As a former securities litigator, Gabriela Baron recalls the days of document production when she tagged paper documents with different color tape flags, labeled the boxes lining the hallways with sharpie marker, and met trucks in the building’s loading bay, to make sure all those documents and all those boxes got delivered to opposing counsel.
That was in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Then, in 2004, she became a general counsel of the electronic discovery provider Amici LLC, which was acquired by Xerox Litigation Services in 2006. These days, she finds herself in meetings with associates who can’t even imagine that’s how discovery got done on massive cases. “They’re like, ‘That’s nuts, you were in the loading bay with the boxes?’,” says Baron, who is now vice president for business development at XLS.
Indeed, a lot’s changed since what Baron calls the “dark ages” of e-discovery—and not just the shift from paper to electronic platforms. “Back then, corporations were the ones most in the dark” about how e-discovery worked, she says. Now, it’s corporate legal departments—not law firms—that evaluate and contract providers. Baron estimates she spends 90 percent of her time interfacing with corporations, and only about 10 percent with law firms.