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How Baker Donelson’s powerfully simple approach to eDiscovery maximizes client value


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Baker Donelson, the 700-attorney, Am Law 100 firm, has a demonstrable track record in delivering innovative solutions to clients of all types. The firm’s core standard is “clients first,” a firm wide commitment to maximize client value and minimize client cost.

In choosing an eDiscovery solution, the firm sought out powerfully simple software that attorneys and paralegals with heavy workloads could use to do discovery by themselves, from anywhere and at a moment’s notice — without having to leverage additional technical resources or outside help, and without straining client budgets.

“With the cost reduction and time savings we’re seeing using this approach for appropriate cases, eDiscovery becomes less of a burden for clients and we can focus on the case merits.”
Tom Barnard
Baker Donelson shareholder and member of Baker Donelson’s Government Enforcement and Investigations Group

After a six-month evaluation process of several industry options, and a successful pilot, Baker Donelson selected Logikcull to support its attorneys and staff and deliver the innovation-minded, client-friendly results on which it built its reputation.

This new approach, where the firm’s trial teams are empowered by intuitive software to tackle discovery matters themselves with minimal assistance, has yielded:

  1. Faster direct engagement with the documents and data by the trial teams
  2. More autonomy and control over the eDiscovery review and production process
  3. Lower overall costs to clients
  4. Minimal internal overhead and litigation support needs

And for clients, in the words of Baker Donelson shareholder and member of Baker Donelson’s Government Enforcement and Investigations Group Tom Barnard, eDiscovery is now “less of a burden” in many cases. “Now, we don’t need to have big discussions around budget and timelines. Discovery has become a value-add to the client relationship, instead of a sticking point.”

There’s a certain amount of time and energy required to get an eDiscovery project started,” Alexandria Hartill, a Baker Donelson eDiscovery attorney remarked. “Logikcull significantly reduces the time and energy needed to get an eDiscovery project started and eliminates most of the annoying hassles usually associated with setting up an eDiscovery project. Once the database is set up, it requires very little internal support. This gets the trial teams into their data quickly and we can all focus on being lawyers.”

“Logikcull significantly reduces the time and energy needed to get an eDiscovery project started and eliminates most of the annoying hassles usually associated with setting up an eDiscovery project.”
Alexandria Hartill
Baker Donelson eDiscovery attorney

Laying the groundwork for “autonomy and control” across eDiscovery

Baker Donelson’s proactive approach to reimagining their discovery process began long before economic conditions and client demands forced other firms to scramble to cut costs. The firm spent over six months in 2018 evaluating discovery technology before choosing Logikcull, and an additional six months rolling out the platform through a proof of concept pilot program in the first half of 2019.

The project requirements were simple: fast loading speeds to accelerate the data access by the trial teams; user friendly features that made trial teams fast and efficient on standard low-eDiscovery intensity matters; and predictability and simplicity as to pricing and budgeting.

“Our goal was to further enable our teams to work nimbly and cost-effectively, so that our legal professionals could get closer to their data faster, all while allowing the firm to free up eDiscovery attorneys for the most demanding matters,” says Clinton Sanko, a Baker Donelson shareholder and the firm’s eDiscovery officer. “Not only did we accomplish that, the results have been beyond our initial expectations and any projections we had. The time to load and access data is incredibly fast and efficient, and the trial teams are almost entirely self-sufficient. That means we can focus our eDiscovery team on the more complex matters that benefit from a deeper eDiscovery lawyering bench."

Adoption of the platform has been swift—and firm-wide. Since the inception of the project, the platform has been used by more than 200 attorneys and paralegals across more than 200 matters, involving several terabytes of data and tens of millions of documents. With autonomy and control, trial lawyer sand their teams are able to pounce on fast-turnaround cases. Attorneys and paralegals are able to get directly into their discovery documents without the need for extensive help from IT or litigation support.

"The closer you can get your trial team to eDiscovery, the better the outcome—always,” Sanko attests.

And with Logikcull’s predictable, no-hosting-fees pricing, long-running, data-intensive investigation projects can stay active and accessible, with a standard, flat-fee monthly hosting cost.

“The majority of eDiscovery projects are actually fairly small and not particularly difficult to manage. The large projects, which are in the minority, get all the attention of the software developers and legal news. Logikcull fills a much needed gap in eDiscovery software and services, allowing the trial teams to self-manage these smaller matters.”
Clinton Sanko
Shareholder and eDiscovery officer

Powerfully simple platform unlocks high powered litigation support resources

Baker Donelson’s proactive approach to eDiscovery avoids the inefficient allocation of resources—and their associated costs—to matters that are, by their nature, streamlined and relatively simple. The firm rejected a one-size-fits-all approach to discovery. Rather, it maximizes its eDiscovery lawyers to manage, consult and lawyer the more data intensive matters. For matters with a more standard data profile, attorneys are directly equipped with a do-it- your self solution that could be deployed without engaging a project manager, litigation support professional, or training resources.

Logikcull’s drag-and-drop ease of use empowers end-users to complete discovery in qualified matters autonomously, without having to rely on project managers or other colleagues. “On many of our matters, the key is getting in to the documents and data quickly,” says Lori Patterson, Chair of the Financial Services Litigation & Compliance Group.

“Logikcull allows us the ability to reduce the client’s litigation or investigation spend, while getting this access to our trial team efficiently. Our team relies on this quick ramp-up time to jump into the data and advise and assist our clients in a variety of situations, without having to filter our needs through project managers or incur large, surprising, technical expenses.”

“There’s no other tool on the market that we’ve seen that allows virtually anyone of our litigators or paralegals to just jump in and go on an investigation or document production,” says Anthony Mendenhall, eDiscovery Operations Director at Baker Donelson.

“After a few months with Logikcull, we no longer needed a full time subject matter expert supporting these cases,” Mendenhall explains. “Users were able to get training and support in-app—or simply use the tool without help, on their own.” That’s a sentiment echoed by end users such as Baker Donelson paralegal Winston Smith. “Logikcull allows us to conduct discovery without requiring vendors, IT, or other support—and when a question does arise, we can have it answered quickly directly in-app.”

“Our team relies on this quick ramp-uptime to jump into the data, and advise and assist our clients in a variety of situations.”
Lori Patterson
Chair of the Financial Services Litigation & Compliance Group

Accelerating a results-driven approach with predictable, per-matter pricing

Given the uncertainty of data volumes and the often matter- and vendor-specific nature of eDiscovery volumetric pricing, eDiscovery costs are generally among the most difficult to budget that are associated with the overall litigation spend. With Logikcull, Baker Donelson was able to leverage Logikcull’s flat per-matter rate and one-time data upload cost to bring unprecedented predictability to their discovery costs. It has also allowed them to eliminate hefty, data-based hosting fees entirely, replacing them with a cost-certain flat fee that does not vary based on volume.

“Clients value cost predictability,” says Steve Griffith, a Baker Donelson trial lawyer, Member of the Board of Directors, and Head of the Business Litigation Practice Group. “Given that, we have an entire pricing team looking for creative solutions for our clients to ensure costs are known and knowable. The Logikcull pricing model fits exactly into this “predictability mindset” that is a core Baker Donelson commitment.”

“We’re able to show that we’re operating efficiently and cutting their bill, which is always a benefit to the client relationship.”

Given this pricing model, the firm is able to easily calculate their initial processing costs. Every subsequent month requires only a small, flat rate.“With Logikcull’s pricing model, we went from ‘good certainty’ to near 100% predictability on these cases,” explains Clinton Sanko, shareholder and eDiscovery officer.

“Clients appreciate the predictability and the low costs,” says Adam Sanders, one of Baker Donelson’s newest shareholders. And with simple, per-matter billing, those small costs are easy to recover with little pushback. “We’re able to show that we’re operating efficiently and cutting their bill, which is always a benefit to the client relationship.”

“The Logikcull pricing model fits exactly into this predictability mindset’ that is a core Baker Donelson commitment.”
Steve Griffith
Baker Donelson trial lawyer and Head of the Business Litigation Practice Group

From “eDiscovery” to “Instant Discovery”

Over a year ago, Baker Donelson had the foresight to reimagine their discovery process in a way that was designed to be faster, more-autonomous, and predictable for cases where it just made sense for the clients and the merits team. Today, thanks to their partnership with Logikcull, the firm is better positioned than ever to help clients to focus their legal spend on the case merits by empowering end-users to be nimble and self-sufficient with decentralized discovery tools.

Firm management attests to the key difference Logikcull has had in the right cases. “The best thing about Logikcull is the ability to quickly and efficiently search documents and focus on key issues in the case at a fraction of the cost associated with other options,” says Buck Wellford, the Chairman of the Advocacy Department. “Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to eDiscovery, which has a tendency to become the ‘tail wagging the dog’ in litigation if it is not proactively managed.

”By reducing eDiscovery costs and increasing predictability across the board, the clients maximize their value and minimize their costs—exactly what Baker Donelson commits to doing in its core standard. All eDiscovery matters are not created equal. For many cases, eDiscovery is not something that needs significant technical support time or internal support resources. And it’s not something that lawyers and paralegals feel is too technical for them. In fact, it’s simple, it’s predictable, it’s affordable.

It’s a non-event—as it should be.

“Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes toeDiscovery, which has a tendency to become the ‘tail-wagging the dog' in litigation if it is not proactively managed.”
Buck Wellford
Chairman, Advocacy Department

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