Kryder and the Cost of the Future and the Past


Why did litigation support begin when it did around 1996-1998? When does it make sense to save past data derived from litigation support work? Kryder's Law states that the density of hard drives will double roughly every 2 months. If this is the case, if you can afford to save something for two years, it's likely that it will be cost effective to save it indefinitely. The dynamic that established Kryder's Law explains in part why law firms began to make more extensive use of ESI around 1997. See this chart taken from Quantitative Legal Prediction – or – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Preparing for the Data Driven Future of the Legal Services Industry, by Daniel Katz (Emory Law Journal, Vol. 62, 2013) available at: http://law.emory.edu/elj/_documents/volumes/62/4/contents/katz.pdf

The cost of storing a gigabyte was reduced to $100 around 1997. It came with in range of associates to approve the purchase of devices on which they could move and store very large amounts of data around easily - Zip disks, Jazz disks, DVDs, etc. The use of large amounts of document images, deposition videos, and so forth could be made as a routine daily business decision, not only as part of a carefully planned budget choice for the long term. Things began to move at a different pace, and attorneys needed people to help them make it move.

With data storage costs declining, the feasibility of going back through extensive stored work product data increases - surely a factor in prolonging and intensifying the litigation process.

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