What Is Litigation Support, and Do You Need It?

Litigation support professionals play a crucial role within law firms and help to reduce some of the pressure on attorneys who deal with many cases and have large discovery responsibilities.

But what exactly is litigation support, and what do litigation support specialists do?

Here’s a quick overview of what you should know so you can determine how necessary this service is in your case.

What is litigation support?

When attorneys are engaged in litigation, they are responsible for meeting certain obligations established at all levels of law. One example of these obligations is following the rules for document discovery. With the increased reliance on digital documents, discovery has become even more complex and important, especially with electronic discovery tasks.

Litigation support specialists play a crucial role in making the discovery process more efficient. They lend the following skills to your case:

  • Technical knowledge: Litigation specialists are particularly crucial in eDiscovery, as they have technical knowledge that many attorneys might not. IT backgrounds are very useful when working with electronic discovery vendors and when poring across electronic documents in a wide range of settings.
  • General knowledge of electronic discovery: There are certifications available for electronic discovery work, and litigation support specialists often have those certifications as well as significant experience in the field.
  • Communication: Litigation support professionals will prioritize using all of the available resources to get as much information as possible to flesh out a case. This often requires frequent communication with other parties or vendors. Litigation support specialists must be excellent communicators and willing to make regular follow-ups with outside sources.
  • Document review: Litigation support managers will work with the legal team on a day-to-day basis to review documents and make sure everything is properly organized.

Who serves as a litigation support specialist?

There are a variety of types of litigation support professionals. Your litigation support team could include people with any of the following niche capabilities:

  • Court reporters: Court reporters listen to trials, depositions and hearings and create accurate transcripts of those proceedings. They must be good listeners and fast typists.
  • Trainers: Whenever firms bring in new types of software or databases, it is likely to be necessary to bring in training staff to bring everyone else on the team up to speed efficiently.
  • Project managers: These professionals oversee everyone working on a specific project and must balance organization with in-depth subject matter for the specific project. They must also be outstanding at managing individuals as well as the projects themselves.
  • Tech experts: Litigation support specialists rely on a lot more technology than ever before these days, meaning some of them must be tech experts, especially for eDiscovery purposes.

Ultimately, most cases will benefit from the assistance of litigation support staff, especially when there will be a lot of discovery necessary. Speak to your attorneys about the kind of support staff they will be working with you so you can grow more familiar with the firm’s processes.

For more information, contact Medina & Company Consulting, Inc.