CD: How important is technology in managing the dispute resolution process in today’s business world? What recent trends have you seen in terms of parties adopting technology in such circumstances?

Wuesthoff: Technology has become inextricably entwined in countless aspects of the legal profession today. For example, technology provides a faster and better sense of the facts and details of legal projects – it plays a key role in expediting dispute resolutions. In a recent case, the Domestic Drywall antitrust litigation, a judge ruled that technology should have been used to advance the speed and efficiency of review and enable greater substantive evaluation of the facts. The plaintiff had argued against a motion requesting timely access to electronic information, but the court found for the defence, stating that, “ignoring the capabilities which ESI allows the parties to search for and produce factual information... is like pretending businesses still communicate by smoke signals”. Given the volume of data being created today, leveraging technology to search through data as it relates to disputes is absolutely necessary to clarify issues – who the key individuals are, what the relevant activities are, and what the inherent risks are in cases.

Volkert: Today, with increasing pressure by clients to receive greater value for legal services, the dispute resolution process offers a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to traditional litigation procedures. Leveraging technology is critical to facilitating such disputes – from online filings and hearings to evidentiary sharing, discussions and negotiations. 

Oct-Dec 2014 issue

Robert Half Legal