has emerged as a top priority for litigators. Mainly because it is seen as a key driver for improving case strategy and reducing the costs and expenses associated with litigation.

Not surprisingly, a majority are associates and litigation support staff, while partners and paralegals represent the minority of users.

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And what technical solution they have chosen to conduct ECA with is where the survey gets interesting.

Of the respondents surveyed, 71 percent indicated that Clearwell Systems was among their top 3 providers of ECA services. Recommind was second (36 percent), with Kazeon (7 percent) and Digital Reef (4 percent) among the rest.

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The Clearwell Choice

While choosing an eDiscovery provider is for organizations to decide, even Clearwell has seen an increase in ECA awareness among their own customers.

A recent online poll by Clearwell found that 65 percent of 103 customers surveyed expect to see an increase in ECA over the next 12 months, pointing to increased demand for quick analysis of case facts.

As a result, Clearwell has made a case for itself as an ECA provider with a white paper further outlining the importance of ECA and its benefits for in-house legal teams and law firms.

Early Case Assessment is a necessary tool in the eDiscovery process. Implementing and conducing ECA effectively is even more crucial. Regardless of whether your organization is corporate or legal, the benefits of ECA are the same.