Category Archives: Featured

What is Hybrid eDiscovery and How Will it Shape the Future of Legaltech?

hybrid eDiscovery

In Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for E-Discovery Solutions, they say a future trend in eDiscovery will be people moving to a Hybrid eDiscovery deployment where “organizations are looking for greater cloud flexibility where capabilities can be ‘dialed up’ and ‘dialed down’ as needed. Established processes, methods and technologies may not be enough. Indexing and classification services, for example, will work better and be less bandwidth-and resource-intensive if they are located closer to the data source.”

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. For many years, people have touted end-to-end solutions, with the notion that an in-house legal team can handle everything that comes their way with the right software. But there are a lot of stakeholders involved in the eDiscovery process, which makes the idea of a single team doing everything extremely complex:

  • Attorneys need electronic evidence to make their case
  • Litigation Support, Paralegals, and Case Managers have to actually get that data and put it into a usable form so attorneys can review it
  • IT has to work with all parties, collecting, managing, and hosting that data in a secure way, while the legal team does their work

In the same way, there are a lot of components to ensure eDiscovery happens.

  • Software is needed to process, cull, search, review, and produce electronic information
  • Services are needed to do the work of eDiscovery, either though utilizing in-house personnel or looking to outside service providers
  • IT Infrastructure is needed to host the software and all of the case data in a secure and accessible way.

What is hybrid eDiscovery and how does it deal with these issues differently than the current models?

As a concept, it combines the best aspects of powerful in-house software, an outside service-provider, and a dedicated cloud environment and IT department specialized to eDiscovery, bundled into a solution with a single technology partner. Hybrid eDiscovery gives you the confidence, that no matter what type of case falls in your organization’s lap, you have the flexibility, scalability, and support to handle it, either in-house or utilizing your technology partner’s services.

Software:

Obviously, it’s a non-starter if you don’t have access a robust eDiscovery tool that can process any type of data, while utilizing the latest innovations in ECA, Advanced Analytics, and AI in order to speed up the review process and accurately produce ESI. Some software claims to be “easier to use” than others. But what really matters is if the software can handle the needs of high-volume complex eDiscovery. A drag and drop, single-click process doesn’t mean anything if you’re constantly having to send work out to someone else when things get heavy. It also gets costly. Add that with the ability to flexibly deploy software in whatever way works best for you – on prem or in the cloud for enterprise level clients, or a modern desktop deployment for smaller law firms and government agencies – and you have the foundation for a Hybrid eDiscovery solution.

Services:

Having a technology partner to help out when you need it allows your organization to surge or dial back resources depending on workload and data needs. And unlike an outside service provider, a Hybrid eDiscovery technology partner is the creator and owner, as well as the user of the technology, so they can adapt quickly to better support your organization. From helping with case and user creation, strategy, processing, data imports, setting up Review Passes and custom searches, exports and/or productions, they can be as hands on or hands off as you’d like. And because you’ll work with the same case managers, they’ll come to know you’re your workflow, acting more as an extension of your case team, oftentimes giving around-the-clock support in order to meet tight deadlines. Long-story-short, they are prepared to handle the technical aspects of a matter, thus allowing attorneys to focus on the practice of law.

Hybrid eDiscovery in the Cloud

A lot of people think of “The Cloud” as a singular place, but there are many types of clouds. Here are the three types of cloud hosting most used in eDiscovery.

Public Cloud (AWS, MS Azure):

  • All infrastructure exists in the data centers of the provider
  • Users have a private environment within larger ecosystem
  • Cloud host responsible for data security, IT management & support

Sounds good right? Except these public clouds aren’t just used for eDiscovery, so case data is in the same cloud as the data of large corporations and financial enterprises (which may be high-profile targets for hacking). Public cloud providers are experts in data security & IT management, but they aren’t specialists in eDiscovery.

Private Cloud (AKA, On-Prem):

  • More control over data and environment
  • Dedicated private network located either on-premise or at a remote site
  • “On-Prem” eDiscovery deployment often means a private cloud

Control of eDiscovery data is fully with the user, which is an added benefit from a security and control standpoint. But the burden of maintaining an in-house system is heavy: managing hardware and software upgrades, maintaining an IT team that understands the needs of the legal department, securing against hacks and data breaches, while trying to recover costs and scale in the face of ever-growing datasets.

Hybrid eDiscovery:

  • The scalability of a public cloud with the data control of a private cloud
  • Hosting team speaks the same language as your legal team and acts as your dedicated eDiscovery IT department
  • State-of-the-art data center, with limited employee access to sensitive data & a lower profile for targeted hacks
  • Hosting fees are a fraction of those on public clouds. And because you’re changed flat rates for data processed and hosted only, cost is not only reasonable but predictable
  • Regardless of the software deployment you’re using (desktop, on-prem, or cloud hosted), you can scale up using your Hybrid eDiscovery partner’s cloud at any time

Conclusion

As Gartner stated, Hybrid eDiscovery is something that will continue to trend in legaltech. Software alone isn’t enough. Data continues to grow in size and complexity, and the need for that data in investigations and litigation is now a daily occurrence. For an agile response, innovative approaches to eDiscovery are necessary, and rather than trying to go it alone, forward-thinking legal teams will look toward a hybrid approach.

Find out more about Hybrid eDiscovery with Ipro

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Manager, Ipro

Hybrid eDiscovery: How This Unique Cloud Deployment Can Free You from the Burdens of On-Prem Without Forcing You To AWS

hybrid cloud ediscovery

What Does the Capital One Hack Reveal About Hybrid Cloud eDiscovery?

Most of us are already aware of the arrest of Paige Thompson, a Seattle resident and former Amazon Web Services (AWS) employee, who was taken into FBI custody earlier this week for hacking Capital One and exposing personal data of more than 100 million customers. According to Israeli security firm CyberInt, other organizations including Vodafone, Ford, Michigan State University, and the Ohio Department of Transportation may have also fallen victim to the same hack.

AWS is sometimes referred to as the most secure cloud environment in the world and is the only company that has received the highest-level Defense Department IT certification, known as Impact Level 6, which allows it to handle top-secret data. That advantage stems in large part from a $600 million contract with the CIA that was awarded in 2013.

Hack and data breach may seem interchangeable as terms, but in actuality, they are different, and it’s that difference that may affect who is liable. A hack is an intentional attack perpetrated by a malicious actor who gains unauthorized access to a protected system (e.g. computer, server) in order to steal private information or hold the system ransom. A data breach occurs when data that is unintentionally left vulnerable in an unsecured environment is viewed by someone who shouldn’t have access to that data. The question here is whether the liability lies with Capital One and a misconfigured database within the AWS environment or with AWS because a former employee may have used credentials to access the cloud and/or knowledge of the misconfigurations.

Many eDiscovery solutions host their platforms, along with users’ case data, on public clouds like AWS and Azure, which might lead some to question the security of cloud-based eDiscovery. First, it’s important to remember that the Capital One hack (or is it breach? Or both?) had nothing to do with security certificates (after all, they have an Impact Level 6 certification), but an attack conducted by someone with inside knowledge.

But it is an opportunity to review the notion of “Cloud eDiscovery” and note that there isn’t a single environment that everything is operating in, but instead many options when it comes to choosing a cloud hosted platform.

Public Cloud (AWS, MS Azure):

In a public cloud, all infrastructure exists in the data centers of the cloud service provider. Each user then has a private environment within the larger public ecosystem, while the cloud host has physical control of the hardware and is responsible for all aspects of data security, IT management, and support.

Sounds good right? Except these public clouds aren’t just used for eDiscovery. They’re used for everything. Case data is in the same cloud as Capital One, Ford Motors, MSU, and ODOT (and others). And while the cloud provider is in charge of data security, IT management, and support (which is a definite plus), they aren’t specialists in eDiscovery, and they aren’t the same people who created the eDiscovery software that is being hosted in their cloud. So it adds additional stakeholders.

Private Cloud (AKA, On-Prem):

In lieu of some of the issues mentioned above, an organization may want more control over their environment and set up a dedicated, private network located either on-premise or at a remote site. Many times, when eDiscovery vendors talk about an “On-Prem” deployment, they may actually mean installing the solution on the user’s private cloud.

This definitely brings control of eDiscovery data wholly onto the organization, which is an added benefit from a security and control standpoint. However, for many, the burden of having to maintain an in-house system is heavy. Managing upgrades to software as well as hardware, while trying to recover costs, maintaining an IT team that understands the needs of the legal department, while being challenged with the ability to scale in the face of ever-growing datasets, as well as the liability of securing against hacks and data breaches, can be draining on both personnel and financial resources.

Hybrid eDiscovery: The Ipro Cloud

If only there was a hybrid of the two eDiscovery cloud options, one with the scalability and easy management of a public cloud, but with the control and security of a private cloud. And even better, what if that cloud was created and managed by people who not only understand the unique needs of eDiscovery but are dedicated to you?

That’s not just any cloud, but the Ipro Cloud. It gives you the flexibility to run your own environment on a private cloud managed by the creators of the eDiscovery software you’re using. Ipro teams speak the same language as your legal team and act as your eDiscovery dedicated IT department.

With Hybrid eDiscovery in Ipro’s Cloud, you also get the scalability of a public cloud with the control and security of a private cloud, utilizing Ipro’s decades of IT and industry experience running and operating the largest of client-environments. Unlike large public clouds, the only data hosted here is related to eDiscovery, all housed in a state-of-the-art data center with limited employee access to sensitive data, as well as a lower profile when it comes to targeted hacks. And hosting fees on the Ipro Cloud are a fraction of those on public clouds.

While you can secure and fully manage your own environment in the Ipro Cloud, you also get the benefit of a true technology partner Ipro’s hybrid approach. Ipro’s services team has been in your shoes and know the pain points and urgency of eDiscovery. Clients return again and again, because we specialize in building customized workflows for both simple and complex cases, while using our technology and advanced analytics to speed up processes through review with a focus on delivering quality results.

Proven Client Success:

Ipro is a 30-year legal technology veteran and hosts some of the biggest corporations and law firms in its cloud. One of them is Chamberlain Hrdlicka, a diversified business law firm with offices in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio. In a recent case study, they said, “The Ipro eDiscovery Suite ultimately improved our firm’s ability to produce higher quality, streamlined reviews and provided the flexibility to handle cases of any size. Using Ipro, we were able to increase caseload by hosting over 330 cases and 40TB of data, while still working fewer hours and maintaining a small team. The workflows are well thought out and the system is intuitive to use, which minimized the learning curve for our technical staff, support personnel and attorneys as they adopted the system.”

 

It’s Not Just About the Money (or Privacy): The Role of Specificity, Technology, and FRCP Rule 26

FRCP Rule 26

What Does FRCP Rule 26 Say about Scope and Proportionality?

In 2015, when the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended, the issue of scope and Rule 26 was a hot topic of discussion, mainly around the issue of costs. But proportionality doesn’t just apply to the cost of discovery. With concerns around privacy becoming a daily headline due to data breaches, privacy laws, and the use of personal data by large corporations and governments, will the cry of “privacy” take the place of “burdensome costs” in proportionality rulings?

Before the 2015 amendments, it was common that broad discovery requests were submitted, which if carried out, would end up costing way more than the lawsuit was worth in the first place. For organizations with deep pockets, large discovery requests became a tactic similar to continuing to raise the bet in a poker hand until your opponent had no choice but to fold.

But since 2015, broad discovery requests or “fishing expeditions,” have been essentially banned. With the new rule, the burden to prove proportionality lies with both the requesting and responding parties. And the first two questions that should be answered are:

  • Is the information requested relevant to the outcome of the case?
  • Is the information privileged?

If the data in question passes these two tests (yes, it’s relevant to the case, and no, it’s not privileged information) then the courts look at the following six factors laid out in FRCP Rule 26(b)(1) to help determine rulings on proportionality.

  • The importance of the issues at stake
  • The amount of information in controversy
  • The parties’ access to the information in question
  • The parties’ resources to obtain the information
  • The importance of the discovery in resolving the issues
  • Whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit

 

How Does Privacy Fit into the Discussion of Scope and Proportionality?

Henson v. Turn, Inc (US Court, Northern Dist. California, 10/22/2018) is a fairly recent case that deals specifically with proportionality and privacy. In it, the plaintiffs brought a class action against the defendant, claiming that the defendant engaged in the practice of using “zombie cookies” which users cannot delete, block, or opt out.

In response, the defendant requested the plaintiffs:

  • Produce their mobile devices for inspection or produce complete forensic images of their devices
  • Produce their full web browsing histories from their devices
  • Produce all cookies stored on or deleted from their devices

The court ruled that the defendant’s request to directly inspect the plaintiffs’ mobile devices or for complete forensic images of the devices “threatens to sweep in documents and information that are not relevant to the issues in this case, such as the plaintiffs’ private text messages, emails, contact lists, and photographs.”

And because the parties had protocols in place for producing information from the plaintiffs’ devices or forensic images, the defendant issued nine requests for specific information from the plaintiffs’ devices, which the plaintiffs carried out.

The same happened with the request for the browsing histories and cookies. The plaintiffs produced or offered to produce their web browsing history and cookies associated with the defendant’s partner websites and the date fields of all other cookies on their mobile devices. The plaintiffs also offered to meet and confer with the defendant to consider requests for specific cookies.

And the court ruled with the plaintiff.

 

What is the Role of Technology in Scope and Proportionality?

So why does this matter? The key here is not about scope and proportionality or even privacy. Yes, that’s the topic of the case. But the bigger issue at stake is how will the creators of legal technology respond. With Rule 26, it’s all about specificity. I want this specific data, from that specific custodian, from these specific date ranges, because it affects the case in this way. After that, it’s just an issue of having the tools to get those specific items easily and cost effectively.

In Henson v. Turn, the judge cited a case from 2006 (Sony BMG Music v. Arellanes), where a request was made for an imaging of an entire hard drive, and it was determined that the production would reveal irrelevant data, when all that was needed were specific emails. Now we have technology which allows us to target specific emails and other data on a computer. We can deNist and deDupe, we can redact, we can do all kinds of things within our eDiscovery tools which keep data within the scope and proportionality of a request. It wasn’t always so. It took the creators and innovators of technology to make it a relatively easy and standardized process.

This technology made the cries of “overburdensome discovery” seem moot. No discovery is overburdensome these days when you can pinpoint the exact data that is relevant in the case. You just have to ask for it. With the onus on the requester to follow the guidelines of FRCP Rule 26, if you make a request that’s overburdensome, you’re just being lazy. And judges aren’t having it.

With this case’s highlighting of the role of privacy in Rule 26, I think leaders in the eDiscovery industry should be looking ahead in the same way that at least some of them were in 2006. How can we create tools that allow the handling of electronic data through the entire litigation process? Only now, instead of hard-drives full of emails and word documents, it’s data from a number of unique sources that live across platforms available on mobile devices and the Internet of Things.

The guidelines for proportionality and scope are very clearly laid out in the FRCP. The only difference is the need for tools that make the process easier considering the digital landscape that exists in 2019, not just the one in 2006.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

 

Introducing the New Ipro for desktop: eDiscovery Unplugged

Ipro for desktop

Ipro Tech, LLC, a global leader in eDiscovery and Trial software technology, announced today the release of its desktop deployed Ipro solution. Ipro for desktop runs in a dynamic dashboard that launches different modules in a stack and seamlessly flows data through the different phases of litigation: case management, administration, processing, review, fact management, and trial presentation with TrialDirector 360®. With this true all-in-one litigation platform, you can effortlessly manage reviews, unitize documents, ingest native files, and produce documents.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this release, and we’re excited to showcase the product and all its capabilities,” said Derek Miller, VP of Desktop Solutions at Ipro. “Our development sprints included valuable feedback from our customers, and this release has many of the features and functions our users want. We look forward to continuing these relationships to develop and build the best purpose-built litigation solution on the market.”

BigLaw Power, Small Firm Overhead

Ipro for desktop is a processing, review, and production solution that easily handles millions of records and is accessible by any number of users within your infrastructure.  It manages complex scanning by using batching or seamlessly inserting individual documents into families with numerous formatting options, including OCR.

By harnessing the power of Ipro’s built-in, cutting-edge processing engine, the streaming feature puts high-quality data into review twice as fast as other industry-leading desktop applications. And because it is locally deployed and can operate offline, no SQL backend or DBA is required.

Ipro for desktop can be deployed in less than an hour with all the functionality you need to review cases of any size, is approved for use by government agencies, and easily lets you migrate from the most popular legacy flat-file review databases.

And if your cases get too large for your physical infrastructure or need to be accessed online by co-counsel, they can temporarily be moved to the Ipro Cloud, giving you that extra horsepower on demand, allowing you to take on cases of any size or complexity without significant ramp-up time or monetary investment.

Julie Laboe, expert consultant and trainer in eDiscovery and litigation database programs and trial presentation software states, “I’m seeing the scenario [of small firms facing large data sets] more than ever before, and Ipro for desktop simply levels the playing field for small firms against the bigger players in any type of case.”

TrialDirector 360

In the Ipro for desktop solution, Review links directly to TrialDirector 360, so the user can simply right-click to integrate documents into Case Story and TrialDirector. With this Ipro for desktop release, enhancements to TrialDirector 360 include: Data Sync, allowing multiple users to collaborate and work on a case simultaneously; Import and Export Case functionality, allowing users to back up their cases and easily move from a desktop to laptop for use in trial; and enhancements with the document re-sequencer and exhibit label designer.

With Case Story, you can create and support facts with evidence at any phase of the litigation life-cycle. Rather than just tagging a document for later, users can cite the specific text or section of a document, link it to the “fact,” and call it up during presentation in TrialDirector 360. Other features in TrialDirector include the new transcript module, which allows sharing and searching of transcripts between modules, making your case-build efficient and simplified. It also provides improved Data Indexing and Streaming.

The lawfirm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard uses TrialDirector as their go-to presentation software, and since making the transition, they have far more control and flexibility over their presentations and credit the ability within TrialDirector to effectively present evidence and paint a picture that resonates and reinforces their case for the jury to successful trial outcomes, including a recent $148 million personal injury award and a $50 million dollar birth injury award.

Free Training Offer on Ipro for desktop

Ipro for desktop, including Case Story and TrialDirector 360, were available for demonstration at the company’s annual user conference, Ipro Tech Show, held at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 29 – May 1. And as part of the product launch, two special sessions will be offered  for newcomers to learn more about Ipro for desktop with a demonstration, plus hands-on learning and interaction in the software, at Ipro’s Tempe, Arizona headquarters on September 5th, 2019. This event is limited to 16 people per session, and attendees will receive a $200 credit towards the deployment package if they decide to purchase the Ipro for desktop solution.

Contact us to begin your discovery

 

If you are a current Ipro Eclipse SE user, please contact your sales representative for more information about migrating.

Ipro – Simplifying the Process from Discovery to Trial.

About Ipro Tech, LLC
Ipro is a global leader in eDiscovery technology used by legal professionals to streamline discovery of electronic data through presentation at trial. Ipro draws upon decades of innovation to deliver high-performance software, services, and support, bundled as a solution and deployed the way you want it—Desktop, On-prem, or Cloud—significantly reducing the cost and complexity of eDiscovery.

 

Where Does eDiscovery Fit in the Facial Recognition Conversation?

ediscovery facial recognition

Where Does eDiscovery Fit in the Facial Recognition Conversation?

For most of us, the concept of facial recognition – like so much technology of the last decade – began as a sci-fi detail we accepted on the big screen but didn’t give much thought to in our day-to-day lives. Then one day, our phones started tagging photos automatically, asking, almost sheepishly, “Is this you?” And just like that, the idea that an algorithm could learn to recognize our faces was real. But we’ve moved on from that innocuous beginning and now are treading more and more into the realm of another type of film (I’m thinking here of Brazil or Minority Report) where technology aids law enforcement in making our world a safer place, but also introduces new privacy and ethics conundrums when that technology fails or is corrupted. And, as always, eDiscovery has a place where legal and tech (in this instance law-enforcement and facial recognition) collide.

Law Enforcement, Facial Recognition, and Privacy Concerns

In a Washington Post article in July 2019, it was revealed that agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were using facial recognition software to scan state driver’s license databases, analyzing millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or consent.

In the past, police have used fingerprints, DNA and other “biometric data” collected from criminal suspects (think of those large binders of mugshots you always see victims flipping through in cop shows), but the photos in DMV records are of a state’s residents, most of whom have never been charged with a crime.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the FBI has logged more than 390,000 facial-recognition searches of federal and local databases, including state DMV databases, since 2011. Even though neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized the development of such a system, and now lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum are concerned.

“Law enforcement’s access of state databases,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) said is “often done in the shadows with no consent.” And Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Republican, seemed particularly incensed during a hearing into the technology earlier this year.

“They’ve just given access to that to the FBI,” he said. “No individual signed off on that when they renewed their driver’s license, got their driver’s licenses. They didn’t sign any waiver saying, ‘Oh, it’s okay to turn my information, my photo, over to the FBI.’ No elected officials voted for that to happen.”

Off-The-Shelf Facial Recognition Tools for Law Enforcement

In Oregon, back in 2017, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office became the first law enforcement agency in the country known to use Amazon’s artificial-intelligence tool Rekognition, and almost overnight, the deputies of this small county in the suburbs outside of Portland had ramped up their investigative ability. With this off-the-shelf technology, they were able to scan for matches of a suspect’s face across more than 300,000 mug shots taken at the county jail since 2001. With that information, they can take a picture – perhaps captured by a security camera, social-media account, or cellphone – and link it to an identity.

But linking a photo to previous mug shots is analogous to the same action that happened prior to the addition of technology. It’s something detectives used to do manually but now are assisted with the use of AI. Still, there are significant problems with the technology itself.

Facial Recognition Bans Due to Concerns Ranging from Privacy to Racial Equity

Some places have already taken measures to ban face recognition software. In 2019, San Francisco became the first city to ban the technology for law enforcement and government agencies. Similar measures are under consideration in Oakland and Massachusetts. Lawmakers in California are also considering a statewide ban on facial recognition programs.

To add to that list, the largest manufacturer of police body cameras, Axon, is rejecting the possibility of selling facial recognition technology at the recommendation of an independent ethics board which it created last year after acquiring two artificial intelligence companies.

In a 42-page report, the ethics panel found that face recognition technology is not advanced enough for law enforcement to depend on, with concerns ranging from “privacy costs to racial equity.” In fact, the technology was found to be less accurate in identifying the faces of women than men, and younger people compared to older ones. The same was true in people of color, who were harder to correctly identify than white people.

But the lack of regulation or precedent means that, while the technology is being banned in some places, it’s being pursued in others. For instance, Detroit reportedly signed a $1 million deal for software that let it continuously monitor “hundreds of private and public cameras set up around the city,” including gas stations, restaurants, churches and schools, according to the New York Times.

Facial Recognition and eDiscovery

So where does facial recognition fit in eDiscovery? As with any emerging technology, it’s worthwhile for those of us in legaltech to stay abreast of these changes. For one, any new technology is potential ESI that must be discoverable should a criminal or civil case arise in which that electronic data is evidence. Often, people in legal circles might argue, “That hasn’t happened yet, so we’ll worry about it later.” Then again, people a few decades ago might find it unbelievable that data from a phone app (“phone app?” they might add with a puzzled look) meant for requesting rides from a stranger would be used in a nationally covered murder case.

But there is also the notion that facial recognition tools might be used to help attorneys and litigation support specialists do their work. In fact, the company Veritone recently announced an AI eDiscovery tool that makes unstructured data searchable by keywords, faces, and objects.

As technology continues to forge ahead, it’s important that the legal world engages in the conversations surrounding these technologies, before they find themselves deeper in the state of catch up many say they’re already playing.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Ipro Training and Certification Featured in LegalTech News

Looking to jump start your legal technology career but don’t know how? Jared Coseglia, CEO of TRU Staffing, wrote a great article, “Which Comes First: Licensing Dominance or Certification Ecosystem?” about the progression of Ipro’s demanding training and certification process in Part Twenty-Two of his certification series for Legaltech News. Below are a few highlights – Click here to read the full article!

Ipro eDiscovery Training and Certification:

“When asked how investment has impacted the [Ipro] vision and tool, Krista Schmidt responds: ‘Moving Ipro legacy into the future, making the tool a lot simpler and breeding a good set of administrators.’ Krista Schmidt is the manager of professional services at Ipro Tech and has been with the organization for almost seven years. ‘Breeding a good set of administrators’ means training and certifying individuals on the tool.

“Ipro, like many software companies within and external to the e-discovery market, is primarily focused on certifying the customers that license its technology, but is this enough to breed good administrators at sufficient speed and volume to fulfill a potentially hyper-accelerated user base? The need to breed good administrators has been essential for any successful ESI software company to compete in the industry. As more buyers need more administrators, they will eventually go to market to acquire talent with those brand-specific skill sets. Historically, law firm litigation support departments and ESI service providers—which is where most e-discovery job openings are today—rarely rely on training from within, frequently poach talent from peer firms and almost always want superior experience with technology platforms specific to their environment. Without a pool of human resources trained on the tool, software licensees are forced to steal talent from other clients of that same licensure.

“If talent in e-discovery needs to know a particular software in order to elevate or expand their job prospects and that training is readily available, the culture of the community indicates that professionals will seek out that training and get it. In the coming years, Ipro’s ability to scale its training and certifications programs in synchronicity with its evolving technology could contribute to customer confidence in switching streams and replacing their current software with Ipro.”

Interested in On-Site Ipro Training?

On-site training is a flexible, focused, and cost-effective way to facilitate your organization’s learning and development goals. We can help you plan a training course around individual or department schedules at your office, our location, or a location of your choice. Contact us today!

eDiscovery Doesn’t Have to be Hard: Ipro’s Hosting and Processing Team Has Your Back

hosting and processing

eDiscovery Hosting and Processing Services

There’s a lot of talk in the legal tech world about how more and more corporate legal teams are bringing eDiscovery in-house. And there’s no doubt, doing so has many benefits. But unless your legal team has a mature workflow managed by eDiscovery specialists, open lines of communication and a clear understanding with the IT department, and a robust software solution that not only handles the more straightforward left side of the EDRM (legal hold, preservation, and collection) but also the complex and cost-intensive right side (processing, review, and production), then things can get difficult in a hurry. That’s where Ipro’s eDiscovery hosting and processing services come in. We have many models for services centered around the Ipro Cloud, and we can be as hands-on or hands-off as needed.

How Does Ipro help with eDiscovery?

Our project managers, consultants, and services team are here to assist you with building an eDiscovery workflow that is comprehensive and cost-effective.

  • Best-in-Class Processing:

Ipro is here to assist you with all your ESI processing needs. Using our completely automated and scalable solution, our team of experts can quickly process thousands of filetypes and stream it automatically into review. No job is too large!

  • Early Case Assessment (ECA):

Using our Timeline, Visual Search, Clustering, and Keyword Management features, we can help you cull down or prioritize your data for a more focused review. Our consultants can also review workflows and keyword search syntax and assist with prioritizing your Concept Clusters.

  • Technology Assisted Review (TAR):

Utilizing Ipro Analytics and our TAR workflow, we can help you identify responsive and non-responsive documents to either prioritize your review or reduce the number of records for linear review.

  • Production:

Our project managers can help stay ahead of production deadlines! We can build production templates ahead of time, image relevant documents proactively as they become available, and do a thorough QC of the production to ensure the job is done right and on time.

Will we have to change our processes?

Ipro can follow your workflows and processes, suggest best practices to accomplish what you need, or we can be your primary technicians for day-to-day activity while giving you visibility into the entire process. Our Project Managers and Services Team will collaborate with you in whatever way works best for your needs.

Will our data be safe?

Ipro’s services are hosted in an SSAE 16 Type 2 Data Center (SOC I / SOC II / SOC III / HIPPA / Safe Harbor Compliant) with biometric security scans and 24/7/365 onsite operational & security staff.

 

When the stakes are high and deadlines are looming, Ipro has your back. For a full listing of all our service offerings, visit us here.

How to Turn eDiscovery into Baby Carrots: 5 Models for Recovering your Law Firm’s eDiscovery Costs

ediscovery costs

It’s not uncommon for companies to look for ways to turn losses into profits, and the baby carrot, of all things, is a perfect example of this. California carrot farmer Mike Yurosek came up with the idea for the baby carrot in 1986 after growing tired of discarding a significant percentage of his crop due to imperfections. Using an industrial green bean cutter and a potato peeler, he created the original “baby-cut” carrot, and as a direct result carrot consumption in the US more than doubled over the next 15 years. But eDiscovery costs aren’t produce. Most law firms see it as a cost they simply have to absorb. Others will outsource eDiscovery work and pass the bill on to the client. However, with the right cost recovery tactics, the litigation support team can become one of the most profitable divisions in the firm or agency, essentially turning a cost center into a profit center.

5 Models for Recovering eDiscovery Costs for Law Firms

The following analysis was created by polling a sample set of law firms from medium and large markets across the United Sates. For the majority, turning their investment into a profit center isn’t necessarily the goal; however, they do want to recover the investment made in the software and infrastructure required for eDiscovery work.

To clarify, eDiscovery in this case refers to:

  • ECA (ingestion for mass analysis and culling of data prior to review)
  • Review (on-line searching, tagging, coding, analytics, TAR, etc.)
  • Processing and Production (conversion to TIFF or PDF, if needed, with endorsements)

eDiscovery software is just one component for which firms wish to recover cost. Additionally, there
is hardware, backups, IT, Database Administrators, support staff, and 3rd party software if hosted by the firm. If a firm decides to go the Managed Services or IaaS route, then there are monthly costs associated with storage and machine rentals which firms wish to recover.

The concepts below are listed in no particular order. In some instances, combinations of the concepts can be used.

Concept 1

The Traditional (Hourly Billing Only)

  • $10/hr – $25/hr = Machine Time
  • $100/hr = Tech Time
  • $150/hr = Project Management Time
  • $10/GB – $25/GB for ongoing storage (a few firms charged for storage, while others did not)

Concept 2

The Ingester (Bill for Ingestion of Data Only)

  • $150/GB = Data ingestion
  • One flat fee for any data brought into their system, no additional fees for: culling, processing, productions, storage, etc.

*One firm with on-prem enterprise software recouped their initial year 1 spend within 3 months of implementation of this model

Concept 3

The Vault (Storage Billing Only)

  • $20/GB/moth = Data storage

That’s it, one flat fee for any data stored by the firm; no additional fees for ingestion, culling, processing, productions, user fees, etc.

*One firm who has enterprise software in an IaaS turned this model into a profit center for them; they are now considering lowering their storage costs further.

Another firm polled wanted to move to this model (although at a lower cost) simply to combat their growing storage concerns and were less concerned about the initial up-front work considered the cost of doing business for internally-kept projects.

Concept 4

Bill Like a Service Provider

Pre-Processing and Culling

  • $50/GB – $150/GB = Data ingestion and indexing (some firms gave this away and only charged for data promoted into review after initial culling)
  • $25/GB = Culling of data (only one firm sampled charged for this; all others included the culling at no cost)
  • $50/GB – $150/GB = Data promoted to review after ingestion and culling (the firms that charged in this area typically didn’t charge for the initial ingestion of data; if they did, it was in the $10/GB – $25/GB range)

Review

  • $75/user – $125/user = Monthly license costs for review software (about half the firms sampled did not charge for these licenses)
  • $5/GB – $35/GB for ongoing storage (a few firms charged for this, some did not charge any storage)
  • $50/GB – $150/GB = Analytics technologies applied (near dupe, email threading, concept indexing, cluster and category creation a few firms only charged machine time for the Analytics indexing) 
  • $75/GB – $200/GB = TAR technologies applied (a few firms only charged machine time for the TAR indexing)

Processing and Production

  • $100/GB – $350/GB = Processing s (conversion of native file to TIFF or PDF)
  • $0.05/document – $0.15/document = Production
  • OR – $0.02/page – $0.05/page = Production

Concept 5

Bill Like a Service Provider, Take 2

One firm sampled told us they go out every year and poll the local, regional, and national vendors for pricing and services in each market. Then, they compare the pricing and services gathered with the firm’s services offered and average the pricing across-the-board.

Once the firm has calculated the averages, they reduce the average price by 50% before presenting the eDiscovery costs to their corporate clients. They also make the point that IP protected by keeping data on their systems, and if help is needed from other people or parties, they can securely access the environment through the web to assist with services or managed review.

Conclusion:

As the eDiscovery space becomes more and more competitive with corporations bringing operations in-house, growing datasets, and the complexity of new data sources, alternative billing models could give mid-size to large law firms a chance to offset or even reverse costs associated with eDiscovery.

It’s easy to get caught up in a “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. Then again, I’m sure no one imagined the cut-and-peeled nub of a misshapen carrot could change the agriculture industry.  

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Be a Game-Changer or You’ll End Up on the Sidelines: Why Law Firms Should Be Investing More in eDiscovery Technology

investing in eDiscovery

Most of us saw the headline in Forbes at the beginning of this year about the record increase with organizations investing in eDiscovery and other legal technology for 2018. “713% Growth,” it proclaimed. Which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the trends over the last several years. I can imagine the industry evangelists all nodding their heads assuredly: “Told you so.” And according to the recently released Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition 2019 survey, it’s not just the legal tech folks, but law firm leaders as well, who “agree almost unanimously (96 percent) that a focus on improved practice efficiency is a permanent trend in the profession.”

But just because law firms agree, doesn’t mean they’re changing anytime soon. Why? The top four reasons given in the survey are:

  • Law firm partners resisted most change efforts (69 percent up from 44 percent in 2015)
  • Law firms experienced insufficient economic pain to motivate change (66 percent)
  • Most partners were unaware of what they might do differently (60 percent)
  • Clients weren’t asking for it (59 percent)

It’s not really an unfamiliar story. In fact, much of the growth over the past several years has been with corporate legal teams bringing eDiscovery in-house. But if you rewind the clock to 2015, many of them were giving similar reasons for putting off investment in legal tech, until enough corporate legal departments realized the benefits – namely by becoming educated on new tools and processes and how adapting them could affect significant cost savings. Those same driving forces can also apply to law firms.

Clients aren’t likely to drive the change. If you’re in the middle of litigation and need to send large data sets to outside counsel for processing and review, you probably aren’t going to push the law firm to invest in new technology. You simply want the job done correctly so that a resolution can be reached.

Which is why it’s up to technology vendors and forward-thinking law firms to move the needle and push the industry beyond its entrenched views. Law firm leaders might ask, Why change when things are going well? Two reasons: Because efficiencies gained through technology investment can make what is going well go even better, and an economy that is up will eventually go down.

In fact, 62 percent of respondents in the Altman Weil survey indicated in-house legal teams doing more of their own eDiscovery was currently taking business from them. So, if technology can help in-house teams increase their effectiveness, increase the defensibility of their processes, and cut costs, then it stands to reason that law firms can do the same by streamlining their processes and increasing their investment in technology.

The most difficult and expensive stage in eDiscovery is related to the right-side of the EDRM (processing and review). Most corporate legal teams are using technology to help with the left-side (information governance, preservation, and collection). Yes, there are some who do everything in-house, but this requires an extremely mature in-house eDiscovery process, with all of the stakeholders (Legal, IT, and Business Units) working together seamlessly, as well as a robust technology solution.

Which means, when litigation arises involving large data sets, complexities with file types, and complicated search needs, those in-house teams are still going to want to utilize law firms or service providers that specialize in elite eDiscovery. Which in turn means, the 31% of law firms who aren’t resistant to investing in technology are going to be able to take on bigger cases and more of them, while recouping their costs.

As Nicole Black said in a recent Above the Law article, “Large law firms are happily winning at checkers, while the rest of the world has long since moved on to chess.” As the ubiquity of electronic evidence in both civil and criminal cases is becoming more and more inevitable, law firms would do well to become game-changers instead of being left on the sidelines.

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

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New Study Shows AI Made Scientific Discoveries Humans Missed:

AI eDiscovery

New Study Shows AI Made Scientific Discoveries Humans Missed: What are the Implications for eDiscovery?

People are always talking about how Artificial Intelligence is the future of legal technology. But up to this point, very few are using it within eDiscovery, and those who are stick with the standard TAR / Predictive Coding approach. Outside of legal, breakthroughs are happening which could open doors for attorneys and investigators to use AI to help sift through large datasets while making connections otherwise not possible with human-only review.

In a recent study published in Nature, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used an algorithm called Word2Vec to read scientific papers. The algorithm was given no training in scientific knowledge, instead relying only on word associations. While reviewing over 3 million previously written scientific papers and looking for associations humans may have previously missed, the AI led researchers to knowledge that existed but wasn’t apparent without the help of machine learning.

Vahe Tshitoyan, the lead author on the study, stated, “This algorithm is unsupervised, and it builds its own connections.” Because it’s not trained on a specific dataset, you could easily apply it to other disciplines. He continues, “The information is out there. We just haven’t made these connections yet, because you can’t read every article.”

But any shadow of a doubt can throw a court case into question, which is why bringing AI into the legal sphere is tricky at best. This very well-considered and in-depth article in Law360 discusses why AI Tools need to be litigation ready or “discovery in a lawsuit contesting decisions those tools have made could quickly become a nightmare: Your company may suffer enormous distractions and decreased productivity as it struggles to address litigation requirements that are inconsistent with its AI systems, data and culture; may be subjected to onerous court orders that interfere with its ability to conduct its core businesses; may even suffer adverse judgments on claims that lack merit.”

This highlights the push-pull that exists around AI in the eDiscovery industry: innovators will create technology and find potential uses for it in legal, but the need for data integrity and defensible processes will slow those advances’ practical application.

But forward movement is forward, even if it is slow moving. And in the digital age, even when progress may seem to stall, new approaches can change things seemingly overnight. And even if the Word2Vec algorithm isn’t currently practical for Review, it may be useful during investigations or Early-Case-Assessment, where human reviewers simply need the extra insight AI can give them, allowing them to get to the facts of a case quicker, and then continue through the more standard processes required for defensibility.

Which is why it’s important that we continue to look outside the bubble of legaltech for possibilities. The answers are out there. We just need to make the connections.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

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