Where Were the Paralegals? BigFirm Sues E-Discovery Vendor

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.  Or, maybe it’s happened and we just don’t know about it.  A dispute between Sullivan & Cromwell and e-discovery vendor, Electronic Evidence Discovery (EED) has escalated into all out war as S&C files a suit in state supreme court in Manhattan while EED countersues in Seattle.

The original suit filed by S&C alleges that EED which the law firm had hired to provide document services on a major litigation, had consistently missed deadlines and prepared the wrong documents for production to opposing counsel. The firm asked the court to rule that EED was not entitled to $710,000 in outstanding bills.

That must have been some case for $710k in e-discovery bills.  EED has posted a press release to its website announcing the countersuit.  "We believe this matter is nothing more than a dispute regarding payment of a valid receivable,” said Dave McCann, president and CEO of EED. “We are disappointed that Sullivan & Cromwell has chosen to litigate this matter rather than negotiate in good faith, but we are prepared to ensure that the terms of our contract are enforced."  Well, yeah, I should think so.  A three-quarter million dollar receivable is quite a chunk.

Of course, I have a few questions that may be a little more relevant to our blog readers here:  Where the heck were the paralegals (on either side) whose job it was to ensure timely deadlines and a proper document production?  And, uh, geez, fellas, how the heck did you let the bill run so high without getting some payments in the interim?  Who was watching the pot here?

The case is being touted as one of the first disputes of its kind.  However, it seems to me that law firms have sued vendors in the past.  Anyone have some similiar stories they wish to share?