Rand Report on Electronic Discovery Costs


In 2012, the Rand Institute on Civil Justice published, Where the Money Goes: Understanding Litigant Expenditures for Producing Electronic Discovery. The report consisted of case studies of eight different corporations, and review of additional electronic discovery literature. The study is well known for finding that 73% of the cost of producing documents is taken up by Review, with Collection accounting for 8%, and Processing 19%. Outside counsel was found to charge for 70% of the overall costs, vendors 26%, and only 4% of the cost came from internal activities. In 45 of 49 cases outside counsel conducted Review; while in 42 of 44 cases vendors handled processing, and in 31 of 42 cases the vendors performed collection. [The median cost of production in the cases in the study was $1.8 million.]

The total cost of production per GB was less than $40,000 per GB for most of the cases, and less than $20,000 in a third of the cases. Collection costs ranged as a percentage of totals costs from about 1% up to 25%; Processing costs were from 5% to as much as 45%. In all of the cases Review took up at least 35% and up to 90%. The average cost of Collection per GB was $940. The average cost of Processing was $2931 per GB. The average cost of Review was $13636 per GB.

The report includes a chart listing document review rates per hour and the amount charged for an hour of a reviewer's work from nine different surveys. Between 50 to 100 documents could be reviewed per hour, and billing rates varied between $50 and $300 per hour. [some Review conducted offshore was cheaper].

A table showing reported rates of review suggests that 50 documents per hour is standard pace.

A study of a review team using a predictive coding application showed variances between 66% - 81% in the Recall rate, and 68& - 81% in Precision rates.


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