Category Archives: Industry News

Sharing Knowledge and Strengthening Education, Ipro Is Excited To Partner with eDiscovery Today

Ipro and eDiscovery Today Partnership

Ipro, the global leader in eDiscovery solutions, is pleased to announce an educational content partnership with eDiscovery Today.

Founded by industry leader Doug Austin, eDiscovery Today is a daily resource for eDiscovery and eDisclosure professionals seeking to keep up with trends, best practices, and case law in electronic discovery, cybersecurity, and data privacy. With this partnership, Ipro and eDiscovery Today will broaden their ability to highlight, share, and co-create the highest quality educational and knowledge-sharing thought-leadership covering all segments of the legal technology industry, including Corporate Legal Teams, Law Firms, Government Agencies, and Legal Service Providers.

“Doug Austin is a strong voice in the LegalTech community,” shared Jim Gill, Content Chief for Ipro. “It’s an honor to partner with him and broaden eDiscovery knowledge for our community. Ipro is excited to invest in education showcasing Doug’s insights through the rapidly growing thought-leadership program at Ipro.”

“Ipro has been making eDiscovery easier for the legal community literally for decades through their meaningful solutions and their breadth of educational resources, including their blog, white papers, and webinars,” said Doug Austin, Editor of the new eDiscovery Today blog.  “I am excited to announce Ipro as an Educational Sponsor of eDiscovery Today, and I look forward to working together to bring even more educational content and resources to the legal community.”

As part of their educational partnership, Ipro and eDiscovery Today will also be co-sponsoring a thought leader podcast series starting in Q3 of 2020. Conducting and publishing interviews with eDiscovery and cybersecurity experts, Ipro is able to bring thought leadership to the forefront for the legal community.

Look for this podcast series and other additional content initiatives coming soon from the Ipro and eDiscovery Today educational content sponsorship.

About eDiscovery Today blog
Authored and edited by industry expert Doug Austin, eDiscovery Today is the only daily go-to resource for eDiscovery and eDisclosure professionals seeking to keep up with trends, best practices, and case law in electronic discovery, cybersecurity and data privacy. Doug has over thirty years of experience as an industry thought leader providing eDiscovery best practices, legal technology consulting, software product management and technical project management services for numerous Corporate and Government clients.

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, Cloud, or Hybrid—significantly reducing the cost and complexity of eDiscovery. For more information, visit www.Iprotech.com.

 

 

How Government Agencies Walk the Line with Legacy Software

Government agencies legacy software

How Government Agencies Walk the Line with Legacy Software

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2020Written by Jim Gill
Content Chief, Ipro

Have you ever cleaned out your closet and found that shoebox full of cassettes from college? Companies and government agencies are no different. Many of their electronic files are stored as legacy file types which are no longer supported. And these aren’t just files that are of little significance.

In an article from October 2019, Ars Technica reported that the U.S. Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missile command had finally stopped storing data on 8-inch floppy disks. You read that correctly: data from active nuclear missile sites was being captured and managed using 40+ year-old technology. The Air Force cites the use of these legacy systems as a cybersecurity advantage, and even though data is now stored on a “highly secure solid state digital storage solution,” the Strategic Air Command still relies on IBM Series/1 computers installed at Minuteman II sites in the 1960s and 1970s.

One of the biggest challenges with legacy systems is that they work fine as long as things remain “business as usual.” But when outside events change the status quo, unforeseen weaknesses and challenges can arise quickly.

With the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, the number of applications for benefits from the CARES Act, passed in late March 2020, overwhelmed state employment offices. A good deal of the gridlock was state agencies relying on a 60-year-old programming language called COBOL, causing claims to take as long as two weeks to process.

As Robin Roberson, executive director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, put the situation, “Our mainframe is literally over 30 years old. It’s very difficult to program, it doesn’t do much, [and] COBOL programmers are somewhat scarce.”

State agencies across the country are scrambling to update COBOL code, but according to Gartner, the average age of a COBOL programmer is above 60. Mahmoud Ezzeldin, 75, who was a COBOL programmer for Blue Cross Blue Shield and the IRS, offered to come out of retirement and volunteer help in training organizations updating their systems to meet the increased demand for relief benefits.

From an eDiscovery perspective, legacy data can prove a challenge as well. Government agencies, corporations, and law firms all most likely have some legacy data they may have to contend with regarding investigations, litigation, and FOIA or other compliance requests. As this week’s eDiscovery Blues cartoon highlights, these organizations may have the information required, but getting that data into a format that is reviewable and producible is where the challenge lies.

Which is why it’s important to work closely with your IT department to know if your organization has any potential legacy data obstacles, as well as ensuring that you have an eDiscovery technology partner who can effectively and efficiently manage those challenges.

Otherwise, you may end up like Rick Compliance, eDiscovery Manager, scouring the internet for used floppy drives.

Read More about How Your Legal Team is Being Held Back by Legacy eDiscovery Software

 

Introducing Ipro’s Legal Technology Comic Strip “eDiscovery Blues”

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2020Written by Jim Gill
Content Chief, Ipro

I’ve said before that a sense of humor isn’t necessary in eDiscovery, but it sure helps. Which is why Ipro has created our own comic strip, eDiscovery Blues™.

Today’s strip features our hero, eDiscovery Manager Rick Compliance, facing communication challenges with his IT Dept.

There is no denying that communication (or the lack thereof) can be an obstacle when it comes to reaching objectives. One main issue for Corporate Legal Teams is that so many of the stakeholders involved with the legal department communicate in very different ways.

These stakeholders usually include:

  • The IT department, whose main concern will be data security
  • The company’s business units, who will ask “How is legal enabling business for the company?”
  • Other departments such as Risk & Compliance, Accounting, or HR

By connecting with these various groups within the company and discussing overall goals, as well as departmental goals, opportunities for efficiency will begin to appear. The key for legal departments is to open up clear lines of communication and put in the time and effort to build relationships and processes that will pay off in the end.

Which is why it’s helpful to find a “translator” who can bridge the gap between Legal, IT, and other business units to help identify obstacles to communication that may be getting in the way of efficiency. Once this is established, regular meetings or check-ins may be needed to clarify any issues between those stakeholders which may arise as a result of implementing new processes.

Tune in Next Friday for more eDiscovery Blues!

Want to learn more about how corporate legal teams can align with IT and other departments?
Listen to our latest webinar on-demand!

More Cases, Less Effort: How eDiscovery Technology Enables the Small & Mid-Sized Law Firm

eDiscovery Mid-Sized Law Firm

More Cases, Less Effort: How eDiscovery Technology Enables the Small & Mid-Sized Law Firm

Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton (PPS&C) LLP was formed in 1998 by four partners who specialize in Labor and Employment litigation.  Now with 29 lawyers devoted to defending and advising employers, Paul Plevin is recognized as one of California’s top management-side labor and employment law firms, representing employers in discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, trade secret, union-management, and other employment-related matters throughout California and, increasingly, nationwide.

Whitney Farrell is a paralegal at PPS&C, and one of five people who act as a small eDiscovery department within the firm. Along with two members of the IT department, this team knows the benefit of Ipro solutions and work cohesively when starting the process of eDiscovery.

As Whitney puts it, “We are a mid-sized firm, and Ipro is great for our needs, being instrumental in allowing our five paralegals to quickly intake documents on the fly. With the ability to work harmoniously between programs, we utilize Ipro’s eDiscovery tools daily. Then, for the two or three times a year as we prepare for arbitration or trial, we can tie everything together in TrialDirector.”

Leveraging Technology to Streamline the eDiscovery Workflow

Ten years ago, Paul Plevin used Adobe to manage case documents, then moved to an earlier Ipro product, eScanit, along with Concordance, but the firm was growing, and so were document counts. They needed a complete suite of products that would allow them to process, review, and produce documents.

As Whitney stated, “Litigation moves fast, and Ipro continues to keep up with the pace. Now our paralegals are able to streamline the intake process and speed through any processing jobs, allowing our attorneys to review as soon as possible.”

She continues, “Ipro’s processing engine allows us to all work within the controller at one time, which has helped tremendously with workflow. Previously, we had workstations set up in a separate office, so we would have to physically change locations to process any jobs. Now, with a single, centralized controller on all of our computers, we are able to work from our desks. This has greatly improved our workflow, and we all process so much faster now. Attorneys also love Ipro for desktop and responded positively when we transitioned from our previous vendor. Now, the staff are able to perform document review quickly and easily.”

Scaling for a Variety of Cases and Clients

Case size can vary greatly depending on the matter, and the need to scale becomes vital. For example, union arbitration cases are relatively small, often with only a few hundred documents, and come and go quickly. At the same time, staff may get a special request to look at a plaintiff’s emails in their entirety (e.g. 10 years of emails, 150k+ documents), which will exponentially grow the database.

During a complaint involving a hospital – which was originally filed in December of 2013, when they were still using Concordance – PPS&C decided to migrate to Ipro solutions. Moving 10k documents was seamless, and attorneys were able to manage the case quickly, as well as now being able to import documents into TrialDirector for the trial.

“The fact that we were able to easily switch software in the middle of an ongoing case, which we then won, says a lot,” according to Whitney.  “This same case was recently called back on appeal, and when we opened the case in the software, it was all still easily accessible, and we were ready to move forward immediately.”

Not only does Ipro provide the power and scalability to handle large electronic datasets, transferring files sent via email, file transfer, or hard drive, it also has the flexibility to deal with legacy files. In one recent case involving a professor who had been at his university for 25 years, Paul Plevin received boxes of paper documents dropped at their offices. But with Ipro, they were able to scan them directly, utilizing the powerful processing engine, and immediately prepare the attorneys for review.

“A One-Stop-Shop”

When asked what she likes most about Ipro, Whitney responded, “Everything I need is in one place, and all the products work so well together. It breaks everything down into a straightforward, three-step process: processing, administration, and review. Ipro is truly a one-stop-shop. And the post-processing Quality Control (QC) module – which we always use whether the dataset is a single page or a thousand emails – allows us to keep clean, clutter-free, accurate databases, keeping attorneys from wasting time with bad data, and instead, has them quickly moving into review.”

“And besides the software,” Whitney adds, “Ipro’s tech support and training teams are amazing. I’m always able to get the help I need to solve any problem. Ipro makes our process quick and effective, allowing us to save time and take on additional cases without additional effort. It was so easy to make the switch, our attorneys love it, and we haven’t looked back.”

Want to learn more about how Ipro helps small and mid-sized law firms
use technology to compete with the AmLaw 200?

Listen to this webinar with PPS&C’s Whitney Farrell and and Wilson, Turner, Kosmo’s Justin Peña

Thinking Outside the eDiscovery Box: How Technology Solves Data Problems Beyond Litigation

eDiscovery beyond litigation

Thinking Outside the eDiscovery Box: How Technology Solves Data Problems Beyond Litigation

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2020Written by Jim Gill
Content Chief, Ipro

Back in 2006, when Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) was amended to create a new category of discoverable information – Electronically Stored Information or ESI – eDiscovery was legitimized, and eDiscovery software was created to move ESI through the litigation process.

Fast forward to 2020, and ESI has grown in both size and complexity – terabytes (or even petabytes) of data from multiple sources like social media, email, chat, the Internet of Things (IoT) – and the goal of collecting, processing, and analyzing data for litigation has proven even more challenging.

But focusing on this challenge creates tunnel vision and overshadows other ways this powerful eDiscovery technology can be used. Anytime an organization needs to quickly ingest, organize, analyze, and report on large datasets, eDiscovery software offers an immediate solution and can be applied in various ways. One example is how government agencies are finding eDiscovery software is the perfect tool for responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Another example of thinking outside the eDiscovery box comes from J.S. Held, a company providing services for commercial contractors, allowing them to better understand where issues arise in their construction projects. In a recent conversation with Tim Martin, Technical Project Manager at J.S. Held, he shared, “We use the Ipro eDiscovery solution internally to handle the large volume of data created and generated during a construction project. When we receive hard drives of files from clients, Ipro enables us to quickly search, tag, code, and sort those documents, allowing us to review them with a streamlined approach and within a quicker timeframe.”

Previously, the team at J.S. Held would load files from clients, which in some cases had over a million documents, onto a file server, then have to manually open each one of those files and move them into a folder to classify them by type. “But by using Ipro analytics, we can do that on ingestion. As soon as the documents come in, we gain a clear picture of the data, and it can be quickly coded and classified, enabling us to cut sorting and coding times down to measurable hours, as opposed to the days it would have taken with our old process.”

In the end, that’s what eDiscovery software does: ingests a large volume of data, giving the user deep insight into what’s there with the ability to easily track and report those findings. It has so many applications across multiple industries, like commercial construction. It doesn’t matter if that data is a part of litigation or not. And as enterprise data continues to grow exponentially, this insight becomes more and more vital. As Tim from J.S. Held puts it, “By finding that needle in the haystack sooner, we can quickly and accurately communicate any issues to clients, which they greatly appreciate.”

Want to learn more about eDiscovery challenges and solutions?

ProSearch, PayPal, Squire Patton Boggs, Receive 2020 eDiscovery Innovator Awards

2020 Ipro eDiscovery Innovator Awards

ProSearch, PayPal, Squire Patton Boggs, Receive 2020 Ipro eDiscovery Innovator Awards

Ipro is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 eDiscovery Innovator Awards. Chosen from over 3,000 Ipro customers, these awards were presented at the Ipro Tech Show held earlier this year at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Legal Service Provider

This year’s winner in the Legal Service Provider category is ProSearch. Not only are they incredibly capable on core processing capabilities and are so well ingrained with what clients do as a business, they are truly pushing the envelope on how to deliver more value to customers using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

As Dean Brown, Ipro CEO, stated at the awards ceremony, “ProSearch has processed over eleven and a half petabytes of data in the last few years. What’s in a petabyte? This is three to five times more information than the Library of Congress holds in its entire digital collection. This is an incredibly capable team doing things that are well beyond what you would expect from a legal service provider. I come away fascinated and amazed every time I hear about what they are doing.”

The team from ProSearch responded to the award by saying, “We’ve been partners with Ipro for many years, and a lot of our success comes from that partnership. Their powerful platform has allowed us to automate job management and ultimately process a lot of data for our clients with flexibility, customization, and consistency. And the Ipro support staff and engineers have been with us every step of the way, helping us to solve challenges, explore new questions and new ideas. We’re very thankful.”

Corporation

This year’s winner in the Corporate category is PayPal, a team that has consistently been singled out as blazing a trail of innovation, doing more with less, and integrating legal operations.

As Dean stated at the award ceremony, “There is always some friction between Legal, IT, business units, and outside counsel, but this team has gotten past that. They have brought in outside counsel and are collaborating through preferred relationships, while bridging the gap with business and IT in ways I’ve not seen done better.”

On accepting the award, Cecil Lynn, Global eDiscovery Director at PayPal, said, “We appreciate the honor, and I can’t tell you how humbled we are by this accolade. It has truly been a team effort here at PayPal to embody the holistic approach to innovation. But you know innovation is a two-way street, and we are incredibly thankful and proud to have a partner in Ipro, who we consider part of our extended family. They truly listen to us and have heard us and have seen our vision. We truly appreciate Ipro, not just for what they’ve done for PayPal, but for other corporate clients and the rest of the eDiscovery community.”

Law Firm

This year’s winner in the Law Firm category is Squire Patton Boggs, who for years now has received headlines in the popular press lauding them for “Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Large Law Firm” and giving “Top Marks in 2020 on the Corporate Equality Index.”

As Dean shared at the award ceremony, “It’s this kind of entrepreneurial spirit coupled with an open, inclusive culture favoring diversity that resonates so much in the industry. For me, it is one of the many reasons I’ve enjoyed working with this group of people.”

The team from Squire Patton Boggs responded to the award by saying, “First of all, we’d like to thank Ipro for all the work you help us through. Certainly, this type of recognition is not achieved without it. We would also like to say thanks to the entire team that has brought us this far. There are only ten of us servicing the entire globe, but we are efficient and effective. We are afforded this opportunity because of the attorneys, the leadership, and the innovation committee at Squire that gives us the latitude and the ability to go and serve our clients as best we can.”

 

If you missed the Ipro Tech Show this year or just want to re-live some of the action
Visit the Ipro Tech Show 2020 Virtual Replay!

 

Why eDiscovery Software is the Perfect Solution for FOIA Requests

FOIA eDiscovery Software

Why eDiscovery Software is the Perfect Solution for FOIA Requests

Written by Jim Gill
Content Chief, Ipro

As far back as 2013, the Department of Justice has received over 70,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests per year, and this trend continues to rise. By law, all federal agencies are required to respond to a FOIA request within 20 business days, unless there are “unusual circumstances.” If the requests don’t receive a response to according to law, the agency can be sanctioned, as well as those individual employees, “…who are found to have acted arbitrarily or capriciously in improperly withholding records. Additionally, the court must award attorney fees and other litigation costs against the government.”

This puts a lot of pressure on the FOIA personnel assigned to perform all duties related to the processing of these requests: logging, tracking, searching for responsive records, analyzing responsive records for disclosure pursuant to FOIA provisions, applying exemptions to the documents as appropriate, and communicating with the FOIA requestor. These tasks become all the more formidable when trying to manage them with manual processes and basic tools.

One example of this involves the FOIA administrator at one of the agencies within the Department of the Interior. Their old process was manually searching email, native files and images, opening each one individually in Outlook, changing the metadata, and then making the decision on whether the document was relevant to the FOIA request. They used an Excel workbook to catalog document names since there were no other Document IDs to use as a reference. Needless to say, this proved to be a very labor-intensive process, not to mention that the data was spoliated when changes were made to the file headings and any related metadata.

As an added challenge, if redactions were needed, the documents had to first be converted into PDFs and then redacted manually, using a program like Microsoft Word or Adobe. As Ryan Joyce, VP of Strategy at Ipro, shares, “Time and time again we have seen the same headline—a law firm or government agency warding off the trouble caused by not handling their redactions correctly. Why is this still an issue after all these years? In reality, any software can place a colored box over text, but only the right eDiscovery solution will provide the correct and federally mandated result.”

This is where eDiscovery solutions designed with the specific result of making life easier for FOIA personnel come into play.

The dilemmas listed above are easily solved by a single tool with the features listed below:

  • Quickly ingest and OCR a large variety of file types that may be a part of a public request
  • Advanced search tools allow the finding of relevant documents in a fraction of the time
  • View text and metadata at the same time, without spoliation
  • Near-duplicate detection and email threading eliminates the need to review similar documents
  • Reporting features easily log and track documents
  • Alerts prevent redaction errors and ensure DOJ-quality productions
  • Create multiple productions if variations of a FOIA request are required

It’s clear that the challenges of FOIA requests can be daunting, so creating awareness is critical: the right solution for Government Agencies already exists in eDiscovery software originally created for litigation purposes.

When you would like to learn more how Ipro eDiscovery solutions help Government Agencies
meet the challenges of FOIA requests, take a moment to visit us here.

Ipro Announces Legal Technology and Training Scholarships with TRU Staffing Partners

Ipro Scholarships TRU Staffing

Ipro Announces Legal Technology and Training Scholarships with TRU Staffing Partners

Ipro, a global leader in eDiscovery and Trial software technology, is pleased to announce the winners of two sponsored scholarships in partnership with TRU Staffing, an award-winning search firm representing talent and opportunities in cybersecurity, eDiscovery, and data privacy.

The winners — Cynthia Benavides of Miami, FL and Bonnie Brooks of Rochester, NY — will receive TrialDirector360 software for one year plus TrialDirector360 Certified Administrator training.

In total, there were 53 scholarship recipients of the 2020 TRU Staffing Partners Scholarship Program, which is designed to foster training and education for professionals in the security and legal technology industries. The 2020 portfolio of partners and their certification, training, and education delves into diverse areas of discipline including mobile forensic collection, advanced data analytics, legal project management, processing and hosting of litigation data, cyber incident response and remediation, privacy law and program building, technical eDiscovery attorney review expertise, and more!

TRU Staffing’s Scholarship Board consists of industry experts and thought leaders who came together to anonymously select the recipients for training in the legal community. Some of this year’s board members include:

  • John Rielly, Director Legal Support Services, Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Dan Torba, Head of E-Discovery Services US Region, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Martha Louks, Director of Technology Services, McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Brad Schaffel, Manager – eDiscovery & Litigation Support, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Nicole Tineo, Litigation Support Manager, BakerHostetler
  • Conan Hines, Legal Technologist
  • Ian Balom, Manager, eDiscovery & Legal Technology, Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP

Congratulations Cynthia and Bonnie on your scholarships and thank you TRU Staffing Partners for continuing to support this program.

To learn more about Ipro’s Software Administrator Training
Check out our new virtual course series!

New Survey Captures the Current Pulse of the eDiscovery Industry

survey pulse of eDiscovery Industry

*Editor’s Note: Over the past few weeks, as the eDiscovery industry was shifting to the new normal of remote work and shelter-in-place policies, Ipro’s Senior VP of Strategy, Ryan Joyce, set out to talk with and survey clients and others in the industry from around the world to hear their story and get a pulse on where things stand and where they seem to be heading. This is the result of his research.

The Current Pulse of the eDiscovery Industry
Written by Ryan Joyce, Senior VP of Strategy, Ipro

First, I created a short interview with 7 questions and sent them to corporate legal teams, law firms, and legal service providers in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia. The first question is about how they, their family, and their region were doing overall. The remaining 6 questions are about their company: if they are working from home, if they are busy and still getting new matters, and what their expectations are for the industry in 2 months, as well as for when things get back to “normal.”

Below are the 7 questions with my wrap-up summary for each. I’ve also included a few statements from some of the people I spoke to, with their names and company information removed for privacy.

Outside of work, what’s going on in your geographical area?

There is a very similar story emerging everywhere. Everyone is either social distancing on their own or being mandated by their local or federal governments. They are also getting used to the “new normal” of working from home, at home schooling for those with kids, and doing a dozen or more Zoom meetings per day. Streets are empty across the globe for the most part as everyone tries to stay safe and healthy (some countries and states are starting to hand out tickets and fines upwards of $1,000 or more for failing to do so).

Is everyone working from home?

At this point, the unanimous answer is yes. With that said, some organizations still have a few folks going into the office and some handled the process much better than others. Managed Document Review Centers and on-site collections have mostly gone remote as well.

Is your organization still busy?

Across the board, the answer is yes, everyone is still busy, and in some cases, even busier than usual. Document Review has spiked because attorneys now have the time with other operations currently on hold.

Are cases going on & are new ones starting?

Everyone is still working on a lot of projects, along with cases from Q4 and early Q1. And everyone is still receiving new matters, but the rate has slowed depending on the practice area. Some companies are already starting to see an uptick in the areas of Health Care, Bankruptcy, Corporate, Contracts, Force Majeure, COVID 19 Task Forces, and others.

Are cases still being heard in the courts?

At this point, the unanimous answer is No (or not really), at least for Civil cases. Criminal cases must still be heard due to a defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Depending on the country (or state), E-Courtroom Technology may be more available in some areas, and the Supreme Court of the US, as well as the Supreme Courts of Michigan and Florida, are beginning to hear virtual oral arguments. In an announcement on April 13, the nation’s highest court will open a live audio feed for the first time as it hears arguments in ten sets of cases.

What do you expect to see in the eDiscovery & Litigation Support arena 2 months from now?

Everyone I spoke with sees a slowdown over the next months. However, depending on the Practice Group, some could get very busy in the same time frame. Below are a few of the quotes from my conversations:

  • Things will continue to get worse; infection rates will continue to go up, people will have a harder time working, things will slow down. And if the courts continue to stay closed, then things will really slow down – we need to weather the storm and keep the ball moving and be resilient — Global Director of Forensics in UK (Top Global Service Provider)
  • Things will slow down, but it’s unclear for how long — Client Services Director in Los Angeles, CA (Top Global Service Provider)
  • We’re expecting a huge slow down if everything stays the same, because almost no new matters will be filled for construction — Director of eDiscovery in Houston, TX (Large Construction Litigation Law Firm)
  • There is a freeze on hiring until this is over. Cases will slow down on litigation trials until courts open back up. However, with our Bankruptcy and COVID 19 task force, we will stay busy — eDiscovery Services Manager NYC, NY (Am Law 50, Global Law Firm)
  • Hoping there will be growth in solvency restructuring, because that is our business, but expecting about 3 months of hardship at least — Partner Brisbane, Australia (Large Forensics & Cyber Security Accounting Firm)
  • No doubt things will slow down, because clients will slow down. The question for law firms will be, how do we use employees for billable hours, who aren’t normally working in those roles? The firms that can adjust, look at any avenue, move people here and there, those are the ones who will survive – Litigation Support Director, East Coast (Am Law 200, Law Firm)

When the dust settles and things get back to “normal,” what do you expect to see in the eDiscovery & Litigation Support arena (maybe 3 – 4 months from now)?

This one had mixed results. Some say there will be a lot of settling due to bankruptcy and poor Q1/Q2 profits, and others say it will be like the starting line at the Olympics for a 100-meter dash. Below are a few of the quotes from my conversations:

  • Most of our clients are oil and gas, especially on the West Coast in Canada. Those markets are getting hit hard right now, so I expect a lot of litigation and movement in these sectors soon, provided they make it through this and don’t go under — Litigation Support Director in Calgary, Canada (Top 5 National Law Firm)
  • When this is all done and dusted, it’s going to be like the starting line at the Olympics for a 100-meter dash. Not just with cases that have been deferred, but also over the next 12 – 24 months, much the same as what happened after the 2008 financial crisis: everyone and will want to litigate — Global Director of Forensics in UK (Top Global Service Provider)
  • A lot depends on what happens with the bailouts. There could be a lot of litigation from that. Right now, the Department of Health is busy, but as soon as they get their head above water, they will come knocking on all the Health Care Organizations out there who messed up or had someone die from COVID 19. This is going to change the way law is practiced, as well as the way lawyers litigate. We will also see a move to cyber courts — eDiscovery & information Governance Counsel in San Francisco, CA (Large west Coast Law Firm)
  • There will be a huge spike in depositions and court cases, with tons of new litigation coming out of this. It will get busier than ever — President of Data Services in Phoenix, AZ (Large Managed Document Review Provider)
  • If the economy doesn’t recover, there may be the tidal wave and bankruptcy. For the next 6 months to 1 year from now, corporations will have no budgets, so they will put off litigation, acquisitions, and mergers. There may be plenty of work but no one to pay the bills. But by the end of this year, it will get crazy busy — Director of Client Services in Los Angeles, CA (Top Global Service Provider)
  • After the delay, the firm predicts it will be ridiculously busy. There will be a lot of Force Majeure in construction as well — Director of eDiscovery in Houston, TX (Large Construction Litigation Law Firm)
  • I envision that some corporate clients will scale back due to Q1 & Q2 profits. There will be more settling, especially in aviation. SEC, DOJ, DOH will continue their work in 2020, but in 2021 everything will start to pick up again — eDiscovery Services Manager NYC (Am Law 50 Global Law Firm)
  • As an industry, we are well placed. We will benefit from the fraud, the bankruptcies, the regulation work, and the overall litigation — Partner Brisbane, Australia (Large Forensics & Cyber Security Accounting Firm)
  • We may never get back to normal. There will be a different dynamic with the way companies work, with a lot more firms working from home going forward – Litigation Support East Coast (Am Law 200 Law Firm)
  • None of us know, so I’m going to be optimistic – based on previous years, like with the 2008 financial crisis, there will be a huge amount of employment law due to furloughs and layoffs and terminations. Vendors will continue to fight like they always do, but the law firm market will face bigger challenges and may not be able to pay their bills — EVP in Los Angeles, CA (eDiscovery Service Provider)

 Some Additional Thoughts Gathered Over the Last 2 Weeks:

  • Many firms are stopping partner distributions and cutting associate (and other employee) pay anywhere from 10%-50%
  • Multiple Service Providers and eDiscovery Software companies have had layoffs attributed to COVID market conditions
  • Hiring freezes are everywhere (unless you’re Amazon)
  • Some of the smaller “very transactional” Service Providers are struggling as work has slowed
  • CAP-X spends are frozen everywhere until this is over (even if it was in the budget before, it may be pushed until things level out)
  • It is becoming widely viewed that the law firms who will survive this will be the ones who reinvent themselves and adapt the best, who make best use of all their employees for billable hours, are able to reassign labor to different areas that have the need and look at every avenue to make money and keep their clients (I believe this concept also applies for other organizations besides law firms).

Even with things currently beginning to slow, Corporations, Law Firms, and Government Agencies must prepare now for the avalanche of litigation, bankruptcy, employment disputes, sanctions, and government requests that will be coming their way in 2 to 6 months. If they wait until then, it will be too late. Which is why they need to get involved with a technology partner now, who can consult and guide them through these times and set them up for success coming out of this thing.

After 31 years in the legal technology industry, Ipro has weathered many storms, and we’re ready to partner with you to do the same now.

For more about how we can help your team prepare for what lies ahead, feel free to contact me.

NOTE – In doing these interviews, I was thanked by numerous people I spoke to for doing this, who also suggested I try do one of every few weeks, if possible, to continue keeping a pulse on our market, which we will look at doing. I would like to thank everyone I spoke with again for their time, and I hope everyone out there is staying safe and healthy.

 

How 3 Law Firms are Using eDiscovery Technology to Their Advantage

How law firms are using eDiscovery technology

How 3 Law Firms are Using eDiscovery Technology to Their Advantage

It’s been the same story ever since the Cartwright Power Loom or the McCormick Thresher: Technology enables the more efficient execution of the task at hand. eDiscovery is no different. There are numerous solutions out there, each designed to alleviate some particular pain point along the EDRM. But it’s not often you get to hear directly from the people on the front lines on how they’re leveraging technology to more effectively manage their legal teams’ workflow.

Here are 3 eDiscovery practitioners on how Ipro is helping them overcome those challenges.

Bare Bones to Fully Loaded

Stacie Hauza, Deputy Paralegal Administrator/Litigation Support Coordinator at Bredhoff & Kaiser, was working with older eDiscovery software, which was, “very bare bones without any analytics, and there was no way to batch documents, so we couldn’t conduct full-scale reviews.” It was clear that in order to take on the growing complexities with incoming cases, a new solution was needed.

“By adding Ipro for enterprise,” Hauza continues, “we could easily create review passes for review teams and gained the ability to process data in-house, run large-scale reviews utilizing keywords for search term reporting, as well as analytics like near-dupe, clustering, email threading, and TAR, all within a user-friendly interface.”

Not only are they able to review document collections faster, they can also manage incorrect productions from opposing counsel. Hauza recalls one case where an opposing party produced emails in PDF format without extracting any attachments. “With Ipro’s powerful processing engine, I was able to extract the attachments embedded in the PDF, giving us quick access to the full document family which should have been produced. And with Ipro’s OCR functionality in the review module, I was able to fix bad PDF production text on-the-fly after processing. We also had the ability to QC the opposing party’s work after they attempted to re-produce, where it became clear they were just reviewing and stamping in native format using Adobe. If they would have had Ipro for enterprise, their production would have been easy!

Discovery to Trial

Because so few civil cases go to trial, most legal technology focuses on document collection, processing, and review. But even if a case ultimately doesn’t end up in the courtroom, attorneys still have to prepare case strategy and potentially present evidence in mediation or arbitration. Having a solution that can carry things all the way through the process can increase efficiency a great deal.

Carey Granda, Trial & Technology Training Manager at Snell & Wilmer, says “By using Ipro, one of the biggest problems we’ve solved is time spent on task, while efficiency with case creation and productions has greatly improved from our previous document review tool. The combination of industry resources put together in a way that makes sense offers a one-stop tool for users working towards greater efficiency from eDiscovery to trial.”

Victoria Stevens, Senior Paralegal at Wilenchik & Bartness, has had similar success with technology that goes beyond traditional document review. “Collecting documents from their native source significantly reduces (and often eliminates) discovery disputes,” she says, “but Ipro can do so much more than that. She continues: “We use it to tag documents for each witness, which ultimately will be used to prepare for depositions and create affidavits with corroborating evidence for motion practice and trial presentation with Trial Director by Ipro. And the ease of using Ipro to ingest data and then have immediate access to key documents to search, tag, redact, make notes, and ultimately produce for opposing counsel has been such a time-saver — it’s a must-have tool for our attorneys and their litigation practice. Tasks that would take hours (sometimes days) now take a fraction of that time. Our clients save money, and the legal team can focus on more substantive issues and get to the heart of the case.”

A Technology Partnership

It’s no secret that lawyers aren’t technology experts, so it can be frustrating when they’re presented with software that takes a lot of time to learn. That’s why selecting an eDiscovery solution that can get users up and running quickly is important. As the Trial & Technology Training Manager at Snell & Wilmer, Carey Granda “loves hearing from users about Ipro’s intuitive interface, which provides them a DIY approach that wasn’t possible with our former product. This frees me up to handle more consultation with eDiscovery and advanced training guidance instead of teaching people how to use the software.”

And because each case has its own unique challenges, even easy-to-use technology can only take you so far. That’s where having an experienced technology partner can make all the difference.

“The Ipro Support Team is hands down the best in the business,” says Victoria Stevens, Senior Paralegal at Wilenchik & Bartness. “If you have an issue with production, they are relentless in getting it resolved, while teaching you to make your job in-house easier. Even beyond support, Ipro is a cutting-edge company with a team that listens to its clients’ needs and concerns by delivering a cost-effective, accessible approach to eDiscovery. Ipro makes my life easier. Every. Single. Day.”

 

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