Come On, Man! Tom O’Connor Has His Own Take on the Small Firm eDiscovery Market: eDiscovery Trends

My second sports reference of the day! When it comes to opinions about eDiscovery, you never have to wonder what my good friend (and regular webinar partner) Tom O’Connor is thinking – he’ll tell you.  It’s part of his charm.  😉  And he has several of his own thoughts about the small law firm eDiscovery market in response to a blog post on this blog last week.

In the latest post in his Techno Gumbo blog (Small Firms Don’t Use EDiscovery Software? Are You Serious?), Tom channels his inner Chris Carter (sports fans will get that reference) in his response to Jim Gill’s post here last week titled Are Small Law Firms the “Long Tail” of eDiscovery?.

Tom begins his post by saying: “I was astonished to read in a blog post on eDiscovery Today last week that ‘80% of small law firms aren’t investing in eDiscovery.’ because ‘All that’s available is “stripped down versions of enterprise software, or legacy systems that are still using technology circa 2011’.


My first reaction was, well my first reaction was a string of obscenities. My second reaction was a string of more obscenities. Because as Mark Twin[sic] once observed in Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar “When angry count four; when very angry, swear.’”

But Tom doesn’t just get angry, he gets analytical with his own observations from the 2019 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report published by Thomson Reuters and from several other sources, including the 2019 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, the April 2021 Gartner Market Guide for E-Discovery Solutions and his “own damnable statistics” (another Mark Twain reference) involving his yearly survey of eDiscovery use among Chicago lawyers for the Chicago Law Bulletin (last survey from 2018 published on ComplexDiscovery here). And he points out (big surprise!) that the definition of a “small firm” varies from industry organization to industry organization. Of course it does.

I won’t steal Tom’s thunder – his analysis and referenced statistics (damnable or otherwise) are available here.

When it comes to eDiscovery and small cases, Tom literally wrote the book (along with Bruce Olson) back in 2012 and is promising an update next month “under the publishing auspices of Digital War Room”.  And Tom and I even conducted a webinar on the topic a few years ago.  So, if you have observations about small firms use of eDiscovery technology, expect Tom O’Connor to have something to say about it.  Maybe it will spark more dialogue about getting small firms to use eDiscovery technology more.  Come on, man!

So, what do you think?  What do you think about the analysis that Tom O’Connor published on his blog? What do you think about the small firm eDiscovery market in general?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.


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