Early Case Assessment- Wikipedia describes it better- It explains that Oftentimes an organization feels a need to settle a legal case, for whatever reason, only to find they wish they did before they spent so much time and money on the case. Legal Cases are many times bound to happen to any organization and the costs of running a case are usually the most burdensome financially to both sides fighting on an issue. Often, and during legal cases, an opposing party will strategize on how to make it as difficult as possible for you to comply with the discovery process, including time and cost to respond to discovery requests. Because of this, organizations have a continued need to conduct early case assessment to determine their risks of taking a case to trial without painful settlement discussions.
Early Case Assessment or ECA in short, is something you and I do before a big huge event. We analyse, we bring all the points under one roof and make a blue-print out of it.
For example, the Captain cool of Indian Cricket team would do a Pre-match survey before a big game, and accordingly make strategies to combat opposition. Analysis of anything before is important That's what Early Case is all about, It refers to estimating risk(cost of time and money) to prosecute or defend a case.
I have already discussed e-Discovery in details in one of my previous blogs. (http://shashiblogs.blogspot.com/2010/05/e-discovery-in-india-call-of-hour.html) and (http://shashiblogs.blogspot.com/2010/02/eureka-discovery-e-discovery.html). e-Discovery in India would require a sea-change in the present legal system India has. India, a house to the second largest population in the world and the fast-emerging global power-house obviously needs to the e-Discovery rains to soothe the Legal system we presently have. Buy, its a known fact to, that with millions and millions of cases fought in the geographically large India, will need time to accept e-discovery. It cannot be a rocket-Science implementation.
It will need something to trigger the birth of e-Discovery in India, and if going by what I believe( Remember, I'm a beginner, a learner to e-D world..Hah!!!)..so going by what I think, Early Case Assesment(or ECA) can be the baby-step to India's welcome step to e-D.
Now, Ambanis have recently settled, what if they had a ECA system, to settle them out? India is home to many multi-nationals, and as stated already, a legal case fishes out loads of wealth and time.
The companies can have a ECA to review cases before they fight it out and this will also be responsible for trashing out unnecessary documents that they may have stored for years or more.
As described on the internet, The early case assessment lifecycle will typically include all of the following:
1. Perform a risk benefit analysis.
2. Place and manage a legal holdon potentially responsive documents (paper and ESI) in appropriate countries.
3.Preserve information abroad.
4. Gather relevant information for attorney and expert document review.
5. Process potentially relevant information for purposes of filtering.
6. Produce documents to parties in the case.
7. Reuse information in future cases.
I have my one senior here with whom I was discussing this topic and looking at his experience and far-sightedness in the development of many projects in the organization, I asked him the same. Kirit came out with a reply telling me that the companies can, but the system isn't yet there in place. A shorter version of ECAs can though come up for them. In this small chat with Kirit, I couldn't actually fetch a lot out, ( Little expirence you see :(... Hah!!
But if what he says is to be believed to, I atleast could fetch that he too did agree somewhere between the midst, ECA can surely be India's first step to the astonishing world of e-Discovery. And, the reason why I keep pressing on e-Discovery in India, I don't have to explain people what I'm upto and keep getting great opportunities to rule!! Ha!