Wednesday evening,  The Cowen Group held an eye-opening dinner with 15 high-level e-discovery leaders in the federal government. I’ve been reporting on e-discovery for more than 10 years, but until last night, I wasn’t aware of the acute challenges faced by these professionals.
 
Over the course of the discussion, just about everyone cited examples of miniscule teams (often 2 people), microscopic budgets, outdated technology and isolation. 
 
Typical problems: Lack of transparency and up to date tech, to the point that in many situations “we sometimes can’t afford to win a case,” one participant said. 
 
One problem that can be fixed is isolation—and helping solve that can help everyone address the other problems. That’s where TCG is helping by bringing government leaders together, where they can share their issues and connect with other government e-discovery leaders to compare notes and knowledge. The breakfasts, dinners and regular conference calls can help collaboration and may indeed end up helping to identify “best practices” that all can share. And of course, the interactions can not only help participants in current jobs, but help them navigate and excalate  their careers. 
 
If you are interested in participating, email David Cowen (david@cowengroup.com). Let’s create our own “crowdsourcing” and help level the proverbial field for better e-discovery for all! —Monica Bay, special consultant.