Predictive Coding Wins Major Case

June 18, 2012

We’ve heard before how data analysis will change how we view and use information, but it will have a huge impact on the legal system. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the following headline, “Pittsburgh Lawyer Wins Landmark Case Involving Use of Predictive Coding In Discovery Process.” Thomas Gricks III, a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, filed to have predictive coding useable in circuit court for ten suits his firm represented. Gricks had more than 2 million documents to sift through and he used predictive coding to characterize the files, so he would only have to review a smaller portion. His strategy worked and has set a precedent for the legal system.

Here’s a prediction for the future:

“Rather than keyword searching of documents, predictive coding uses analytic searching that looks for concepts, said Peter Mansmann, chief executive of Precise Inc., a Downtown-based firm that provides trial consulting, e-discovery and document retention services. ‘It’s kind of new to the legal industry, and though it’s statistically shown to be accurate, people are afraid to use it because they’re not sure if it’s admissible in court,” Mr. Mansmann said. ‘The importance of this case is that now you have a judge who said, ‘Yes. I’m going to accept this as a reasonable approach to handling discovery. It will open the door for this to become a more accepted method. And it’s a huge cost savings. Typically, attorney review is the most expensive part of the process.’ ”

Had Gricks not used predictive coding, he would still have several interns and paralegals sifting through two million documents to find evidence for his clients. He would have had to pay and train those people, but predictive coding takes out man-hours and lowers litigation costs. Content Analyst offers predictive coding technology and solutions as one of the many services it offers their clients. The Content Analyst technology is available for licensing. Worth a look.

Whitney Grace, June 18, 2012

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