Few could have predicted how the events of 2020 unfolded, but we see what will have a lasting impact going into next year. 4Discovery has been advantageous in witnessing how the global and domestic events have shifted the legal industry across the board.

We want to help get the year off on the right foot and know what to expect in the coming year. Here our 4Discovery’s predictions for the legal industry and digital forensics in 2021.

The Court Systems Will Be Glacial

  • Backlogged dockets
  • Remote sessions
  • Increase in liability cases
  • Contract Litigation due to COVID
  • Family Law

Cases Will Be More Expensive

  • Longer case times
  • Scope of discovery may increase
  • Require ESI hosting for longer periods
  • Storage and retention will increase

Litigation Holds Will Expand

  • New systems have potentially relevant data
  • Must be identified and planned for
  • Widen the scope when making requests
  • Spoliation is more likely
  • How do you know you got everything?

Discovery Will Enter New Territory

  • There will be more information
  • Cloud accounts will have audit and activity logs
  • Web-based meetings leave a trail
  • Communication platforms log messages

Forensics On Digital Contracts Will Rise

  • Pen and paper are rare right now
  • Digital signatures are the new norm
  • Authenticity of digital contracts will become more important
  • Who copied/pasted a signature and when?

Forensic Contact Tracing Will Gain Traction

  • Phones and cloud-based services collect a wealth of location and communication data 
  • Leveraging this technology saves time
  • Electronic data is great for modeling and mapping

COVID Fatigue Will Result In Pettiness

  • Parties will become more contentious 
  • Increase in people adding fuel to the fire
  • It will become more difficult for parties to agree on protocols and paths forward

Corporate Predictions

  • Company Data Will Be Exposed
  • Contract Breach(es) Will Increase
  • Employee Churn Will Hurt Employers
  • Employee Surveillance Will Backfire

Work From Home Predictions

  • Data Will Become Decentralized
  • Remote Employee Investigations Will Increase
  • There Will Be WFH Wage Fraud
  • Usage of Non-Standards App Will Increase
  • WFH Productivity Will Be Exposed
  • Microsoft 365 Will Be Monitoring
  • Slack Will Continue To Monitor Too

Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Predictions

  • ESI Will Increase Dramatically
  • Data Will Be Lost
  • ESI Will Be A Competitive Advantage For Law Firms
  • The Cloud Will Play A Bigger Role
  • IoT Will Become More Mainstream
  • Attorneys Will Be At A Disadvantage
  • Mobile Forensics Will Increase
  • Remote Collections Will Be The Norm
  • New Platforms Will Present New Challenges

Learn About All Of The 2021 Predictions