The Sherpa Approach: Meeting the Demands of the Digital Age
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The Sherpa Approach: Meeting the Demands of the Digital Age
Ben Franklin once famously said, "The only things certain in life are death and taxes." As
we’ve seen since the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) in 2006,
litigation should be included in that discussion as well. In today’s age of regulation and
litigation, we really only have two types of companies, those that have been sued and those
that will be sued. The massive changes that were made back in 2006 to the FRCP and the
ever-expanding volume of data have lead to explosive growth within the field of e-
Discovery, with no signs of it slowing down any time soon. Some of the market drivers that
have helped fuel this growth include: the enormous volume of Electronically Stored
Information (ESI), the expanded type of evidence subject to discovery, the proliferation of
data throughout organizations and across devices, not to mention the increased regulation
and litigation workload.
The digital revolution is having an incredible impact on the complexity of litigation and
discovery related issues. According to an IDC Digital Universe Study, by 2020:
1) The digital universe will total 35 zettabytes (in 2011 it was 1.8 zettabytes)
2) Organizations will deal with 50 times more information
3) Information will be stored in 75 times more “containers” (files, objects, devices,
4) Digital society will deal with 10 times more servers: both physical and virtual
5) Just 50% more IT professionals will deal with all these advances by the
end of the decade
“The Explosive Growth in the Volume of Digital Data will Demand More IT Professionals.” Adamov, Avzetdin.
The World of
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What were once terabyte-sized storage networks used decades ago are now being
replaced by petabyte-sized storage networks in today’s IT Departments. According to a
survey of the Chief Legal Officers from Fortune 1000 companies, 50% of the total civil
litigation costs had to do with the mountains of electronic information within their networks.
Organizations across the globe are increasingly becoming more aware of their data. But IT
departments aren’t growing at the same rate as the volume and complexity of data and e-
Discovery requests so technology and professional services are in very high demand.
Starting in 2008, Gartner has seen that more companies are taking a proactive approach to
e-Discovery by investing in information management technologies and processes to be
able to respond more quickly to discovery requests and to provide in-house counsel with a
tool that can assess potential risk or assess case risks. E-Discovery software is also
increasingly being used in antitrust investigations, intellectual property matters, and
mergers/acquisitions research. Over the next 5 years, the e-Discovery market is predicted
to increase by more than 15% annually, which is double the growth rate of other business
Due to the constant changes made to the law and the continued growth of
electronically stored information, the field of e-Discovery has had to evolve, making it more
and more complex and leaving companies with all types of various e-Discovery needs.
At Sherpa Software we’ve seen first-hand a dramatic upswing in the number of requests for
our e-Discovery products, services and support. Our Discovery Attender products have
traditionally covered the Search and Collection aspect of the E-Discovery Reference Model
(EDRM), but to continually meet the evolving needs of our customers and prospects, we’ve
expanded our service offerings to cover a much larger portion of the EDRM.
“Gartner Forecasts EDiscovery Growth to 29 Billion in 2017.” Law.com. Koblentz, Evan.
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By combining our award-winning Discovery Attender products, our expertise, and the
expertise of our partners, Sherpa Software now features numerous services related to e-
Early Case Assessment
Search and Collection
Data Loss Prevention
Sherpa will introduce the concepts of the E-Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) and
explain the critical first steps in the e-Discovery process – the identification, collection and
preservation of data. We can also build on that foundation by instructing your staff on how
to perform routine discovery tasks and how to train them on the correct e-Discovery
processes and methodology.
A GAP analysis describing areas in the existing IT infrastructure and processes
that should be modified to support an e-Discovery effort and recommendations for
improving compliance in those areas.
Early Case Assessment involves estimating risk (cost of time and money) to prosecute or
defend a legal case. Sherpa’s Early Case Assessment Service combines both product and
professional services to accomplish this task. Using Sherpa’s Report Attender, Early Data
Analysis will be performed on the data to assist in identifying information that applies to the
court case and eliminating that which does not apply, which not only saves time and money
but also creates a much more efficient process. Because many lawyers and e-Discovery
software providers charge by the amount of data being processed, it is in your best interest
to have minimal and relevant ESI.
A Litigation Hold is a stipulation requiring a company to preserve all data that may relate to
legal action involving a company. Within Sherpa’s Litigation Hold Services, we start by
managing the notification process by establishing correct communications, which ensures
complete and total defensibility and compliance. We then manage and retain all relevant
data while keeping it from being altered. After the Litigation Hold has ended, we are then
able to remove the data from Litigation Hold and have it back to normal where it originally
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This unique offering is designed to expedite a customer’s Search and Collection efforts with
a combination of Sherpa products and professional services. Our team will provide a
firsthand introduction to the e-Discovery process then configure Sherpa’s Discovery
Attender product to address specific search and collection challenges within your
environment. Whether it’s first-hand guidance on performing the search and collection, or
Sherpa performing the search and collection for you, this offering can be customized to fit
the specific needs of your e-Discovery project.
Sherpa’s Processing Service involves the extraction of text and metadata from native files
and will also involve various data culling techniques, such as deduplication and de-NISTing
to only gather the relevant data. Native files will then be converted to a “paper-like format”
(such as PDF or TIFF), to allow for easier redaction and bates-labeling.
Sherpa’s Document Review Service will employ both legal and IT teams to read and
analyze all electronic material related to a case for relevancy, privilege, and eventual
Sherpa’s Litigation Preparedness Service involves identifying weaknesses, the key
personnel, and data mapping as well as helping an organization to establish a complete
Litigation Preparedness plan including the correct solutions, processes, and software.
Sherpa’s Data Loss Prevention Service helps clients prevent data loss incidents and
properly manage litigation response needs. Overall, our goals are to assist our clients with
managing their environment by better understanding the locations of sensitive information,
identifying solutions that provide robust data management and monitoring capabilities, and
implementing policies or guidelines to ensure that confidential and proprietary data is
Ben Franklin couldn’t have anticipated the digital revolution but we’re sure that he would
agree that litigation and e-Discovery are “a certainty” in today’s world. ESI is still being
rapidly created and accumulated, leaving organizations across the globe with needs
covering the whole e-Discovery spectrum.
With continued changes and growing complexity within the field of e-Discovery, the Sherpa
“Approach” is to become your complete e-Discovery solutions provider. For more
information about how we can help with your e-Discovery projects, please email
email@example.com, visit us at www.sherpasoftware.com, or call us toll free