This is a guest article from Andrew Carraway, Esquire, Attorney with Lowers & Associates
In our current fast-paced business environment, it is getting harder and harder for a company to solely rely on its in-house staff to resolve legal disputes and conduct the necessary due diligence reviews of customers and suppliers. Out sourcing and specialized consultants have become necessities. It is now likely that any company that has retained the services of a law firm will find the category of “litigation support” featured prominently on invoices for services provided by the law firm. In this short article, we will explore what the concept of “litigation support” entails and the necessity for law firms and other businesses to utilize these services.
Litigation support has been defined as “the process of providing consultation and support services to attorneys or others in regard to current and pending cases.” Litigation support services can range from legal research, to the valuation of property, to determining the extent of damages incurred in an accident or injury, and perhaps forensic accounting services to trace out fraud, waste, and abuse in financial activities. As our world becomes more complex and information transforms from the written page to digital material maintained on a server or in a cloud, more and more litigation support is being focused on digital formats, coining a new term E-Discovery. E-Discovery refers to the discovery of information in civil litigation which deals with the exchange of information in electronic format, i.e. electronically stored information. E-Discovery is frequently utilized by law firm and business support staff, outsourced by the firm to specialty groups whose sole role is to extract and analyze evidence supplied by attorneys using digital forensic procedures which are incorporated into a document review format.