As to “Why can’t IT or my secretary do this?” If your IT folks or your secretary has an acceptable level of expertise and experience and are provided an acceptable level of resources, then they CAN do the work.One is not able or unable to handle the challenges of dealing with ESI simply because of the name of one’s employer or the title of one’s position. An organization does not magically become qualified to engage in electronic discovery activities simply be calling itself an electronic discovery provider, nor is an organization automatically disqualified simply because it is a law firm or a client. Rather, it is a question of expertise, experience, resources, and the like.
What the question really shows is the disdain attorneys tend to have for people with technical training, no matter how experienced or well educated they are. I mean come on now, would that same attorney ask why his IT or secretary couldn’t draft a motion for summary judgement or a restraining order?
I don’t miss this attitude about working in law firms. It’s rampant, offensive, and dangerous. Sure, if you think letting someone do work with eDiscovery who has no training and skills seems like a good idea, you have fun with that.
On the other hand, now that I don’t work in law firms, I also recognize that the same attitudes exist outside of law as well. Everyone likes to think the role they play in an organization is “the important” one, and what everyone else does is less important.
Of course, none of that is true. Just try and run a company without the other folks if you think it is.