March 20, 2015
It seems that the field of legal tech is making progress. Above the Law reports on “Today’s (Legal) Tech: The State of Legal Technology in 2015.” Writer Nicole Black attended the LegalTech New York conference. She highly recommends this conference to her colleagues in the legal technology field, by the way. She also came away with a list of new legal tools. Be aware, though, that e-discovery and information-governance solutions are not among them; those areas just aren’t her cup of tea. Black writes:
“Whenever I attend LegalTech, one of my goals is to learn about new and interesting legal tools that are NOT related to e-discovery or information governance, since these areas simply don’t interest me. Trying to locate vendors with offerings outside of these two categories is no small task at LegalTech. The conference organizers seem to be single-mindedly focused on these subjects and you can’t walk more than two feet in the Exhibit Hall without tripping over a booth offering software related to either topic.
“But, I doggedly sifted through the slew of emails I received from vendors until I found a few with products that interested me. As is the case every year, a theme seems to emerge after I’ve met with the various vendors, and this year it was documents, documents, and more documents.”
Black goes on to list several vendors of interest. She met with three offering litigation-prep document management, Factbox, Allegory, and Opus 2 Magnum. Each works a little differently from the others, she notes. Then there’s Redact Assistant, which simplifies the removal of sensitive content; Plainlegal, which supplies document automation for IP filings; and Brainloop, which offers virtual data rooms to enhance collaboration. The final entry, Box, is a general online-document storage and collaboration tool that has been making inroads into the legal space.
Black wraps up her article with a description of swag found at the conference, but I’ll let you navigate to the article for those card-game-related details. It sounds like the conference was a lot of fun.
Cynthia Murrell, March 19, 2015
Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com
January 28, 2015
The article on Above the Law titled Predictive Coding Slowly Becoming a Game Changer discusses the ramifications of the Da Silva Moore vs. Publicis Groupe ruling whereby attorneys were enabled to use predictive coding to aid in the process of reviewing documents for relevance. It is possible that predictive coding could save a huge amount of the cost of discovery by severely reducing the need for manual review. But the benefits don’t end there,
“Some contend that predictive coding—when used appropriately—is also more accurate than manual document review. Earlier this year, Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York recognized the reliability of predictive coding:
I think there’s every reason to believe that, if [predictive coding is] done correctly, it may be more reliable — not just as reliable but more reliable than manual review, and certainly more cost effective — cost effective for the plaintiff and the defendants.”
Clearly, predictive coding is about more than cost savings. Remember the
clients? Computers aren’t subject to fatigue or inconsistent judgment, making predictive coding a far more reliable method than manual review. New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Delaware have all approved predicted coding in court, and the article suggests that the main issue with predictive coding becoming more widespread is that many attorneys are not familiar with the technology.
Chelsea Kerwin, January 28, 2014
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
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
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.
“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
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
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
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
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 ArnoldIT.com. 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
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, ArnoldIT.com, 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