All posts tagged technology assisted review

That’s a Wrap! Reflecting on ILTACON 2017

Following the Path to Maturity amidst Innovation

A few weeks before more than 1,600 members descended upon ILTACON 2017 in Las Vegas, I had a chance to catch up with a couple distinguished peers in our industry to talk about their latest areas of focus. Always respected as “Blue Ocean” strategists, I was keen to hear their views on the latest and greatest challenges. The response was, perhaps, a surprising precursor to one of the major underlying themes amongst ediscovery and information management professionals at ILTACON this year: ensuring mature processes are in place.

The Newer Generation Unites with Seasoned Professionals

The primary focus of ILTA has always been peer-to-peer education. It was apparent at this year’s annual conference that, amongst a mature community, there is also a growing third generation of newer ediscovery professionals. Full EDRM lifecycle project management, processes and support; balanced outsourcing; use of multi-faceted Technology Assisted Review (TAR) strategies, predictive coding and Continuous Active Learning (CAL); and upstream, holistic information governance and effective legal hold were all familiar, prevalent themes at ILTACON 2017. The major difference is that this new generation of professionals are learning and adopting mature, data-driven principles, management skills, discovery processes and innovative technology derived from the path others have been blazing and curating over the last decade or two. So, foregone questions about “should we do this” or “how can we do this” have evolved into deeper discussions about “how do we do this best” and “which tools do I need to get the job done.”

From Predictive Coding to the Cloud…and Everything in Between

Corporations continue to build process, control and maturity around their approach to ediscovery as part of their broader efforts to help outside counsel efficiently respond to discovery under more astringent financial and information security constraints. Therefore, the community came to ILTACON 2017 seeking ideas and tools to maintain control of data, complement corporate movement to the cloud and build process efficiency into the EDRM lifecycle.

First, the debates over predictive coding have more or less waned. Instead, we found a deliberate focus on stronger implementation and significant rates of adoption, especially given enhanced methods such as CAL, which is fully built into KrolLDiscovery’s TAR solutions and complimented by our suite of technologies to accelerate document review. For instance, we learned during the ILTACON session I moderated, “Latest Trends in Leveraging Analytics in Litigation Support,” that 62 percent of the ediscovery professionals in attendance use predictive coding sometimes and 40 percent sometimes used CAL, too. Meanwhile, 27 percent have never used predictive coding. These statistics alone demonstrate great levels of acceptance and also reveal that the up-and-coming generation is ready to jump in!

Another significant ILTACON 2017 theme was the cloud. When it comes to corporations moving some data sources to the cloud, ILTACON attendees came seeking truly cloud-enabled and optimized ediscovery technology like KrolLDiscovery’s tool, NebulaTM. While one ILTA session poll revealed that 10 percent of corporate clients always use ediscovery analytics behind their firewall and an additional 29 percent do so sometimes, the majority do not. Therefore, when faced with the average ediscovery project, stakeholders continue to rely heavily on third-party expertise and technology.

Last, but certainly not least, was the topic of data security and control. There continues to be a trend toward centralized information management systems to better maintain and analyze corporate data and ensure effective legal holds through solutions like KrolLDiscovery’s Unified Archive. Yet, the majority of projects or initiatives continue to be motivated by reactions to the cyber attack and data loss epidemics, GDPR readiness and increases in litigation or investigations. Of course, the truly global ILTA community also came seeking secure, nimble and portable solutions that they could operate, such as KrolLDiscovery’s Remote Collection Manager (RCMgr®) to complete data preservation, collection and transfer anywhere in the world.

See You Next Year: ILTACON 2018

Whether the session labels touted “analytics,” “cloud,” “ediscovery,” “information governance,” “artificial intelligence,” “business intelligence” or “Blockchain,” the entire ILTA community, across peer groups, came together with one overarching theme in 2017: how do we more efficiently leverage better technology to compile, process, distill, analyze and transform information into actionable results. At ILTACON 2017, it was my privilege to tackle these challenges with legal technology colleagues from around the country and around the world. I am definitely looking forward to doing it again, August 19 – 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Document Review: MythBusters Edition

A couple years ago, I wrote a blog entitled, “Bust These 4 Myths on Your Next Document Review.” In this blog, I looked at four common document review myths and the realities behind the fallacies. Fast forward two years, there is no better time to revisit these myths to take the pulse of document review in 2017, considering the evolution of ediscovery technology, processes, rules and case law.

Myth #1: Document review just happens; you don’t really need a plan.

Since the adoption of the FRCP amendments we have seen courts admonish parties for:

  • Discovering new documents not in the original collection
  • Missing documents that should have been produced the first time around
  • Amassing costs for inefficient discovery methods

With document review technology at the top of its game, the misconception that document review is trivial is fading. In meeting with corporations and law firms, I hear legal teams appreciating the importance of having a review methodology. More often than not, those teams are inquiring as to how their processes can be improved.

2017 Document Review Lesson #1: Don’t procrastinate or wander aimlessly when it comes to review. Know your path from collection through production and be able to justify your methods.

Myth #2: Any attorney can conduct (or manage) a document review.

Today, document review is not the unglamorous chore of former times. With advancements in the review tools, increasingly senior attorneys are finding themselves immersed in document review more than in years past. The tools are easier to operate than ever before, and senior attorneys – typically subject matter experts on the case – are in the best position to review the most pertinent documents, especially if predictive coding is used.

At the same time, in order to fully leverage analytics and predictive coding features, the attorney will need advanced training or someone skilled in using these powerful features to guide them through. With formable technology at their fingertips and millions of documents to wrangle, today’s document reviewers are not only licensed and highly qualified attorneys; but also may have specific training and certifications in various document review platforms. Many have expertise in a different language other than English, or substantive knowledge in their practice area.

2017 Document Review Lesson #2: The days of brute force attorney review are over. Today’s document review requires subject matter experts in the case, working side-by-side with technology-minded attorneys that know how to maximize time and minimize costs.

Myth #3: All document review technology is equal.

What appears equal at face value, is not equal in action. While most major review tools function generally in a similar manner, there are enhancements unique to a particular provider and its tool set. From running searches and batching documents to using predictive coding or reviewing audio files, experienced document reviewers will recognize the fine distinctions of each provider’s platform, knowing when and how those features can be helpful. If they cannot answer a question, the reviewer should know how to get a hold of the technology provider’s technical support team to lend a hand.

2017 Document Review Lesson #3: Get into the technology weeds. Understanding the nuances of a provider’s technology is the only way to reap the benefits of a modern document review.

Myth #4: It will be obvious when you can stop review…when you run out of documents.

Predictive coding has changed how legal teams approach document review; however, even in 2017, the adoption of this is technology is marginal at best. Outmoded teams are still conducting linear reviews of every document, while progressive teams have figured out how to embrace predictive coding so that only the most vital documents are being reviewed for production. But, this does require a team that knows how to sample and interpret the metrics and reports generated by the technology.

2017 Document Review Lesson #4: The terminology related to predictive coding can cause one’s head to spin. Dust off your math skills (or leverage a specialist) – it’s the only way a savvy document review professional knows when a review is finished.

Leverage KrolLDiscovery for Document Review

Looking to modernize your document review methods?

KrolLDiscovery offers advanced document review services around the world, with fully managed review teams and up-to-date facilities in eight locations in four countries: Washington D.C., Chicago, Pittsburgh, Miami, Minnesota, London, Poland and Germany. KrolLDiscovery’s managed document review services teams provide you with specialized document review attorneys to meet your case needs. KrolLDiscovery review platforms are integrated with top-of-the line technology-assisted review and predictive coding features to search, categorize, redact and annotate documents. Our review teams utilize this technology to maximize efficiency through intelligent document prioritization and categorization, automated workflow, advanced search functionality and multilingual support.

Making Cents Out of Ediscovery Costs [Webinar]

Ediscovery does not have to be expensive. By utilizing the newest technologies, engaging in skillful preparation and obtaining knowledge of the process, you can keep ediscovery costs down. Kroll Ontrack’s latest webinar, Cost-Effective Ediscovery: How to Manage Expense and Reduce Waste provides useful tips and suggestions from three seasoned ediscovery specialists. These experts provide law firm, corporate and provider’s perspectives:

Don’t Be Late to Adopt New Technology

The myth that human review is the gold standard, as well as apprehension on how a court regards technology has led some practitioners to shy away from taking advantage of technological opportunities. However, as the webinar panelists discuss, predictive coding is an untapped resource for practitioners aiming to cut ediscovery costs.

Don’t Just Buy Ediscovery: Manage It

The webinar discusses that keeping ediscovery costs in check is not as simple as choosing the right provider. While setting a budget and considering fee schedules are important, this is not all that needs to be done to influence ediscovery costs. Panelists suggested:

  • Monitoring costs along the way; ask for regular updates
  • Communicating with corporate, law firm and provider representatives; lack of communication increases costs
  • Cooperating with opposing parties where possible; come to an agreement on things such as the number of custodians, production parameters and document review protocols

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Get Proactive

Being prepared for ediscovery saves downstream costs. Webinar panelists highlighted the importance of ediscovery assessments and postmortem evaluations in pinpointing risks and identifying cost reduction recommendations across discovery response plans.

TAR: Building a Better Playlist

TAR

“Sometimes it seems as if our Pandora and Netflix accounts know us better than we know ourselves, and can build a better play list…”

Brett M. Anders

Brett M. Anders, Jackson Lewis

In a recent article in Today’s General Counsel, Brett M. Anders of Jackson Lewis and my Kroll Ontrack colleague Rick Anderson, seek to debunk the misconception that human lawyers alone can build a better playlist when it comes to legal document review.

Human Review Is Not the Gold Standard

Practitioners shy away from predictive coding and technology assisted review (TAR) in part because of the myth that human review is superior to that done by a computer. However, this is not the case. Humans can be inaccurate: relevant documents can be missed and accuracy suffers. This position has been verified by studies and is generally accepted by the judiciary. The use of TAR has received much support from the courts in the cases where it has been an issue. However, at this point, no court has gone so far as to mandate the use of TAR.

Rick Anderson, Kroll Ontrack

Rick Anderson, KrolLDiscovery

Using Technology Assisted Review in Litigation

As of now, several judicial opinions have surfaced regarding the use of TAR. As noted above, the courts have supported it as a cost effective method for conducting discovery. The standard for discovery responses is “reasonable and proportional to the matter,” not perfection. Therefore, the accuracy offered by the use of TAR satisfies the standard for discovery production.

Speaking of proportionality, using TAR can place a party in a better position to make an argument about proportionality when litigation costs become too high. Because TAR prioritizes which documents are most likely to be relevant, a party who makes its way through the documents with the highest relevance has a basis to argue that additional discovery would not be “proportional to the needs of the case.”

Advantages of Using TAR

As discussed by Anders and Anderson, despite the apprehension to utilize this technology in the legal community, the fact remains that TAR has many advantages.

  • TAR costs a fraction of the expense it would take to review documents manually
  • TAR is typically faster than traditional document review, while also more accurate
  • Courts have approved the use of TAR; parties no longer need to worry about being the first to use this technology in a case
  • Courts are encouraging its use, while respecting the party’s wish to keep its seed set (used to train predictive coding technology) confidential

For more information on TAR, and how to utilize its benefits in litigation, be sure to read the full article, “Building a Better Play List with Technology-Assisted Review.”

Predictive Coding Technology: A Summer Blockbuster You Won’t Want to Miss

Predictive Coding Patent

What’s better than a summer blockbuster? Few things beat the heat better than an air-conditioned theater and a bucket of buttery popcorn while watching an engaging film.

Predictive Coding Patent Blockbuster:  Technology You Don’t Want to Miss

Kroll Ontrack has come out with its own “blockbuster” this summer: a predictive coding patent. Obtaining patents, like making blockbuster movies, takes years and ours was more than four years in the making. To accompany our patent, we have another mega-hit that deserves a second screening: Kroll Ontrack’s predictive coding guide. Our newly-patented technology, paired with our ever-relevant predictive coding guide, is a superhero team that the up-to-date ediscovery practitioner cannot do without.

2016 Summer Blockbusters: Movies You Don’t Want to Miss

Of course, there are other highly anticipated blockbusters arriving this summer. To start, the smart mouth turtles-turned-mutants of our youth are back in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. In Independence Day: Resurgence the people of earth once again are in critical struggle against an alien invader (hopefully with a better spaceship design). The daffy ghost hunters have returned in revival of the ’80’s classic movie Ghostbusters, this time with an all-female cast and the same catchy theme song. Star Trek Beyond continues the story of the USS Enterprise crew in the newest installment in one of popular culture’s longest-running franchises. Finally, the list would not be complete without the newest villain-themed movie from the Batman franchise: Suicide Squad.

Live Long and TAR!

April Webinar: Got Data? Analytics to the Rescue!

Got Data Analytics to the Rescue

On April 19, 2016 join  experts Cathleen Peterson, Jim Sullivan and Kiriaki Tourikis from JP Morgan, as they discuss data analytics as both the lifeblood powering critical business operations and the kryptonite preventing the business from flexing its muscle. When investigations, litigation or compliance matters strike, organizations and their counsel that leverage analytics are more likely to win.

This session will feature hypothetical scenarios to explain the various analytics tools and how they fit into a case, data breach or investigation. At the end of the session, participants will understand how analytics can help:

  • Map the data collection and explore key points and related themes
  • Identify key players, timelines and communication patterns
  • Mine data for Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Find redundant information and remove non-relevant, junk data

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.

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 ediscovery.com 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!

Predictive Coding Semantics: Step out of the Rain!

A few years ago, we wrote about predictive coding going mainstream; shortly thereafter we wrote a series debunking the most common myths about predictive coding; then, we even went so far as to break down predictive coding lifecycles (actually, we did that twice!), explained how to maximize training for machine learning, and taught a short lesson about the most commonly-used stats for evaluating your machine’s work. So, to make a long story short, we’re pretty big on using predictive coding as part of a search methodology, and we’re doing everything we can to demystify the process so that organizations can use this technology to increase their ediscovery efficiency and, in turn, save a significant amount of money. If you don’t believe me, check out one of our case studies illustrating the myriad benefits of employing predictive coding for search, analysis, and review.

According to Fullbright’s 9th Annual Litigation Trends Report in 2013, however, only 35% of the respondent companies indicated they were using some form of predictive coding. While that percentage is likely a significant increase from the pre-Da Silva Moore days where only a few ediscovery pioneers were brave enough to dive into their data with predictive coding, it still suggests some hesitancy on the part of practitioners.

Defining “Predictive Coding” and “Technology Assisted Review”

Whether the legal community’s hesitancy is related to cost, uncertainty, or a lack of matters they deem appropriate for predictive coding, it’s still a fairly opaque process, and it starts at one of the most basic levels: vernacular. The ediscovery community loves this technology… but it still hasn’t settled on what to call it. Whether it’s “predictive coding,” “technology assisted review,” or “computer assisted review,” there’s a smattering of terms floating around and little consensus about the preferred term.

As I stated before, Kroll Ontrack is committed to demystifying this process, and we’re drawing some lines to help clear up the semantic ambiguities related to predictive coding. It’s best to think of technology assisted review, or TAR, as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of other advanced litigation technologies designed to help litigation teams work more efficiently and ease the burdens of standard linear review. Under this approach, predictive coding is just one prong of the larger array of complementary TAR and Early Data Assessment tools, such as near-dupe identification, email threading, visual analytics, workflow automation, and other reporting tools.

Top 5 Ediscovery Case Summaries – July 2013

Read the very latest ediscovery case law summaries

No Relevance of the Evidence? No Sanctions                                                   Cottle-Banks v. Cox Commc’ns, Inc., 2013 WL 2244333 (S.D. Cal. May 21, 2013).

Spoliation Sanctions Levied Against Damages Awarded in Rambus  Case                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SK Hynix Inc. v. Rambus, Inc., 2013 WL 1915865 (N.D. Cal. May 8, 2013).

Special Master Analyzes “Overly Broad” Privilege Search Terms                                                                                                                                                   Dornoch Holdings Int’l, LLC v. Conagra Foods, Lamb Weston, Inc., 2013 WL 2384235 (D. Idaho May 1, 2013).

Sanctions Granted for Reckless Spoliation of Data                                     Pillay v. Millard Refrigerated Serv., Inc., 2013 WL 2251727 (N.D. Ill. May 22, 2013).

Minimal Court Oversight Required for Predictive Coding Protocol                                                                                                                                         Gordon v. Kaleida Health, 2013 WL 2250579 (W.D.N.Y. May 21, 2013).

 

 
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