Save and Protect: Okla. Businessmen Form Company to Preserve Electronic Records
Wilkerson, April, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Safeguarding a company's electronic evidence or getting it ready for trial can be daunting, even for the most technology-savvy business owner or attorney.
If litigation occurs, thousands of e-mails can be considered evidence, as well as multiple versions of the same document. When an attorney must sort through virtual mounds of electronic evidence for his or her review, the result is often less time spent on actual preparation for the case. For a business owner, peace of mind means having information properly preserved should litigation occur.
To provide a solution for those problems, a trio of Oklahoma businessmen with decades' worth of experience in digital forensic analysis, information technology and trial preparation has teamed to create a new company. Calvin Weeks, president of Calvin Weeks & Associates; Chris Black, president of R.K. Black Inc.; and Greg Robinson, president of TR Legal, have pooled their talents and experience to launch Black, Robinson, Weeks EDD Management Services. They are marketing their services to two primary markets: attorneys who are gathering evidence for litigation, and to large and medium- sized companies that need to have their documentation in order before legal action ever occurs.
Weeks said the service to attorneys is called Hosted and Managed E-Discovery Solutions. It references the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, which outlines the life cycle that electronic evidence takes, from its identification to its preservation and collection to its analysis and presentation, and several other steps in between. Weeks said he and his colleagues' goal was to cover every step of that process with technology that saves time for attorneys. Such a service also means fewer people handling the evidence, which decreases the chance of contamination, he said.
When attorneys save time, Robinson said, clients save money.
"Insurance companies that insure corporations in lawsuits are pushing the law firms to reduce their costs," he said. "So the corporations are saying, 'We can't spend all this money on your review. Is there a faster, more efficient way to get it done?' That's part of what this software and our services will allow them to do - reduce their review time by 30, 40 or 50 percent over what's been done in the past, which decreases the cost to their clients.
"What excites me the most is being able to provide an enterprise- class solution to law firms in Oklahoma," Robinson said. "To have this type of service, typically they have to go to Houston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., places like that. We're able, with the joining of our resources, to offer that in Oklahoma for these firms. That's an added benefit to these firms to have someone local who can assist them 'cradle to grave' with their cases."
Weeks, Black and Robinson aren't giving up their existing careers, but they see potential for their new venture and have been working on it for more than a year. They have invested heavily in the technology, Weeks said, and the vendor providing the proprietary software has designed it for scalability. That's important, he said, because a single case could include hundreds of thousands of pieces of electronic evidence.
They also felt the time was right to launch the new service, Weeks said. …