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With over 15 years in the ediscovery game, I find one thing remains constant: not a day goes by that I don’t have at least one person ask, “Why is ediscovery so expensive?”

As someone who has held leadership roles with several different ediscovery providers, I hate to say it, but I get why costs are high.  eDiscovery platforms rely on experts. Experts come with expensive certifications and training. The platforms require large infrastructure investments, which demand mature IT and InfoSec teams to manage. And the complex nature of ediscovery encourages tenured project management teams that retain knowledge throughout the years, resulting in high labor costs. All of these factors justify the high cost of ediscovery. Unfortunately, this has also made ediscovery inaccessible for a large portion of legal teams.

As I write this, I can hear my old boss explaining the Triple Constraint, “Do you want fast, cheap or good? You can only pick two.”

The Need for Free eDiscovery

For clarity’s sake, I fully support hiring ediscovery experts.  Time and time again, I’ve seen successful outcomes from colleagues bringing their expertise and knowledge to matters where their clients would have had less than optimal results had they not engaged outside help.  And no question, having a reliable and secure environment is crucial in our space.  But I also understand that there is a demand for affordable ediscovery solutions.

Recognizing that need is what led the Lumix Product Team down the  path that ultimately ended with us providing a free subscription to anyone with the wherewithal to use it.

Now I get this question a lot, “Why would you ever agree to offer a free ediscovery product? Isn’t that just the race to $0?”  Well we definitely don’t think so, and here’s why.

Technology, the Great Equalizer

From Lumix’s beginning, we’ve had a clear mission, to create an intuitive ediscovery solution that is affordable and accessible to anyone.  In keeping true with this mission, we’ve created a product that fulfills the golden rule in tech: That technology should be the great equalizer.  Our vision, that costs should not be a barrier in purchasing ediscovery, is rooted in our belief that affordable ediscovery is a key component to a functioning legal system. It became clear to us that providing a free tier that opened the gates of ediscovery to everyone, not just those with deep pockets, was key to us fulfilling Now Discovery’s mission and vision statements.

eDiscovery’s Big Data Conundrum

Let’s face it, ediscovery projects are only getting bigger and demand is growing for solutions that are faster, more affordable and easier to implement. I remember the days when receiving 20gb of data seemed like an enormous project. Today, a simple 5 custodian collection can easily accrue a terabyte of electronic stored information. This upward data trend, status quo pricing models and growing demand for better solutions has forced us to rethink how ediscovery is priced.  This is why Lumix pricing is subscription-based. We only factor total storage used, making 95% of our invoices a single line-item. Our decision to create a free subscription tier was also born from this desire to simplify. We realized we needed to provide legal teams an avenue to learn how to use Lumix long before they encountered that terabyte-sized project, opening the door for them to take on larger projects in the future.

What We’ve Discovered

Now that we’ve implemented a free ediscovery subscription tier, we’ve had an influx of positive feedback from clients.  Many first-time users in our free tier have shared their stories of always wanting to implement an ediscovery platform but being unable to due to costs.  Several are tenured attorneys, new to using ediscovery software, who are excited they can finally offer a solution that benefits their smaller clients with little to no costs to pass on.  We have paralegals who are thrilled with how quickly they can learn to use Lumix, and experienced ediscovery users who love that they can get in and go, while simultaneously being on the front lines of the latest advances in ediscovery. This feedback gives us, the Lumix team, a great sense of pride and purpose, knowing that the path we laid out for ourselves–to make an ediscovery solution that is  available to anyone–is taking everyone where they need to go.

About the Author:

Hector Corral

Hector Corral

Based in San Francisco, Hector Corral brings an in-depth understanding of ediscovery from 15+ years in the industry. As Now Discovery's EVP, Hector plays an integral role in the executive team by heading the company's revenue and product operations.

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