Introduction to E-Discovery: Technology (Part 4 of 5)

It’s pretty easy to execute a Google search on “e-discovery” and immediately become overwhelmed by the amazing volume of information available. Where should you begin reading? What’s fluff? What’s not? What’s educational? What’s marketing jargon? Over the next few weeks, we’re going to dedicate MONDAY mornings to reading about electronic discovery basics. Each week, look for a new post to learn about e-discovery without becoming overwhelmed.This  week, we continue our series on technology used to support e-discovery with a few resources for you to learn more about ESI Review & Analysis.

REVIEW

Definition

A good working definition for document review is a task completed by attorneys to determine which documents (electronic or paper) are going to be useful as the litigation matter moves forward.

EDRM definition

You may be tasked with managing a team of reviews… if that is the case, then read this, too.

Software

Most of the litigation technology software over the past 25 – 30 years has been developed to support this phase of litigation. It is not unique to e-discovery but electronically stored information was the catalyst for major new developments in litigation technology over the past decade or more. Here are a couple of the most recent examples and two of the traditional tools in today’s marketplace (this is not an endorsement of any tool…)

Traditional Option # 1 and Option# 2

Newbie #1 and Newbie #2

Discussion

The majority of the litigation budget is typically spent on the attorney review. This article discusses some of the ways to cut time and cost using technology.

ANALYSIS

Analysis can be a difficult term to define in our world as much of the technology has driven the definition in recent years. However, simply put, “analysis” is what the attorneys do when they review. In an effort to save time and trim costs, technology has developed to assess and analyze litigation data early in the case as well as later. The technology does NOT replace the attorney review. The courts are still inconsistent on whether or not to require the technology but seem to be leaning towards requiring it… And I always say: The tools are not as important as the process. Do not bet your whole case on the technology available. My two cents. That said, here’s some useful information about ESI Analysis (again, not an endorsement):

Definition

Software 

I hope this overview of ESI Review and Analysis has been helpful to you as you continue to explore and learn more about e-discovery!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at erika at learnaboutediscovery.com

Introduction to E-Discovery: Technology (Part 1 of 5)

Last week, we introduced electronic discovery with a few resources to begin your educational journey. This week, we will begin a 5-week series on e-discovery technology. This is technology used in support of electronic discovery projects.  Following the phases or stages laid out in the EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model found at www.edrm.net) we will take a look at the  technology used for each phase (these are not endorsements, simply examples):

Information Governance

Traditional information technology and records management professionals have the responsibility of making sure that the business information is stored for real-time access and general business use/needs, preserved to meet government regulations and preserved in the event of a disaster.  Thanks to e-discovery, they must also concern themselves with data and information that may potentially be discoverable in litigation. The challenge for those with IT and records management responsibility is how to effectively determine what should be saved and not blow the budget doing it.

Definition
Software

 

Identification / ECA

Traditional early case assessment does not specifically require technology. However, over the last decade, attorneys and case teams have successfully used search & retrieval tools to make informed strategic decisions about how to move a matter forward or towards settlement.

Definition & Software

 

Next week, we will cover the preservation and collection phases of the EDRM.  Remember, the tools are not as important as the process. Our next lesson series will cover e-discovery project management best practices in our weekly lesson.  Learn something new everyday as you take control of your career and educational journey.

LTNY 2012 in Review

Learning about electronic discovery includes keeping up to date with the latest technology and practice trends in our field. Legal Tech New York 2012 was this year’s first major trade show and conference. Here are a few of the top blog posts & articles covering the event:

Apersee

E-Discovery Journal

E- Discovery Daily

E-discovery Beat

Legal Talk Network – podcast 1 and podcast 2

eDisclosure Information Project

Discovery Resources

Predictive coding dominated the sessions. Most agreed that it is coming – you should be prepared – but even the most enthusiastic advocates cautioned it does not necessarily replace humans. Two primary drivers for adoption emerged: 1) skyrocketing costs associated with human review teams, especially when data volumes are very large; and 2) superior accuracy of technology-assisted review, which is not susceptible to the random errors and inconsistencies of humans, and which can identify and remediate inaccuracies through a process of iteration.

In addition to the excitement about predictive coding, cloud-based data and ECA were also hot topics. Another common theme might be summed up with the phrase “methodology matters” – that is, business process is critical and must be well understood before you can make real progress in improving efficiency and controlling costs.

My new favorite phrase is “methodology matters” to describe what is essentially project management. Technology is great but if your business process is lacking, then you might as well plan on wasting a lot of time and money.  And by now, you can tell that the other major topic at LTNY this year was predictive coding (also known as computer assisted coding).

What did you learn about e-discovery at this year’s show? What changes to your practice are you making since you returned from NY?

Analysis Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Analysis of your ESI Management & Workflow throughout the lifecycle of the matter is extremely important. Review this section of the EDRM to understand how to manage your ESI process in a defensible manner.

Analysis Chart

Aim: To develop, facilitate, test and validate processes for handling e-discovery efforts.

Goal: Assess and understand ESI throughout the life of the case for the purpose of making educated decisions and developing a defensible, strategic plan.

via Analysis Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

Review Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model

EDRM Document Review Workflow Chart

Aim: To gain an understanding of document content while organizing them into logical sub-sets in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Goal: Develop facts, reduce risk, reduce cost, leverage technology, facilitate collaboration and communication.

via Review Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

This is a pretty in-depth overview of what you need to know to successfully plan and manage a document review.

Key Learning Points include:

  • Review Technology, Process & Workflow
  • Review Team Management
  • Vendor / Service Provider Selection
  • Reporting and Metrics

Identification Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Identification Workflow Chart

Aim: To identify subject matter experts, resources involved, potential sources of data; to determine the depth and breadth of potential liability; to aggregate information sources for developing course of action.

Goal: Evaluate, leverage and mitigate.

via Identification Guide « The Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

View the Table of Contents for this section of the EDRM

e-discovery 2.0 » Searching… TREC Legal Track

e-discovery 2.0 » Blog Archive » Electronic Discovery, EDiscovery, E-Discovery, Legal Discovery.

Clearwell Systems has been keeping up with the latest discussion and trends in searching thanks to its participation in the TREC Legal Track. Here they discuss and link to the latest white paper which analyzes “the task of producing specific records in response to a `discovery request'”

This is a very high-level discussion on searching technology that will aid you in discussing application vendor claims about how their search & retrieval technology is better than the next guy.

In an e-discovery world where simple keyword searching is no longer considered a reasonable effort, it is recommended that you learn all you can about how to turn your mountain of data into a mole hill in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.

Early case assessment – Getting Started (ECA)

Early case assessment – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I would recommend learning about early case assessment by reviewing the Wikipedia entry on ECA first. Then take a look at the article by Eric Barnum that discusses ECA with or without technology. This article is critical to understanding the attorney point of view as well as the fact that lawyers have been doing ECA for decades and it really has nothing to do with e-discovery. However, because of e-discovery, it is not a step in the litigation process that can be skipped. And finally, George Socha and Tom Gelbmann bring everything together in a recent article from Law Technology News.