2nd Annual E-Discovery Survey of Illinois attorneys

I recently conducted the second annual survey of Illinois attorneys regarding their experience with electronic discovery on behalf of the The Law Bulletin Publishing Company of Chicago.  The results were released at the ABA TechShow last week and can be found at LexTek, the legal blog maintained by Dave Glynn  . The number of attorneys responding increased 64% over 2008, with 372 lawyers responding to 24 questions that asked about their level of exposure to eDiscovery matters, experiences with electronic discovery vendors, and products.

The respondents to this year’s survey showed a shift towards small firms and solo practitioners ( a direction also taken by the ABA TechShow, which led to a decrease in attendance for ED specific sessions, a trend noted by two of the more prominent faculty members, Craig Ball and Sharon Nelson )  with 39% representing firms of between two and twenty attorneys compared to 35% last year and 28% being solo practitioners, compared to 22% last year.

The most interesting result with regards to the discussion on this blog was the continuing erosion of both mind and market share by the better known products which have dominated the litigation support space for years.  On the desktop, the two most popular products are once again Summation  (at 59%, down from 64% last year) and Concordance (level at 47%). CaseLogistix , at 10%, was the only competitor with a double digit response but the others combined for a 28% share, so given the fact that Summation and Concordance actually overlap (some firms own both whch is why the numbers here add up to more than 100%) we can see that they each have about 30% of the market with 40% going to new products led by CaseLogistix.

This shift is seen even more clearly in the use of a Web-based application to host eDiscovery documents. Usage here is up to 77% from 66% last year. The most often-mentioned product was once again iConnect, but its share dropped from 25% to 16%. CaseLogistix (which offers a desktop and web-based version) moved up significantly to second place (from 5% to 13%). Of the remaining Web vendors, only Catalyst remained at the same level (8%), while all other responses dropped including Lextranet (17% to 9%), FYI (10% to 7%) and CaseCentral (10% to 7%).

The reason for this shift? Better educated clients. Last year, 7% of respondents said “I have no idea” in answer to the question on the most important issue. This year, one person gave that answer. This seems to me to show an overall rising of the attention level to eDiscovery issues which is subsequently leading to the purchase of newer, better products.  Bil Kellerman, in the interview I referenced in my last posting, said that he thought the next 12-18 months would see the rise of  a web-based killer app to market dominance and these results certainly show a move in that direction.

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