Category Archives: Featured

AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

AI in eDiscovery

AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

For the last decade, the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used quite a lot in the eDiscovery industry, with many at this point feeling like it’s more hype than technological innovation. This sense of hollow promises was added to recently when a former employee of Hanzo filed a lawsuit claiming that “the company would manually input the investigation results into its customer portal to create the false appearance that they were generated by artificial intelligence,” because the company’s AI platform was not functioning, [while] “senior Hanzo officials repeatedly warned the plaintiff not to tell clients about the manual investigations.”

So if they were faking AI results, does that mean everyone claiming they’re using it in eDiscovery is lying? Not in the least! But it does raise the need to define what is (and isn’t) Artificial Intelligence within eDiscovery as a way to cut through the noise.

Expectations vs. Reality – AI in eDiscovery

There are a lot of claims of “Artificial Intelligence” in the market, but when people hear the term AI, they often think of science-fiction, with robots doing the work that humans had done before. For further insights on the reality of legal AI, Robert Cruz, eDiscovery Hosting Support Consultant at RVM Enterprises, offers some considerations:

“The chatter of the eDiscovery industry lies within the offerings and solutions of ‘AI.’ For most, AI is envisioned from movies like The Terminator, iRobot, Transcendence, Stepford Wives, Blade Runner, and The Matrix. These are illustrations of what true AI would be. But defining AI has been more complex due to companies lowering the bar of what is considered AI.

“In eDiscovery, the industry has been focused on machine learning (predictive coding/technology assisted review), which is a subset of AI. To add to the soup of applications, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) are also in vogue in the industry. However, companies have been selling magic shows with these three applications without illustrating the limitations of the math.

“Nothing will replace the human understanding of language. These 3 applications of AI do not have the capabilities to understand the nuances of human speech dynamics (Morphology, Phonology, Accents, Colloquial terms and Vernacular, Heteronyms). For Technology Assisted Review (TAR), NLP, and ASR, these applications rely on rules to function, and these applications fall short of ‘true AI’ since the rules have to be bent or broken to capture the same meaning between two different languages (which is the role of human translators).

“Heteronyms provide a unique problem when translating. For example: ‘The farm was cultivated to produce produce.’ In my current state of typing, MS Word flagged that sentence as a grammatical error and cannot suggest any corrections!

“So, these current uses of AI in legal (TAR, NLP, ASR) will have greater usage in other areas where automation is governed by rules and speeds up the process for more administrative tasks. For language and speech, we are nowhere near True AI.”

Robert Cruz, eDiscovery Hosting Support Consultant at RVM Enterprises

What is the Future of Legal AI?

The world of technology is constantly changing (for example, it wasn’t so long ago that Netflix was sending DVDs to people through the postal service) so it can be hard to predict what the future may hold for AI. In the legal industry, it can be even more difficult, because, on the one hand you have technological innovation, and on the other, you have whether users will adapt to that innovation.

One of the biggest reasons legal teams may be slow to adapt to the latest breakthroughs, is that, first and foremost, the outcomes have to be defensible. Add this to the fact that AI has primarily been focused on the Review stage of eDiscovery, and it’s easy to see why robot lawyers haven’t swept in and taken over document review.

There’s no doubt that advances will continue in that area (Continuous Active Learning or CAL is already taking its place on the scene), but the future of AI in eDiscovery will likely fall outside of the review stage. Aaron Swenson, Director of Product at Ipro, says it well: “In Legal, you don’t want the AI doing the work for you. You want it to help you ask the right questions, show you insightful trends in the data.”

A good analogy of this is spellcheck and grammar software. It’s been around for quite a while now, but (thankfully) we still need human writers. However, those tools are a great help to a writer. On the other hand, autocorrect (where the computer takes an active role in writing) can be disastrous without human review.

A recent article highlights how AI using word relationships in published scientific papers was able to make discoveries more quickly than humans. A similar use of entity relationships could prove very useful in helping attorneys make connections in large datasets that would be extremely difficult with purely manual review. AI could also help with Assisted Redaction, which could then be QC’d by both software and humans.

The main thing to consider when it comes to Artificial Intelligence within eDiscovery is that it isn’t here to replace lawyers, paralegals, and litigation support personnel. But it can and does and will continue to streamline and assist them in their work of getting to the facts of a case in a just, speedy, and inexpensive manner.

 

AI in eDiscovery, by Ipro

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Fitbit Data Provides Clues in Murder Case: eDiscovery & Criminal Investigation

ediscovery criminal investigation

Once again, eDiscovery and emerging data sources are at the center of a criminal murder investigation. A recent article in Wired highlights how investigators used data from the victim’s Fitbit and a neighbor’s Ring digital doorbell camera to establish a timeline, identify a suspect (the victim’s 92 year-old step father), and gain a warrant to search the suspect’s home, all of which led to his arrest.

Similar to other cases involving the use of data from mobile phones, social media, and the Internet of Things, it wasn’t the electronically stored information (ESI) alone leading to the arrest, but instead it gave investigators leads that otherwise wouldn’t have existed in a pre-digital world. These leads then gave them enough evidence to request warrants for further searches and investigations of specific suspects, which then brought about arrests. In other words, solving crimes still boils down to good old-fashioned detective work, only now, investigators have new ways to uncover what might have happened and who may have been involved.

Fitbit first introduced its personal fitness tracking device ten years ago, and today around 27 million people use them. Add that to other competitor’s devices (such as the Apple Watch) and it’s not hard to imagine how investigators often have ready access to biometric data of suspects and/or victims. Last year alone, 170 million wearables were shipped worldwide.

But while much of electronic data is self-authenticating under Federal Rules of Evidence rule 902(14), biometric data gathered from wearable devices is much harder to authenticate as accurate. An analysis of 67 studies on Fitbit’s movement tracking concluded that, “the device worked best on able-bodied adults walking at typical speeds. Even then, the devices weren’t perfect—they got within 10 percent of the actual number of steps a person took half of the time—and became even less accurate in counting steps when someone was resting their wrist on a walker or stroller, for example. ‘It’s not measuring actual behavior,’ says Lynne Feehan, a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia and the lead researcher on the paper. ‘It’s interpreting motion.’”

Evidence from fitness trackers has been admitted in homicide cases in Europe and the US, but expert witnesses and analysts are often used in conjunction with the data to authenticate it. Only a few judges have ruled on how to handle evidence from fitness trackers. For example, “In a 2016 Wisconsin case, Fitbit data was used to eliminate the possibility that a woman was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. The judge ruled that an affidavit from Fitbit established the device’s authenticity and allowed lawyers to introduce its step-counting data; at trial, a sheriff’s department analyst vouched for the reliability of the man’s particular device. However, the judge barred the Fitbit’s sleep data, citing a class-action suit that claims the sleep tracking could be off by as much as 45 minutes.”

Similar to older technologies (such as the polygraph), electronically created data isn’t necessarily irrefutable. Antigone Peyton, an intellectual property and technology law attorney who has used data from wearables in civil cases, states that people tend to see “data is equivalent to truth,” but there are “many ways the information on these devices can be interpreted.”

Another aspect that investigators have to consider with this type of data is users’ privacy. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that police must have a warrant to search phone location data under the 4th Amendment. At times, the companies that have the data, refuse to hand it over to law enforcement if they feel privacy is being infringed upon, but largely, the tech industry seems to cooperate, especially as procedures for handling this type of data are becoming more defined.

What is important for the legal industry to consider is how different types of data and data sources work, and what that means when it comes to authenticating it. It’s similar to when wiretaps, phone data, and other electronic surveillance was introduced into the detective’s toolkit in the 20th century. The difference is the amount of information created today is much greater, and it’s created by every person on a near continuous basis from a large number of sources. And none of this data can be looked at in the same way.

But what this new data does provide is more ways to reconstruct scenes, rule out potential suspects, corroborate or contradict testimony, and gather information which allows investigators to pursue new tactics and lines of questioning which lead to further warrants and arrests. For attorneys, it’s important to stay up on the most recent investigative uses and court-rulings on these data sources, which will continue to define and clarify how ESI is being used in both criminal and civil cases.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

 

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Salt Lake Legal Takes on Bigger Cases, Expands Market Share with Ipro Technology Partnership

Salt Lake Legal and Ipro

Salt Lake Legal Takes on Bigger Cases, Expands Market Share with Ipro Technology Partnership

A Proven Partnership

Since 2001, Salt Lake Legal has provided legal support services to law firms and businesses in Utah and throughout the West. From document production, scanning, or electronic discovery, Salt Lake Legal has supported corporate legal teams, large law firms, and solo-practitioners with exceptional legal services.
Salt Lake Legal has used Ipro products for more than a decade, most recently moving to Ipro’s advanced cloud review technology for enterprise clients, giving them the power to take on larger, more complex cases.

Flexibility and Consistency

Even with these changes, Salt Lake Legal’s workflow didn’t change at all. The flexibility of Ipro allowed them to keep their current processes while giving them the confidence that they could easily handle the largest datasets. This eDiscovery power coupled with Ipro’s stellar back office support proved invaluable.

Advanced Analytics and AI

In one instance, Ipro’s advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities helped Salt Lake Legal land a particular case with millions of documents, because Ipro’s TAR functionality helped them quickly cull the data.

“Now more than ever, clients are asking about the TAR feature. Its ability to cull huge data sets really makes a difference in our ability to land bigger cases. Clients also really like the Ipro interface. It’s intuitive and user-friendly, and users can be up and running with it after one run-through on a one-hour web training.”

Shane Bawden, Salt Lake Legal                 Salt Lake Legal and Ipro

A Technology Partner to Grow With

Ipro’s ability to handle growth in the industry, both with technological advances and their ability to support clients, is the reason Salt Lake Legal continues their technology partnership with Ipro year after year.

 

Find out more about how Ipro can partner with your organization to simplify the process from Discovery to Trial.

Redaction Errors in Federal Opioid Case Reveal Importance of Legal Technology

legal redaction technology

Redaction Errors in Federal Opioid Case Reveal Importance of Legal Technology

For as long as humans have been writing things down, redactions have been a part of the process. In the beginning, they were used to integrate disparate stories and folktales, but these days, when we hear about redactions, it’s usually in regard to investigations and legal actions.

For the public—especially those who are hungry for conspiracy theories and secrets—redactions are a tantalizing hint at what’s not being said; however, for those in the legal industry, redactions are a part of everyday life. But this doesn’t mean they’re mundane! On the contrary, failure to redact documents or to make sure that redacted content is produced in its redacted format can be case ending (and job ending for the person responsible for the error).

The most common reason this happens, is because law firms are taking the “redact by hand” route instead of using tools that properly manage productions to ensure documents meet the expected production requirements (i.e. making sure the information meant to be kept private is hidden). By not using redaction technology, law firms are flirting with disaster.

Which is exactly where a law firm found itself, after exposing secret grand jury information in a court filing as a result of using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat, instead of specialized redaction technology, which the partner said, “is specifically designed to avoid such issues. The failure to use this software was inadvertent oversight.”

At first glance, the filing appeared redacted, but a member of the press was able to defeat the redaction by simply copying the black-out boxes and pasting the text into a new document.

Ryan Joyce, VP of Strategy at Ipro, commented, “Time and time again we have seen the same headline—a law firm or government agency getting in trouble for not handling their redactions correctly. Why is this still an issue after all these years? Any software can draw a colored box over text, but only the right software will produce it correctly.”

But even when redactions are properly handled, a newly published study by the University of Zurich may make them a moot point. By using a combination of AI and over 120,000 legal records, researchers “were able to identify the participants in confidential legal cases, even though such participants had been anonymized.” And if that doesn’t give pause, they did so with an 84% accuracy rate after mining data for only one hour.

Still, even if anonymized information in legal documents can be defeated—by robots or gross oversight—the requirement to redact documents correctly isn’t going away anytime soon. Which means law firms should ensure they have the technology in place to properly handle redactions, along with the processes in place to ensure that technology is used. If they don’t, it could mean sanctions for the firm and unemployment for the individual who made the error.

How Ipro Can Help with Redactions

Tools like Ipro’s Production Shield (which is included in the enterprise and desktop eDiscovery solutions by Ipro) allow administrators to add another layer of protection for documents that should not be produced. When using Production Shield, such documents are identified during the validation phase of the export process, giving administrators the opportunity to correct conflicts and ensure only appropriate documents are produced.

In addition to Production Shield, Ipro ensures accurate redactions by:

  • Automatically re-OCRing the document to remove any text under the redaction
  • Running validations to ensure redactions are burned in and the text is correct
  • Creating layered redactions, so multiple production sets can be sent to multiple parties
  • Having 30 years’ experience in the legaltech industry – we know our redactions!

 Find Out More About How Ipro Can Ensure Accurate Productions for your Firm!

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Ipro Announces Major Performance and Productivity Gains to its Best-In-Class Processing Engine, eCapture

eCapture by Ipro

Over the last four years, Ipro has been updating its industry-leading processing capabilities based on the foundation of eCapture. It is the backbone processing engine of the Ipro for enterprise solution. Ipro’s new streaming technology has automated the entire eDiscovery process from the upload of data through Production into ECA or Review. Integrating with Ipro for enterprise’s self-service module allows custodians to upload documents without needing direct access to the controller or job queue. The automation allows customers to kick off a job and leave the office knowing that the case is rapidly moving forward.

The quality and the amount of processing options to handle complex data types truly sets eCapture apart from all other competition. This includes the QC Module, which is a feature-rich quality control module allowing customers to filter and find flagged documents, validate processed data, and easily correct issues.

While already hailed as best-in-class by industry analysts and users for its ability to take control over large, complex data sets with outstanding speed and unparalleled quality, Ipro continues to innovate and dramatically improve eCapture, creating major performance and productivity gains in the software, including:

  • Unlimited extraction of meta-data fields
  • Increases in overall processing speed, up to 40%
  • Report generation speed performance gains of up to 95% on SSDs
  • Up to 70% efficiencies in CPU usage
  • Improved processing of new and complex file types
  • Superior image and production quality, including the latest MS Office file types

In addition, several improvements were made in the latest version of eCapture (2019.6.2) including 1) the ability to auto-publish all documents to review, even those held back due to errors, 2) extracting additional metadata from photographs and PDF files, 3) the ability to convert standard discovery to streaming discovery jobs to take advantage of the speed and more efficient workflow, 4) improved handling of documents with passwords, while driving down installation and upgrade times, making it possible to move to the latest version with minimal interruptions to business and down-time.

Finally, eCapture, the engine of Ipro for enterprise, has a robust roadmap, including work with our partners to continue developing secure public API’s—allowing partners full access to customize their workflows and take advantage of the power of eCapture.

Visit us here to learn more about eCapture by Ipro or Ipro for enterprise

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.

Lawyerist Podcast #241 with Derek Miller

Ipro’s next sponsored podcast on The Lawyerist! In this episode, Derek Miller, Ipro’s VP of Desktop Solutions, talks about the importance of having fact management.

Using Ipro for desktop’s fact management tool can:

  • Organize information into workbooks for fast recall
  • Easily identify the most important facts
  • Tell a compelling story through chronologically ordered evidence

Listen now and also learn from Stephanie Everett, as she talks about their new book, The Small Firm Roadmap and why they wrote it. This podcast outlines major points from the book including why law practice is broken and how we can create successful, future-oriented small and solo law firms. 

Learn more and request a demo for our all new Ipro for desktop here.

The Forgotten Middle Child of the EDRM: eDiscovery Processing Challenges and How Technology Can Help

eDiscovery Processing

eDiscovery Processing Challenges and How Technology Can Help

The processing stage of eDiscovery is like the forgotten middle child of the EDRM. Most people working in eDiscovery are focused on how to best preserve and collect data, and then how to find what’s relevant from that collection during review. The processing stage – which falls between those steps – is usually just expected to happen. Like magic. But processing isn’t magic. It’s an important and challenging step in the eDiscovery process that many people may overlook.

Challenges from a Developer’s Point of View

Scott Kirk, Product Manager of Processing at Ipro, said that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to developing software for this stage is the, “near infinite file types and variations within each type.”

This isn’t something that’s hard to grasp when you think about it. Just look at all the programs and applications you may use in a given day: email, chat, social media, planning and content-creation tools, etc. All of these create different file types. Different versions of the same program or application create variations, and different formatting within each of those can create still more variations. So even something as common as a word or an excel file may seem straightforward, there are so many variables that have to be considered (reverse engineering, deconstructing them, gathering the metadata, text, etc.) when getting those collected files into review.

While adapting to new file types is important, Kirk also raises the issue of knowing “how soon to support a new ‘fad’ file-type? Is the work worth it, is the type prevalent enough to warrant the effort, time, and money to support it if one customer comes across an unusual file type once a year?”

Challenges from the User’s Point of View

Tom O’Connor, director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center and well-known industry thought-leader notes three main challenges when it comes to the processing stage:

Loading Data: “Load file prep is still a mess. I (and people I work with) still get up to two-thirds of their load files with errors.”

Separate Programs: “Being able to load data into the program which will also do the review is a major help, instead of having one program for processing then moving it into a separate review program.”

Exception Reporting: “This is absolutely crucial, and it’s astonishing to me how many programs don’t do it or do it in an incomplete manner.”

Steps for Creating a Smooth Processing Stage

Know Your Data

As with most things in eDiscovery, knowing your organization’s data landscape is a good first step. Find out what programs are being used for communication and data creation and include them in a data inventory. That way if litigation should arise, you will have a heads-up for particular file-types that may be easy enough to preserve but might cause issues during processing (such as Slack or other new data types).

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Start Researching

If you’re a corporation, don’t wait until litigation is imminent to begin researching potential eDiscovery software and service providers. Know the different options which are available to your organization and which would fit your individual needs.

If you’re a law firm, it’s easy to get stuck in a “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. Be on the lookout for trends in new file types that organizations are using, as well as ways to streamline the speed and outcome of data processing. You can also look for a powerful processing engine that built into an advanced Review tool. The goal is to get to the facts of the case as quickly as possible. Which means that processing shouldn’t get in the way of moving collected data into ECA and Review so that relevant data can be identified.

If you’re a service provider, you’ll also want to research if a processing engine can operate by itself or if it’s part of a larger suite of eDiscovery tools, along with any connectors available that would allow you to hook into other applications your clients may need.

Look for a Technology Partner

Fortunately, you don’t have to do all of this alone. After understanding your data and what your processing needs might be, look for a vendor that will partner with you, not only with their software, but also with the ability to provide services and support on demand, so that any situation that may arise can be handled quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

How Ipro Can Help

eCapture is the backbone processing engine of Ipro for enterprise, and can take control over large, complex data sets with outstanding speed, while producing the highest quality documents for review. eCapture’s automated workers require almost no human supervision, allowing it to continue processing data, even after hours.

File Types

Ipro for enterprise can process hundreds of different electronic file types, including complex situations such as extracting comments from PDFs or pulling additional metadata from photographs. You can also feed passwords into eCapture at the start, allowing password-protected data across jobs (Discovery, Streaming Discovery, Data Extract, Process, and Enterprise Imaging) to be unwrapped as they’re processed, including extraction from protected PST files. Then, when the job is complete, you can convert the final document collection to TIFF or PDF using high-speed production technology, saving time and money by streamlining your discovery workflow.

Load File Errors

The most recent reporting from Ipro shows that eCapture has an error rate well below industry standards (13.9% on ingestion and 6.3% on processing). Combine this with the Ipro Support Team’s 95.4% Satisfaction Rating, a Net Promoter Score of 78, and 30 years’ experience in the industry, and you know your data is in good hands.

QC Reporting

Ipro for enterprise has a feature-rich quality control module which lets QC personnel validate processed data in batches appropriate for their skill level. Ipro for enterprise will also flag certain documents for further attention during QC.

Streams into Review

eCapture by Ipro is fully functional as a standalone application, but also works as the processing engine for Ipro’s enterprise solution. With Ipro for enterprise, processed data is streamed directly into review where multiple advanced analytics tools (including ECA and TAR) are available, giving reviewers eyes on documents in minutes.

Find Out How Your Organization Can Get 15x Faster Processing with Ipro!

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Why are Managed Services on the Rise in eDiscovery? 4 Scenarios to Shed Some Light on the Matter

eDiscovery managed services

Why are Managed Services on the Rise in eDiscovery? 4 Scenarios to Shed Some Light on the Matter

A few years ago (and maybe still) a lot of people in legaltech spoke of the idea of a single legal team doing everything in-house – end to end – with the help of technology. And this is definitely possible. But only a tiny percentage are able to do this. Because let’s face it – even with the latest technology, eDiscovery is a complicated endeavor, and it would take a very mature legal team, including an eDiscovery-savvy IT department to handle every situation. That’s why managed services are on the rise, with law firms and corporations utilizing them as part of their eDiscovery process.

In a recent article on his blog eDiscovery Strategy, Chuck Kellner laid out a really great overview of some of the reasons why this is happening.

To expand on that, here are some (but certainly not all) situations where eDiscovery services could come into play.

  1. eDiscovery On-Demand

Many law firms (particularly smaller or boutique firms) don’t want to invest in eDiscovery software, infrastructure, or personnel, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t having to deal with Electronically Stored Information (ESI). If the document count stays relatively low, they can usually find a work-around using manual processes (which has its own problems). But when something comes in like an Intellectual Property suit involving a large quantity of documents, manual processes or even legacy technology doesn’t cut it when you have a short turnaround time required to process, review, and produce the ESI needed to deliver a favorable result in the case.

This is where managed services come in. You’re assigned a dedicated case manager who can assist with strategy and planning on how to execute everything including the initial data collection, processing, review, and production. They can reduce your document universe headed to review (which is the largest area of cost in eDiscovery) by leveraging ECA and advanced analytics. They can even help you set up proven review workflows to help your team get the facts as quickly as possible. And after the matter is concluded, the law firm now has a relationship with this case manager, who already understands their firm’s unique needs should another case arise where they need help.

  1. Complex and Specialty Discovery

Just because a firm has eDiscovery processes and technology in place, doesn’t mean they’re prepared to handle every scenario. Custom and complex discovery requests are one example. Let’s say a law firm had a request from an attorney that would only review documents in consolidated PDFs. The attorney provided 4 PSTs, one for each custodian, and in return wanted all emails and their attachments in a single pdf, and all documents within a PST placed in a single pdf portfolio. The final deliverable is essentially 4 giant PDFs. Some may label this an overly complex request and reject it. But a managed services team that specializes in these things can leverage their processing engine to convert PSTs into single files and repackage them into single layered PDFs.

  1. Corporate Legal Teams

As I said before, it takes a mature legal team to deal with complex eDiscovery, particularly when you have large datasets and start moving to the right-side of the EDRM (processing, review, and production). Corporate teams often deal with legal holds, data preservation and collection, but will call in an assist from managed services for help after that.

One thing that is of value to corporate teams when it comes to managed services is having a dedicated eDiscovery Project Manager to assist with building a workflow that is comprehensive and cost-effective. When it comes to processing your collected ESI, most in-house corporate teams don’t have an automated and scalable solution. Today, datasets can become unwieldy and with the ever-growing number of filetypes, things can get tricky. Managed Services can quickly and accurately get things moved into Early Case Assessment (ECA), so that data can be culled and streamlined and only the most relevant documents are sent to review. And then there are production deadlines. Services teams 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.

Besides all of these things, corporations who may regularly face litigation can reuse ESI processing, review, and production histories. They simply pay a flat fee to host the data and can use it again without having to go through (and pay for) the process should it become relevant in another case.

  1. Predictable Pricing

This aspect of managed services applies to both law firms and corporate legal teams. The cost of eDiscovery, particularly the review stage, can be both expensive and hard to predict. Managed services often are billed based on the amount of data rather than an hourly basis, which provides much more insight into costs at the beginning rather than having to wait until the job is completed. This allows you to process your data, weed out irrelevant ESI, and get a look at the facts of your case before review, while only paying for data processed. If you decide to keep this data hosted for future use or reference, then a flat-fee for hosting applies, which is a much more cost-effective approach than sending your entire collection through review and having to pick your jaw up off the floor when you get the bill.

Conclusion:

There are many other scenarios that may come into play when it comes to applying managed services to eDiscovery, but it’s clear why legal teams use them. Technology alone can make a difference, but having the support, expertise, and experience of a technology partner can allow you to handle cases of any size and complexity without the stress of having to do everything on your own.

 

Find Out How Ipro’s Services Team Can Help You with Your Next eDiscovery Dilemma!

 

Written by Jim Gill
Ipro Content Writer

How 3 Cases Involving Self-Driving Cars Highlight eDiscovery and the IoT

Self-driving cars, eDiscovery, IoT

How 3 Cases Involving Self-Driving Cars Highlight eDiscovery and the IoT

Litigation is nothing new for the auto industry. But recent lawsuits surrounding accidents involving self-driving vehicles show that Electronically Stored Information (ESI) is a key component in these cases, because modern cars collect enormous amounts of data, which can be used to determine the fault of accidents, whether it’s human or machine driver error, or some other design flaw in the automobile itself.

Self-driving cars continue to become a regular part of daily life. But like any new technology, flaws and user-errors become more apparent as they’re taken from the test bed to the real world. While we’re still years away from truly autonomous vehicles ruling the roads, the question that continues to come up with driver-assisted technologies is whether they protect us against human error, or if human reliance on technology makes drivers less competent.

The following cases show how self-driving cars (and the data they collect) will continue to highlight the role eDiscovery plays when it comes to the Internet of Things and all the new data sources that everyday devices create.

The Self-Driving Uber:

In March of 2018, pedestrian Elaine Herzberg was killed by one of Uber’s self-driving cars as she crossed a multi-lane road in Tempe, Arizona. The investigation included data from the car as well as dashcam video. While it was determined that the automatic braking system was turned off to avoid erratic driving conditions, the human driver, Rafael Vazquez, was found at fault for the death. Dashcam video showed Vasquez repeatedly looking down at her lap in the final minutes before the crash, including the five seconds before impact. Additional ESI provided from the driver’s Hulu account, shows that Vazquez was streaming the television show The Voice just before the crash. If the driver had been paying attention, the car’s data showed that the accident most likely could have been avoided.

Tesla on Autopilot:

In March 2019, Jeremy Banner’s Tesla Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer that was crossing his path on a Florida highway. An investigation is currently underway, as his family is suing Tesla for wrongful death. A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board revealed Banner turned on autopilot just before the crash, and the vehicle “did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.”

This incident is similar to a 2016 accident which killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown when a tractor-trailer crossed his path while he was using autopilot. Tesla said in that investigation that its camera system failed to recognize the white broadside of the truck against the bright sky. However, it was also found that Brown was not paying attention to the road, though the NTSB said a lack of safeguards contributed to his death.

Tesla and the 2-year-old Driver:

In this incident, Mallory Harcourt of Santa Barbara, claims that in December 2018, while unloading groceries from her Tesla Model X parked in the driveway, her two-year-old son jumped in the driver’s seat, and the car unexpectedly lurched forward, ultimately pinning her to the garage wall. Harcourt, who was pregnant, suffered a broken leg and pelvis, and went into labor, which led to the premature delivery of her daughter.

The plaintiff and defendant are in agreement that the vehicle was shifted from Park into Drive. Because the Model X (and older Model S) don’t have a driving-facing camera like the Model 3, Tesla can’t confirm how this happened. But the car’s data does confirm that “the brake pedal was released shortly after the vehicle was put into Drive, and the accelerator pressed for the following seven seconds, interrupted briefly by application of the brake pedal.” The impact occurred with the left rear door still open and prior to an application of the brake pedal heavy enough to activate the anti-lock brakes.

There have been other lawsuits against Tesla for “unintended acceleration” but none have been won.

Conclusion:

What is clear from each of these cases is how vital the role of ESI collected from vehicles and periphery devices is when determining cause and liability. In these cases, the combination of video, car data (indicating things as detailed as how long acceleration and brakes were applied, whether someone was in the driver’s seat or their hands were on the wheel, whether a door was open, and when impact occurred), and ESI from other devices such as a tablet or a driver’s Hulu account, were all part of the investigations. As the Internet of Things continues to grow, items that were once merely mechanical devices – phones, cars, refrigerators, etc. – are now repositories of electronic evidence. And should litigation arise, the data they contain must be made discoverable.

These scenarios involving self-driving cars may not fall under the day-to-day operations of most law firms, but they do highlight new examples of how electronic data is collected during litigation (which is eDiscovery). In the same way that email data was still a novel source of evidence 15 years ago or social media data was the new ESI 5 years ago, IoT data will continue to be requested, and legal teams will have to respond.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Ipro Content Writer

 

Learn more about how Ipro’s hybrid approach to eDiscovery can help your organization meet any challenge.

6 Reasons Why Desktop eDiscovery is a Viable Solution in a Cloud-Based World

desktop eDiscovery is a viable solution

6 Reasons Why Desktop eDiscovery is Still a Viable Solution in a Cloud-Based World

For several years now, cloud-based eDiscovery has been touted as the wave of the future, and there’s no doubt about its benefits.

  • Scalability

In the cloud large datasets aren’t a problem, giving you the ability to scale when big cases arrive at your door

  • No Maintenance Required

Because the cloud host manages software and infrastructure updates, you never have to worry about upgrades

  • Predictable Pricing

Cloud-based platforms are often priced on a subscription model, giving the user predictability when it comes to budgeting

But for all the power the cloud brings, sometimes it’s not always the answer to an organization’s needs before or after review. That’s where a modern (not legacy products from the last decade), easy-to-deploy, local solution can cut a lot of hours and pain from your daily workload, while keeping overhead even lower than a cloud-hosted enterprise solution.

Here are 6 reasons desktop eDiscovery is still a viable solution:

Low Cost Quick Look

Need to take a quick look at a PST, some loose files, or a few directories of data? If you FTP your data to the cloud, it adds to your hosting costs. A solution like Ipro for desktop allows you to quickly ingest any native data, perform ECA and quick Review, find what you want, and produce it. If data needs to be hosted after that, you’ll only be paying for what’s relevant.

After the Case is Done

After a case, you need to maintain the data, allowing you to go back and retrieve and produce documents when asked. But do you really need to leave that data in the cloud where monthly hosting fees continue to add up? Ipro for desktop allows you to archive your hosted cases locally with the full power to access everything at any time, with virtually no cost.

Fact Management and Case Prep

You won’t find this in enterprise cloud eDiscovery platforms! But with Ipro for desktop, data streams from Review into the fact manager, allowing you to organize 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. You can also share and search transcripts between modules, making your case-build efficient and simplified.

No Internet? No problem!

Even with today’s technology, you may still find yourself without internet, whether in the courtroom, on a plane over the ocean, or when service may just not be what you need. With Ipro’s desktop eDiscovery solution, you can go completely mobile with a “Published” version of your case that runs in the review database on your local machine. Once you have service again, you can sync all of your changes and work-product back to the network.

Other tasks that may be difficult for cloud platforms but not for Ipro for desktop

  • Scan directly into a database
  • Print from a print server to offload the individual Review user machines
  • Easy bulk Unitization of large documents
  • Easy bulk image and OCR of documents
  • Ingest raw images without a loadfile
  • Clip and crop 3rd party production images and re-brand
  • Manual coding with names normalization
  • Custom production options, and many more…

Scale to the Cloud When Things Get Big

Yes, a desktop solution can surge to the cloud if the need arises. 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.

Conclusion:

Again, the cloud has many benefits, but there are some things only a desktop solution can do. And if it’s been purpose-built for modern challenges, there’s no reason why desktop shouldn’t have a place at the eDiscovery table.

To learn more about Ipro’s Desktop eDiscovery solution, visit us here.