Joshua Gilliland is a California lawyer who writes “The Bowtie Law’s Blog”. In this entry, he discusses the recent decision by Judge Ron Clark in Procter & Gamble v. S.C. Johnson, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13190 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 19, 2009). The part of this opinion that’s important to us are Judge Clark’s observations about the utility of performing optical character recognition (OCR) on paper documents:
OCR, while perhaps not absolutely necessary to litigation, is a tool that greatly decreases the time and effort counsel must invest in searching and examining documents. Presumably, each party would perform the OCR process in a cost-effective manner to minimize their costs. Requiring the parties to incur this cost, when the OCR process is likely to streamline the discovery process and reduce the chance that either side will employ tactics designed to hide relevant information in a mountain of difficult-to-search documents is neither unreasonable nor burdensome.
In other words: Yep, it’s worth every penny.