How to Handle the Ever-Changing Landscape of eDiscovery

December 26, 2014

The article titled Five eDiscovery Lessons from Top Firms That Lawyers Can Implement Now on Above The Law offers advice culled from the strategies of successful firms. Several of the tips are simple enough, that lawyers should focus their goals and research and remember that in spite of the amount of information out there, cases are typically still “won and lost with a handful of witnesses and a few dozen documents.” The article also warns against overhyping predictive coding, as well as being overly cautious about judicial approval of technology. Perhaps the most interesting advice is item #5, which suggests flexibility and creativity in the most innovative firms,

“(They may not be the firms you think…).These firms are willing to accept and even embrace the reality that discovery is a messy process and knowledge of the case is constantly evolving. The firms that are able to get through it the best are doing so by building flexible workflows that can adapt to changes in the understanding of the case. They are willing to experiment with search technologies and processes to find the key information in their data.”

Ultimately the article claims that it is grappling with the constant evolution of eDiscovery technology that will set certain lawyers and their firms apart.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 26, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Information Governance Standards Group Suggests Caution in Approaching eDiscovery

November 14, 2014

The records management group ARMA International weighs in about search with an article in their Information Management magazine: “Enterprise Search vs E-Discovery Search: Same or Different?” The short answer, not surprisingly, is “different.” Writer Kamal Shah explains:

“To date, most enterprises have used the same search technologies for both tasks. However, a recent trend among large and small enterprises suggests that a significant divergence is occurring between enterprise searches and e-discovery searches. Both start by entering a search term in a search box, but that’s where the similarities end. The business requirements are different and, as a result, each needs different capabilities.”

The article goes on to elaborate on the reasons traditional enterprise search is not sufficient for most eDiscovery needs. For example, while a regular enterprise user may be looking for the top five or 10 documents that relate to a search term, a firm performing an eDiscovery search in response to litigation must turn up all relevant documents (while minimizing irrelevant clutter.) Users of eDiscovery must also be prepared to prove in court that they followed best practices in assembling their data. Shah summarizes:

“Conducting e-discovery for litigation or an investigation using enterprise search technology is a risky gamble that can result in negative outcomes in court, penalties, and excessive litigation costs.”

See the article for more details, but the upshot is clear: eDiscovery is an environment where it is becoming increasingly crucial to use the right tool for the data-digging job.

Cynthia Murrell, November 14, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Take Time Choosing an eDiscovery Solution

November 11, 2014

There is no escaping it: eDiscovery requirements are having a huge impact on today’s law practices. Reporter Shane Schick at Canadian Lawyer tells us why firms must not take the issue lightly in “Chasing Data: Legal Report: E-Discovery.” Though vendors might promise the auto-delivery of everything one needs for any case “at the push of a button,” the reality is much, much more complicated. In fact, the management of eDiscovery is literally a full-time position at many firms and, where it isn’t, it probably should be.

Schick writes:

“It’s probably best if law firms recognize that developing an e-discovery strategy and getting the right products to execute it is going to take some time. [Forensic-services lawyer Peter] Vakof estimates that in some cases, acquiring the tools through standard procurement can take up to 18 months. [eDiscovery pro Susan] Wortzman suggests making it easier by doing all the information gathering upfront to make the right purchasing decision. This includes a thorough look at what kind of cases crop up that typically require e-discovery, the volume of data involved, and which clients are good at self-collecting data versus those who need help with the forensics. [Secure-applications expert Chris] Grossman agrees — even if firms decide to outsource, it’s better to ‘level it out’ by having a vendor on retainer, rather than spend more during a peak period when several e-discovery cases crop up at once.”

See the piece for discussion of the complexities involved in eDiscovery, as well as a helpful list of questions to consider before choosing a solution. Schick notes that the intricacies around eDiscovery will likely affect the qualifications firms look for in employees. Will no prestigious field remain a safe haven for the tech-avoidant?

Cynthia Murrell, November 11, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

ZyLabs Mary Mack Urges Caution with Predictive Coding

July 9, 2014

An article titled ZyLAB’s Mary Mack on Predictive Coding Myths and Traps for the Unwary on The eDisclosure Information Project offers some insight into the trend of viewing predictive coding as some form of “magic.” This idea is quickly brushed aside and predictive coding is allocated back to the realm of statistics and technology. The article quotes Mary Mack of ZyLab,

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence for legal applications is our future. It’s a wonderful advance that the judiciary is embracing machine-assisted review in the form of predictive coding. While we steadily move into the second and much less risky generation of predictive coding, there are still traps and pitfalls that are better considered early for mitigation. This session and the session on eDiscovery taboos will expose a few concerns to consider when evaluating predictive coding for specific or portfolio litigation.”

In this article ZyLab offers a counterpoint to Recommind, which asserted in a recent article that predictive coding was to eDiscovery like a GPS is to driving cross-country. ZyLab prefers a much more cautious approach to the innovative technology. The article stresses an objective, fact-based discussion on the merits and pitfalls of predictive coding is a necessary step in its growth.

Chelsea Kerwin, July 09, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Predictive Coding for eDiscovery Users in a Hurry

July 9, 2014

The article on Recommind titled Why eDiscovery Needs GPS (And a Soundtrack) whimsically applies the basic tenets of GPS to the eDiscovery process with the aid of song titles. If you can get through the song titles bit, there is some meat to the article, though not much. He suggests several areas where predictive coding might make eDiscovery easier and more efficient. The author explains his thinking,

“A good eDiscovery navigator will help you take a reliable Estimation Sample… early on to determine the statistically likely number of responsive documents for any issue in your matter.  It will then plot that destination clearly, along with the appropriate margin of error, and show your status toward it at every point along The Long and Winding Road. It should also clearly display the responsiveness levels you’re experiencing with each iteration as you review the machine-suggested document batches.”

The type of guidance and efficiency that predictive coding offers is already being utilized by companies conducting internal investigations and “reviewing data already seized by a regulatory agency.” The author conditions the usefulness of predictive coding on its being flexible and able to recalculate based on any change in direction.When speed and effectiveness are of paramount importance, a GPS for eDiscovery might be the best possible tool.

Chelsea Kerwin, July 09, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

OpenText: Poetry Is Better than Its Search Systems

May 1, 2014

OpenText has a special place in the Overflight archive. The company once sort of supported the Autonomy IDOL engine in something called RedDot. Then OpenText sells mainframey search systems like Information Dimension’ now really old BASIS system and the BRS/Search system. Love those green screens! Somewhere inside the company is Dr. Tim Bray’s SGML search and data management system. And for the history buffs, can you name the 1983 technology that continues to influence Hummingbird, another OpenText information system. Now I am sure I have notes on the Nstein technology, a once much hyped search, indexing, and management system. I grow weary.

I just read “OpenText Launches Discovery Suite to Capture and Create Value in Big Content.” The write up announces something that OpenText has been selling for years. The buzzwordage is notable, and you can find my view of content processing jargon in this six minute video.

What I noted was the probably unintentional inclusion of some Latinate sentence structures and a near miss on a type of poetry not practiced since William Carlos William riffed on red wheelbarrows. Here’s the melodious sequence I noted:

OpenText can integrated the unintegrated, structure the unstructured, and manage the unmanaged.

I am sorely tempted to add some lines like “support the unsupported,” but I will not.

Stephen E Arnold, May 1, 2014

SharePoint 2013 E-Discovery

February 21, 2014

Many organizations are looking for SharePoint to perform outside of its regular boundaries. So for those that are specifically looking for e-discovery capabilities, Search Content Management has good news in their article, “SharePoint 2013 E-discovery Makes Strides in Mining Exchange Server Data.”

The article says:

“SharePoint 2013 offers new integration with Exchange Server, which can ease the burden of e-discovery. E-discovery enables finding, preserving, analyzing and producing content in electronic formats as required by legal proceedings or investigation. SharePoint’s new e-discovery capabilities with Exchange Server are a major boon for records managers tasked with retrieving information in Exchange mailboxes.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime search expert and the man behind He frequently covers the ups and down of SharePoint, and a common theme is users’ desire to get the most mileage out of their SharePoint implementation. For these organizations, the bells and whistles of SharePoint 2013 are going a long way.

Emily Rae Aldridge, February 21, 2014

Efficient eDiscovery with SharePoint

February 10, 2014

Discovery and preservation in SharePoint has long been a time consuming and intense process. However, several good add-on solutions have created a simple and faster method of eDiscovery, including Index Engines’ 5.1 Release. Read more in the PR Web story, “Efficient SharePoint ESI Collection and Preservation Highlights Index Engines’ 5.1 eDiscovery Release.”

The article says:

“Time and access to data for eDiscovery increased with Index Engines’ 5.1 release, which provides litigation support professionals direct indexing of SharePoint for selective culling and collection and also provides support for Exchange 2013 data. Previously, SharePoint extraction was an arduous process that can require the need to copy the data to disk before indexing.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search, and therefore a longtime follower of SharePoint and enterprise search. His information service,, devotes a lot of attention to SharePoint and the latest tips and trends. Arnold often finds that while SharePoint is a large powerful platform, it is not easily customizable and users often turn to smart add-ons to enhance their satisfaction.

Emily Rae Aldridge, February 10, 2014

SharePoint eDiscovery for Content Management

January 27, 2014

Many case-based operations can be simplified by e-discovery tools, which are now built in to the SharePoint 2013 suite. SearchContentManagement explains how in their article, “Using SharePoint E-Discovery for Enterprise Content Management.”

The article begins:

“With any Microsoft release, part of the challenge is getting a handle on its tools — not just how they work but also the best way to use them. SharePoint e-discovery functionality in SharePoint 2013 provides specific enterprise content management advantages — but only if you think about your usage scenarios up front.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and the man behind He often covers SharePoint in his information service, as he follows the trends of enterprise search and content management. He research makes it clear that while SharePoint still has the lion’s share of the market, customers are constantly looking for increased functionality. It seems that is what SharePoint is trying to give them as they work to expand their customer base, and keep their existing one.

Emily Rae Aldridge, January 27, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Intellectual Property Protection Program Announced by ZyLAB

January 15, 2014

The article ZyLAB Launches Intellectual Property Protection Program For Big Data on MetroCorpCounsel discusses the announcement by software developer ZyLAB only a few months after their thirtieth anniversary. The new program contains components of eDiscovery and Information Risk Management along with libraries that users can customize to protect and localize intellectual property. It is intended for use mainly by commercial enterprises in safeguarding their often-unprotected IP.

The article explains:

“The ZyLAB Intellectual Property Protection Program has been developed to support commercial organizations in protecting these important assets.

With ZyLAB’s eDiscovery and Information Risk Management System companies can locate Intellectual Property on their computer systems and actively prevent leakage or theft of this sensitive and valuable information. A user-installable library containing best practice methodology for eDiscovery enables the automatic identification of files that may contain IP. The library is available as an add-on to the ZyLAB platform.”

This process makes it much easier to notice those employees storing large amounts of IP in their emails or other personal locations, because it recognizes information that includes IP automatically. The prevention of data leakage ensures that companies will not have to face the loss of revenue, but also helps them to avoid lawsuits. As in so many areas, prevention beats cleanup when it comes to IP, according to chief strategist at ZyLAB Johannes Scholtes.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 15, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

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