Predictive Coding’s Ripple Effect


There’s always a new video going viral. The best ones are often talked about over the office water-cooler, making the participants overnight sensations. Consider 5-year-old Noah Ritter of Pennsylvania. He was merely interested in the super slide at his county fair, but when a local news crew asked him how the ride was, his adorable interview immediately went viral, garnering more than 3 million views on YouTube. That single video sent a ripple effect through the internet (and likely his personal life), and his interview was featured in articles and news outlets as far away as India and earned him a spot on Good Morning America. And now, for the crème de la crème, his name even graces this fine blog.

This ripple effect of popularity got me thinking about predictive coding (no surprise there). Predictive coding certainly made a splash when the first Federal court approved its use in litigation in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe. But since then, savvy practitioners have seen predictive coding as more than a discovery tool and have devised new uses for this powerful technology. The idea of incorporating machine learning and predictive coding into everyday business tasks is not far-fetched. This ripple effect of predictive coding can be seen in many areas, but there are three specific areas where the ripple effect will likely soon be a wave.

First, early use of predictive coding can be used to narrow the scope of discovery and refine the precision of collection. In addition, using predictive coding in this way can effect settlement. Incorporating predictive coding into EDA creates value that at least one court has already recognized.

Second, predictive coding can be used as a compliance tool.  Predictive coding is a natural way to assess and detect risk patterns, and stop them from developing further. Therefore, predictive coding software could be trained to comb through all of an organization’s information to detect potential risks and enable counsel to take immediate corrective action.

Finally, predictive coding can be used to combat the trials of information governance. Predictive coding can be and should be implemented in record retention policies. Predictive coding can identify which documents should be kept – and those that can be defensibly deleted. As more and more businesses become bogged down by big data, a smarter, more automated approach to record retention will be the future of information governance.

For more information concerning these “ripples” of predictive coding, check out Kroll Ontrack’s latest infographic, The Predictive Coding Ripple effect.

Information Governance, After-Glow Parties, and Honky-Tonks: Get Ready, ILTA 2014 is Almost Here


What town is the home of Maxwell House Coffee, holds the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world (standing a mere 42 feet tall), and – this one pretty much gives it away – has the highest concentration of guitar pickers on earth? That would be Nashville, Tennessee! Nashville not only boasts these fun facts but also has streets lined with honky-tonks, is a foodie’s haven, and is Hollywood A-lister’s weekend getaway destination.

So what does Nashville have to do with ediscovery? Nashville is hosting the 2014 International Legal Technology Association conference – or more commonly known as the ILTA conference. With the conference right around the corner, the following will give you a preview of what to expect at the weeklong, action-packed event.

Things Not to Miss

ILTA offers a wide breadth of educational session topics and events that truly set it apart from other legal technology conferences. With a little over 3,000 attendees – a relatively small number for this type of forum – ILTA is still able to offer more than 200 topic areas that are relevant to the legal technology industry. It is important to map out your schedule early to make sure you catch the hottest sessions being offered. Make sure to not miss the sessions targeting ESI protocol, ediscovery vendor relationships and information governance. These areas only scratch the surface of the wide range of topics covered. For a full list, check out ILTA’s session grid. The sessions are great but, in my opinion, one of the best parts of the conference is all of the fun events that are offered. Don’t miss the golf tournament, fun run, Comic-Con event, tailgate party or After-Glow parties. You’ll be sure to have a great time when attending!

Stop by to say “Howdy” at Kroll Ontrack’s Booth

Also, don’t forget to stop by the Kroll Ontrack booth located at 400/402. On Monday night, during the Comic-Con event, we will be throwing a cocktail party from 7-9pm. The party will include a money machine in Kroll Ontrack’s booth, with plenty of opportunities to win awesome prizes and of course some great cocktails. The best part about the event is that Kroll Ontrack staff will be dressing up like ediscovery superheros, so we hope that you’ll dress up as well and learn how Kroll Ontrack can be your superhero for all your ediscovery projects. Throughout the entire run of ILTA, the booth will be offering demonstrations of our products. Stop by the booth or pre-register online to see a demo of Relativity or our solutions.

ILTA will run from August 17-21 at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. For more details on the conference, check out ILTA’s website. Registration is still open but space is limited. We hope to see you there! Also, stay tuned to and follow Kroll Ontrack on Twitter or Facebook for more LIVE updates from the conference and all the latest in ediscovery.

Let It Go – Discarding Past Ediscovery Protocols; the Portfolio Approach is the Future


At some point in the last 9 months (even if you don’t have small children), you have likely heard or seen snippets from Disney’s latest blockbuster animated movie, Frozen.

“I’m never going back, the past is in the past. Let it go. Let it go….Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway.”

The song made popular by Idina Menzel is more than just a catchy kid’s tune; it offers some clever advice for those in the ediscovery world. It is time to let go of the fragmented case by case approach and leave short term ediscovery approaches in the past. The portfolio approach is the future.

Recently one of my Kroll Ontrack colleagues, John Winkler, published an article, “E-Discovery Evolution: Streamlining the Daunting Process,” in ILTA’s June 2014 Litigation and Practice Support Whitepaper. In this article, Mr. Winkler discusses the tendency of humans to seek out short term solutions even when long-term alternatives are a safer bet and offer superior results. He argues that when it comes to ediscovery, this notion rings true. Most law firms and corporations handle ediscovery matters in a single-minded, one-off, case-by-case manner. However, as Mr. Winkler posits in his article, there is a way to work smarter, not harder. What truly needs to be implemented is a long-term, comprehensive portfolio management approach to ediscovery that is designed to minimize data transfers, decrease the amount of stored documents and has everything needed for ediscovery in one place.

As ediscovery technologies and laws evolve, it is time to let go of the belief that short-term approaches to ESI collection, review and production are the best options. Instead, a portfolio approach to ediscovery can help law firms and corporations:

  • Drive repeatability across cases by leveraging similar data sets across productions
  • Standardize practices around the most current, innovative technologies
  • Predict costs and achieve visibility into expenses with subscription pricing based on reusable capacity and duration
  • Eliminate resource and infrastructure burdens and reduces risk across multiple cases

It you get a chance, read John Winkler’s article or watch a recorded webinar he did on the topic. His thoughts will give you some new perspectives on old practices.

James Bond, Data Security, and Law Firms: They Have More in Common Than You May Think

james bond

Certainly we all know that James Bond always gets the coolest cars, the lady, the perfect martini – shaken, not stirred – and of course the bad guy. And, in Bond’s most recent mission, he was tasked with tracking an illusory cyber-criminal. Fortunate for Bond, he had the help of Q, one of the smartest computer programmers available, and he was able to catch the hacker.  If Bond and Q were available to everyone facing data security problems, we would always catch the bad guy and never have anything to worry about – not to mention have a pretty awesome set of wheels. Unfortunately, that it not the case and the latest prime targets for these evasive cyber-criminals are law firms.

But what would hackers want to do with law firms? Well, law firms by their very nature have access to highly sensitive information about corporate clients, and their most-important job is to keep that information confidential. Their core competency is arguing the merits of the law – but the rise of big data and the use of unstructured data dictate the need for law firms to act as secure data centers. Building secure data centers and protecting them from cyber threats is not a core competency, which is perhaps why hackers see them as a ripe target.

This is a red hot topic right now. Recently, the Sedona Conference announced that it is forming a new working group that specifically addresses the issue of data security. Additionally, the U.S. Senate proposed new legislation related to cybersecurity. This is only the tip of the iceberg for this growing area, and if you’re interested in hearing more on law firm data security, Kroll Ontrack and other industry leaders, such as Ralph Losey at Jackson Lewis, Brian Calla at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, Alan Brill  from Kroll Associates and David Horrigan of 451 Research held a Google+ Hangout on this topic. You will find it to be a fun, interactive discussion on these issues. Check out the Google+ Hangout here.

As always, don’t forget to stay tuned to and for all the latest in ediscovery.

July 2014 Ediscovery Case Summaries

ediscovery case studies

Orders Are Not Obsolete Unless the Court Says So
HM Elecs., Inc. v. R.F. Techs., Inc., 2014 WL 3014660 (S.D. Cal. July 3, 2014).

Court Encourages a More Cooperative Discovery Plan
Life Plans, Inc. v. Sec. Life of Denver Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2879881 (N.D. Ill. June 25, 2014).

Court Slaps Stonewalling Defendant with Sanctions
Brown v. Tellermate Holdings Ltd., 2014 WL 2987051 (S.D. Ohio July 1, 2014).

Court Denies Mirror-Imaging as a Disproportionate Discovery Method
Downs v. Va. Health Sys., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74415 (W.D. Va. June 2, 2014).

Court Does Not Find a Waiver Where Computer is Sold at Auction
Kyko Global, Inc. v. Prithvi Info. Solutions, Ltd., 2014 WL 2694236(W.D. Wash. June 13, 2014).

New Pulse Benchmarks Demonstrate Trends in Source Media and Deduplication


Don’t miss a beat; the new Pulse Benchmarks are here! These metrics can help practitioners keep up with trends in the ediscovery market and better plan and execute their ediscovery projects. If you’re new to Pulse, here’s a quick overview: Kroll Ontrack’s Pulse Benchmarks present aggregated and trended data from over 4,000 matters over a five-year span (2008-2012) to identify trends and key changes in the ediscovery market. Our two new Benchmarks cover interesting trends in types of source media and deduplication review volumes. To see the two new Benchmarks, please download the report.

Types of source media fluctuate as ediscovery processing becomes standardized

Understanding what data goes into a project is important to getting to the information you need. Source data for ediscovery processing can be transmitted in many formats, but data from the Pulse Benchmarks has indicated a trend away from data being transmitted on CDs/DVDs and more data being transmitted via electronic file transfer (or FTPs).

Deduplication rates rise to reduce review volumes

Cutting time and costs is what technology assisted review (TAR) is all about, and one of the important tools used in TAR is deduplication. Deduplication is the process of comparing documents based on characteristics and removing duplicate records from the data set. This process can either be leveraged on the entire data set (project level deduplication) or a subset of data (such as custodian deduplication). This Pulse Benchmark indicates that project level deduplication selections are on the rise, marking a trend toward efforts to drive down review set volumes to cut time and costs.

What do you think about the trends outlined by the new Pulse Benchmarks? Why do you think source data is move away from CDs/DVDs and toward FTPs and why do you think deduplication is being used more and more on a project level basis? Where do you expect these numbers to be in the coming years? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to know more Pulse Benchmarks? Be sure to check out the full list on or view our previously recorded webinar, featuring ediscovery experts Eli Nelson and Wendy Butler Curtis.

Kroll Ontrack Client Services – A Recipe for the Success

client services

There is always a great recipe behind every signature dish. For Kroll Ontrack Client Services, it entails a huge dash of experience and gigantic pinch of collaboration. Kroll Ontrack finds success when it comes to client services because it offers a systematic, transparent and a repeatable services approach to ediscovery management. Also, they are continuously improving and striving to ensure the best possible outcome for any ediscovery matter.

The hardworking group of people that make up client services have extensive experience and knowledge of the industry, Kroll Ontrack, and client. They have advanced degrees, certifications and widespread training on all the services provided to ensure the client is always the number one priority. In addition, unique Kroll Ontrack practices such as the utilization of the Project Wall and Unified Solutions Team approach ensures the client gets what they want, when they want it.

Hear directly from the Kroll Ontrack client services as they talk about the ingredients used in the recipe for success:

-          The importance of experience and having intimate familiarity of the client’s issue, Kroll Ontrack and the industry

-          The unified solutions team approach and how it benefits the client

-          The transparent collaboration and communication through the Project Wall

If you are interested in hearing a more in-depth discussion on the benefits of client services, please watch the video online now. Also catch the recent client services webinar to learn even more about how Kroll Ontrack works for you.

As always, stay tuned to The Ediscovery Blog to find out the latest news ediscovery.

Part II – FRCP Amendments: The Long and Winding Road


After a few twists and turns, we can finally say that there is light at the end of the tunnel and  amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) are nearing completion.  On May 29 and 30, the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (the “Standing Committee”) adopted the proposed FRCP amendments.

To say the least, this was not the quickest or easiest process, but, with most of it behind us, we are almost finished. The next stop along this trek is the Judicial Conference in September, then the Supreme Court of the United States shortly thereafter, and finally Congress.  If all goes as planned, and it usually does after this point in the journey (fingers crossed), the new rules will go into effect December 1, 2015.

The Hot Ticket Item: Rule 37(e) – Failure to Preserve

The most noted and widely debated rule amendment is the complete overhaul of Rule 37(e).  As previously discussed in FRCP Amendments: The Long and Winding Road, Rule 37(e) has had quite the transformative journey. The new Rule 37(e) entirely replaces the original version and was unanimously approved by the Standing Committee.

The revised rule is designed to ensure a more uniform response from Federal Courts regarding the loss of Electronically Stored Information (ESI). The rule, broken into two sections, gives courts power to undertake “measures” – AKA sanctions and other similar procedures – when a party loses ESI because they failed to take “reasonable steps” to preserve it during the anticipation of impending litigation.

The first section, Section 37(e)(1), allows a court to take measures when a party is prejudiced by the opposing party’s loss of ESI. The court is permitted to take reasonable action that sufficiently cures the party’s prejudice even though the loss of the ESI may not have been the opposing party’s fault.

Similarly, the second section, Section 37(e)(2), authorizes a court to take measures when a party intentionally loses ESI.  However, it does not require a showing of prejudice to the adverse party. The court can assume that the ESI was unfavorable, instruct the jury that the ESI was unfavorable, or grant default judgment or dismiss the case.

Section 37(e)(1) and Section 37(e)(2) are not alternatives to one another and can both be used in combination by the court if necessary.  Overall, Rule 37(e) will offer more uniformity in the measures Federal Courts take when a party fails to preserve ESI.

Ediscovery Related Amendments: Rules 1 and 26

Other rule amendments relevant to  ediscovery  are Rule 1 and Rule 26. Rule 1 was amended to stress the importance of cooperation between adverse parties and the court to promote a “just, speedy, and inexpensive” resolution to every action and case. Additionally, the newly revised Rule 26(b)(1) aims to ensure that the scope of discovery is proportional and relevant to the case. By combining Rule 26(b)(2)(c)(iii) with Rule 26(b)(1), the importance of an appropriate scope is emphasized and will no longer be easily overlooked.

Additional Amendments: Rules 4, 16, and 34

Amendments to Rules 4, 16, and 34 were also adopted by the Standing Committee during the May 2014 meeting. For a full draft of the entire amended rules package – including the previously discussed rules – see Tom Allman’s latest FRCP amendments treatise. Tom is a former general counsel, current adjunct law professor, and foremost ediscovery rules guru, and with his permission, Kroll Ontrack has posted Tom’s paper for our blog readers’ enlightenment.

Before we know it, December 1, 2015, will be here and we will have a whole new set of FRCP guidelines for ediscovery.  With that said, stay tuned to and for all the latest developments on the FRCP amendments and ediscovery.

June 2014 Ediscovery Case Summaries

ediscovery case studies

Court Denies Expansive ESI Protocol and Suggests Predictive Coding
FDIC v. Bowden, 2014 WL 2548137 (S.D. Ga. June 6, 2014).

Information Extraction Difficulties Not an Excuse to Halt Document Production
Stallings v. City of Johnston City, 2014 WL 2061669 (S.D. Ill. May 19, 2014).

Court Awards Only a Fraction of the ESI Costs Sought
Chavis Van & Storage of Myrtle Beach, Inc. v. United Van Lines, LLC, 2014 WL 1729152 (E.D. Mo. May 1, 2014).

Court Rejects Unilateral Decision to Utilize Predictive Coding
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company v. Delaney, 2014 WL 2112927 (D. Nev. May 20, 2014).

Cost-Shifting Ordered after Determining Electronic Material Beneficial to Both Parties
Zeller v. S. Cent. Emerg’y Med. Servs. Inc., 2014 WL 2094340 (M.D. Pa. May 20, 2014).

Extra! Extra! The Results Are In: 2014 Ediscovery Magic Quadrant


The wait is over. We somehow made it through the long winter’s polar vortex, the spring’s torrential rain fall, and now, the big summer announcement that we have all been waiting for is finally here! Industry analyst, Gartner, has released its annual report, “2014 Magic Quadrant for E-Discovery Software”.

Partly, a “state of the union” and partly a provider evaluation, the report provides excellent insight into the industry’s current trends and future outlook. As in years past, Gartner evaluates providers by placing them in one of four quadrants – leaders, challengers, niche players, and visionaries. This year, Gartner evaluated 22 ediscovery software players on their ability to execute and completeness of vision, with 9 providers – including Kroll Ontrack – falling into the coveted Leaders quadrant. In addition, Gartner forecasted the ediscovery software market to grow from $1.8 billion in 2014 to $3.1 billion in 2018 because of increasing volumes of litigation and regulatory investigations and the always expanding volume of ESI. Lastly, Gartner discussed the ever changing buyer requirements in the ediscovery market. From full EDRM functionality and more sophisticated ways of understanding growing datasets, to transparent, simple pricing and links between ediscovery and cybersecurity offerings – Gartner advised that vendors stay on top of constant evolutions in ediscovery. With Gartner’s prominence and brand recognition, this Magic Quadrant is certainly one that corporations (and to some extent law firms too) turn to for guidance in ediscovery purchasing decisions.

As I look upon the time since the last Gartner Magic Quadrant, it has been a blockbuster twelve months for Kroll Ontrack with the launch of This hard work is reflected in Gartner’s evaluation, and once again, Kroll Ontrack was placed in the Leader’s Quadrant. According to Gartner, those in the premier Leader’s Quadrant “execute well against their current vision and are well positioned for tomorrow.” Kroll Ontrack was specifically recognized for its “compelling vision” and “flexible and reliable solutions”.

Check out the complete, downloadable copy of the 2014 Magic Quadrant for E-discovery Software at