SOURCE: IE Discovery

IE Discovery

March 23, 2011 11:00 ET

Survey Shows Government Agencies Facing More Complex Electronic Discovery Issues With Growing Confidence

2010 Benchmarking Study of Electronic Discovery Practices for Government Agencies Respondents Say Most Work Done In-House But Budgeting Is Increasingly Challenging

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - The results of the 2010 Benchmarking Study of Electronic Discovery Practices for Government Agencies Survey have been released, showing that government agencies continue to face increases in the quantity of data to manage, but with increased budget constraints. Projects are also gaining in complexity, but government employees seem to be gaining in their ability to handle them, with 61% claiming to be "more confident" in their ability to manage e-discovery. This year's survey participants included 46 government attorneys, paralegals and information technology (IT) personnel from 24 government agencies.

IE Discovery commissioned the study. "Our survey investigates the scope of the e-discovery burden to government discovery professionals, as well as the measures they use to respond to the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation," said Chris May, CEO of IE Discovery. The annual survey illustrates the evolution of discovery over the past four years, including reduced reliance on paper, more work being done in-house, more confident professionals and overall more complex projects being managed with less budget. "In many ways, the experiences of government discovery professionals mirror the trends we are seeing in corporate law departments."

Other highlights include:

  • More than two-thirds of participants report that e-discovery processing is handled in-house.
  • Government agencies have no standard approach to impose and manage litigation holds.
  • Many agencies do not engage in early data assessment to reduce the amount of data that must be processed and reviewed.
  • More than 40 percent of the agencies say that their e-discovery burden grew in the past year.
  • The number of agencies reporting budgeting as a top concern jumped by almost 30 percent from 2009 to 2010.
  • Almost one-half of agencies are now collecting "structured data" in repositories, databases, and similar systems.
  • The form of production varies greatly. Almost 40 percent of respondents report producing discovery requests in image and text formats, 37 percent in native file formats and only 41 percent on paper.

One area in which government discovery professionals may be behind their corporate counterparts is in leveraging "early data assessment strategies" to reduce the size of document sets. "Reducing the volume of data to be processed and reviewed provides substantial cost savings in the long run," said Bill Detamore, IE Discovery's Chief Legal Officer. "Gaining competence in this area may be one way for government discovery professionals to better leverage their limited resources and fulfill the expectation to do more with less."

The 2010 Benchmarking Study of Electronic Discovery Practices for Government Agencies is part of IE Discovery's ongoing efforts to provide information and expertise to government discovery professionals. That initiative also includes the company's annual Symposium for Government Agencies, which will take place on May 19th at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

An executive summary of survey results can be found at For additional information about the survey or the symposium, please contact IE Discovery Government Programs at 703-527-2700 ext. 3035.

About IE Discovery, Inc.
IE Discovery provides comprehensive litigation support and Discovery Management services to government agencies, corporate law departments and outside counsel who routinely manage complex, information-intensive litigation. Utilizing technological and legal expertise, IE Discovery helps clients improve their productivity and cost efficiency. IE Discovery is based in Austin, Texas, with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. For additional information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact Information:
    Craig Foster
    IE Discovery, Inc.
    Tel.: 512.498.7442
    E-mail: Email Contact