Category Archives: Industry News

eDiscovery Technology for Small Law Firms? The Answer Isn’t Necessarily Found in the Cloud

If you look at the news or even the endless supply of police procedurals and legal dramas streaming on Netflix and Hulu, you would think that everyone is aware that evidence these days is often electronic. But according to a recent Thomson Reuters survey, only 19% of smaller law firms are investing in eDiscovery technology and only 2% plan to do so in the next year (Who else gets an image of paralegals printing out emails and reviewing stacks of paper documents that were created digitally?). 

Most small firms are probably working off the assumption that eDiscovery software solutions are cost-prohibitive and only a worthwhile investment for larger firms or in-house corporate legal departments. But times have changed, especially with a move to cloud-based platforms. But what if you don’t want to move to the cloud? You may want the control and security that comes from having your operations on-prem. Or you may be a small shop that wants to keep things simple and keep costs lower than even the cheapest cloud-based offerings. You may even want to run the entire discovery process straight through review into trial preparation and presentation software on the same machine. 

Many desktop-based eDiscovery options are legacy platforms. They may still be available for use, but they aren’t being supported in the present or developed for the future. And in today’s dynamic technology world, simply having functional software isn’t a longterm solution.  

And this is where small firms find themselves stuck: either they adopt cloud-based solutions that were built with larger users in mind or they are left with outdated, unsupported desktop solutions. It’s no wonder many of them simply stick with the old way of doing things. 

But instead of a “go cloud or do nothing” approach, the small firm solution might be a powerful, locally deployed, low-overhead eDiscovery suite. A tool that can quickly ingest, scan, and OCR an array of file-types directly into review. Software that has the most up-to-date review tools of a cloud-based platform. And then, when production is finished, the same machine can move data seamlessly into trial presentation software on a laptop for use in trial. Ia case comes along that is too large for a firm’s physical infrastructure or needs to be accessed online by co-counsel, it can simply be moved to the cloud, allowing small firms to take on cases of any size or complexity without significant ramp-up time or monetary investment. 

Imagine it – a small law firm with high-end eDiscovery capabilities deployed locally. Unicorn? Game-changer? Or the answer that’s been hiding in plain sight all along. 

Learn more about the most comprehensive desktop-based eDiscovery solution on the market. 

 

What is Legal Tech: Proposed German Regulation Raises the eDiscovery Existential Question

what is legal tech

 What is Legal Tech?

A new article published in Artificial Lawyer discusses a proposed new regulation for legal technology solutions “that have encroached on what they see as the regulated provision of legal services.” While still far away from fruition, if it were to pass, this regulation (or others like it) could affect the EU in significant ways.

The regulation specifically targets automated platforms that guide people through a legal claim process. There has been a rise in legal technology which, as the article states, “build[s] up their legal expertise through scaled case numbers, allowing them to go up against big opponents. They assume the user’s cost, give the user someone to fight for them, in exchange for a part of their winnings upon success. Moreover, they may receive financing from third parties. Lawyers [in Germany] are currently not permitted to do either.” This approach gives users access to legal areas where attorneys have little interest due to the small amounts in dispute.

But what does a proposed regulation in Germany have to do with eDiscovery in North America? If anything, it raises that question which haunts all of us in one way or another: who am I? Or in this case, what is legal tech? You might ask, why bother with philosophy 101 when there are terabytes of data to review? Too often in the legal world there’s a “we’ll deal with that when it comes up” approach. Our cases rarely go to trial. We usually don’t deal with large-scale data. Almost all of our discovery is email. And then, when something new does come up, we are caught off guard.

Potential outcomes are always worth pondering, specifically for the reason that it causes us to stop and imagine what is possible. So, how would you define legal tech?

The German politicians’ definition, “seems to mean web-based platforms that engage with consumer legal issues.” This certainly seems to potentially encompass many (if not all) of the eDiscovery software companies out there. The German proposal currently focuses on individuals who use automated legal platforms, but where does the regulation end? Does this extend to scholars, consultants, service providers, in-house corporate eDiscovery team members who aren’t attorneys? As Artificial Lawyer posts, “Would AI review tools administered by a team of paralegals in an LPO come under the ‘unregulated legal tech advice’ umbrella?”

Again, all of this is speculation. After all, it’s a proposed regulation in a single European country that may not gain any traction. Then again, understanding begins with definition. In an industry like eDiscovery—where our own terms aren’t clearly defined (just ask for a definition of AI or TAR or ECA, and you will get a variety of answers)—the basic question of “what is legal tech and what is its role in the legal system?” is definitely worth pondering and potentially preparing for.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

Because the Courtroom isn’t the Classroom: Attorneys Need Trial Presentation Software Designed Specifically for Trial

trial presentation software

Historically, teachers have used a variety of technology display tools for presenting information to their students; a photocopy on transparency paper via an overhead projector or a video camera hooked up to a TV on a rolling cart to show clear images from a book. Fast forward a few more years when smart podiums came along, giving teachers the ability to connect a laptop to a projector and show images, word docs, and videos. These were all powerful in their day. Often, the presentation needs of teachers and attorneys have a lot of similarities, gaining the right focus of your audience, but attorneys have much more at stake; they need dynamic trial presentation software to meet their needs in the courtroom. Yet many still use PowerPoint, document cameras, and even foam boards to present evidence to the jury. 

The law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard were doing just that 4 years ago, when they realized they needed far more control and flexibility over their presentations. That’s when they switched to TrialDirector as their go-to trial presentation software for trial. The firm attributes TrialDirector’s seamless flow, the ability to call up exhibits on the fly, video deposition tools, and how easily the presentation integrates with the attorney’s dialogue as having a powerful impact on the jury to help them tell their story and provide a positive outcome for their clients. 

With TrialDirector 360 you can: 

  • Present virtually any type of document or media from your PC or laptop 
  • Streamline your entire trial preparation and presentation process with one tool 
  • Organize transcripts, video depo’s, and documents for offline presentation 
  • Impress juries and clients through easy-to-present, impactful multimedia presentations 
  • Easily collaborate with multiple users working on a centrally stored case 

Most of the time we stick with what we know and make it work, often not realizing there may be a better solution out there. Trial presentation is no different, attorneys need a competitive edge in the courtroom and TrialDirector 360 can give them that edge.  

You Have a Choice When it Comes to Your Data, So Choose to Give it To Us

You Have a Choice When it Comes to Your Data, So Choose to Give it To Us: The Ongoing Dance Between Data Privacy and eDiscovery

We all love the idea of having control. Especially when it comes to the things that matter to us most. Things like privacy. And it’s that notion of control that tech giants like Google and Amazon are using in their latest announcements regarding user data. 

In a NY Times Op-Ed published in May, Google’s Sundar Pichai said, “Privacy is personal, which makes it even more vital for companies to give people clear, individual choices around how their data is used.” This along with a statement saying that Google believes the United States would benefit from GDPR-like legislation is no-doubt an attempt to reassure users. 

Amazon’s new Echo Show gives users the voice command “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” which deletes all voice commands from Amazon’s servers after midnight of that calendar day. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to use the command, “Alexa, forget what I just said,” to delete an individual command. But Amazon hasn’t said if these commands will delete metadata, and they won’t delete data shared in a transaction, like calling for a rideshare, ordering dinner, or purchasing something online. (In some ways, it begins to seem data is like energy in the First Law of Thermodynamics: it isn’t really destroyed, it only changes form).  

More than this though, is the idea that putting privacy in the hands of the user creates a false dichotomy: you have control on how tech companies use your data, but just letting them use your data makes the use of their products so much more functional and convenient. And as Lauren Goode from Wired said, when “tech companies have made it a choice between convenience and privacy, convenience will always win.” 

So, what does this mean for the LegalTech world? Any time data is involved, everything is at stake. Data is evidence, and the amount of electronically stored information (ESI) continues to grow at breakneck speeds. But, the same challenges apply regardless of how that ESI is created: where is it located and how can it be preserved, collected, reviewed, and produced for the courts in a timely, defensible, and cost-effective manner? 

When you throw privacy into the mix, it adds another layer. Who owns the data? Is it protected and under what guidelines and jurisdictions? 

Law tends to be a stolid, steadfast, and let’s face it, slow-moving entity; technology is always chasing what lies beyond the horizon. For investigators, attorneys, and other players in the eDiscovery world (lit-support, IT, paralegals, etc.) understanding the data landscape belonging to specific custodians involved in a case can be complex on its own. The need to understand the larger, digital world and how changes in both technology and policies surrounding the creation, ownership, and extraction of data become increasingly important in creating effective strategies for the courtroom.  

So the question begins, who uses Alexa, who uses Google and who decides to pass on both? 

Judge Orders Airbnb to Release 17k Listings to Investigators

Big Data, Big Discovery: Judge Orders Airbnb to Release 17k Listings to Investigators

The battle between home-sharing platforms and city governments has been a cold-war of sorts for some time now with the standard back-and-forth of lawsuits, countersuits, and lobbying. New York City in particular has been trying to limit companies like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, claiming they add to the city’s housing problems and allow people to transform homes into illegal hotels.

On May 14, Airbnb offered an olive branch of sorts, agreeing to “give city officials partially anonymized host and reservation data for more than 17,000 listings,” in response to a subpoena, according to an article in Wired. A spokesperson for Airbnb told Wired, “We hope that our compliance with this subpoena—by providing data in line with our shared enforcement priorities against illegal hotel operators—is a first step toward finding such a solution that is consistent with Airbnb’s legal rights and obligations and allows us to share the kind of actionable data with the level of precision that the city needs.”

Two days later, a judge ordered Airbnb to comply with four additional city subpoenas, which Airbnb had claimed were overbroad and unduly burdensome. Even before the 2015 changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this claim was a boilerplate response when large data sets were requested. The amendments to Rule 26’s language on scope made this claim easier to prove, with the data request deadline falling 30 days sooner, along with the requirement of specificity and relevance. But in this case, the City of New York wasn’t simply going on a fishing expedition with their data request but were very detailed with the what and why.

Airbnb says the judge’s order infringes on user privacy. But this ruling sends a message that if data is shown to be relevant to the investigation of criminal activity, it must be handed over. In the past, corporations often worked in good faith with law enforcement, while avoiding the release their users’ data from a direct court order (e.g. Craigslist dropped their personal ads section in lieu of a pending Human Trafficking bill to avoid the hassle all together), and it seems that Airbnb’s offer of anonymized data was an attempt to play the middle: give enough information to show cooperation with the investigation while protecting user privacy.

The amount of data continues to grow exponentially every day, and technology allows larger and larger amounts of data to be quickly collected, reviewed, and analyzed. Are investigators getting savvy with their use of technology and the ability to request data by using targeted requests in subpoenas as a way to force companies’ hands regarding user data?

 

 

Stuck in the 20th Century with Your Trial Presentation Software?

Your firm has done all the research, document review, and planning for trial, and now you’re ready to go into the courtroom and present. What do you bring? Many use Power-Point for trial presentation software. Some are still relying on 20th Century staples such as foam boards and document projectors. And why not? You’ve always gotten by using these methods.

But imagine the ability to call up exhibits on the fly, video deposition tools, and a presentation that seamlessly integrates with the attorney’s dialogue, allowing you to tell a story that has a powerful impact on the jury and provides a positive outcome for your clients.

That’s where Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard were four years ago when they switched over to TrialDirector as their go-to presentation software for trial. 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.

“Ipro is proud to be part of the toolkit involved in such impressive outcomes,” said Derek Miller, VP Desktop Solutions at Ipro. “And we continue to improve and enhance the product to allow firms like Salvi to do important work.”

TrialDirector 360® is available as a stand-alone application or as part of the Ipro (Desktop) solution.

 

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.

2019 Ipro Tech Show Sessions Now Live

If you couldn’t attend the Ipro Tech Show in April (or want to relive it one more time), we have you covered! Videos of the presentations are now live and streamable, allowing you to experience the next best thing to being there (and share it with your colleagues).

The general session kicked off with Ipro CEO Dean Brown updating the audience regarding Ipro andhow we’re future-proofing our technology partnerships. Then, an Artificial Intelligence panel followed with Kinny Chan (Precision Discovery, LLC), Stephen Goldstein (Squire Patton Boggs, LLP), and William Kellermann (Hanson Bridgett, LLP) discussing AI and its impacts on the legal industry. Keynote Speaker Kevin Surace, futurist and disruptive innovator, wrapped up the general session by speaking about the myths and realities surrounding AI, upcoming trends, and how to use them to get ahead of the curve.

Track sessions were led by industry thought leaders and covered hot topics affecting eDiscovery, including: Tackling Information Governance and Incident Response, and Data Breaches as it applies to eDiscovery. The Sedona Conferencealso offered CLE credits, product training, and certification.

Thanks to everyone who made this event a success. We’re already making plans for next year!

Copies of the videos and presentations can be found here.

Why eDiscovery needs AI

Why eDiscovery needs AI

You can’t talk about eDiscovery without also discussing Artificial Intelligence and its potential impacts on the industry. Some people hear the term and jump to Sci-Fi movies and robots taking over, but it’s much more nuanced than that. You may be wondering how your job will be affected by this new technology. Or maybe you openly embrace technological enhancements. Perhaps you’re in the ‘just ignore it’ camp. You might even have “Skynet becomes self-aware” flashbacks. Whichever bucket you fall in, the fact remains AI is a subject that isn’t going away anytime soon. In many industries, including legal, AI and machine learning is already a thing. While there isn’t a squad of robots running review protocol just yet, smart companies are already leveraging this technology. Here’s a look at just two areas benefited by embracing the AI movement.

eDiscovery:
AI is already hard at work transforming how discovery is done. Gone are the days of attorneys sifting through boxes of documents. Thankfully, that time-consuming process has been replaced by electronic options. As these solutions evolve, we’ve seen the benefits of AI implemented through machine learning capabilities. Slogging through documents looking for that elusive needle in the haystack is now aided by software solutions with features like near-duplicate detection, email threading, and predictive coding. The benefits are obvious- less time spent on the tedious tasks equals more time to spend on meaningful work, which equals cost savings in the long run.

Workforce:
Understandably, the implementation of technology that does the tasks formerly completed by a human worker can cause some uncertainty and anxiety. There are certainly many theories out there about replacing the entire workforce with an army of robots, but that’s just not realistic. At least not anytime soon. There are just some roles, especially in the legal industry, that a human will always be the preferable choice. Let’s look at this common scenario. You’re a seasoned attorney with a large litigation case. The discovery files are in the many terabytes range. Back in the day, you’d have to employ, train, and provide a workspace for who knows how many junior attorneys to complete this task that would likely take many months to finish. You would have to rely on your training and the employee’s competency to locate the required documents needed for the case. There would be challenges- answering questions, employees calling out sick, performance issues. You must manage the project, the case, and the people. Sound familiar?

The solution is not a robot that will replace all the humans, but technology that assists the humans. Instead of eliminating jobs, you’ll be improving job quality by freeing up time from menial, time-consuming tasks for value-added services. The people you have doing review will be more efficient and productive. Rather than digging through documents only to see the same content numerous times, Technology Assisted Review will locate those documents through machine learning features. For the product manager, using technology to assist with identifying and sorting concepts from documents, can arm you with information that will help you make the most of your review time. The project is more efficient, deadlines are met, below budget and everyone is happy. Doesn’t that sound better?

Look, technology won’t go away just by squeezing your eyes closed, so it’s best to be ahead of the game and embrace it. Learning about the direction, benefits and limitations of AI can eliminate a lot of the fear and ambiguity surrounding the topic. Artificial Intelligence is not waiting for us in the future- it’s here. How will you use it?

 

AI in eDiscovery, by Ipro

Download Ipro‘s New White Paper “AI and eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality”

Trial Presentation Software for a Mac? Here’s How with TrialDirector!

Trial Presentation Software

Is There a Trial Presentation Software for Mac?

Despite the hours and hours of preparation before a trial, one single decision or piece of evidence could completely change the course of the case.

As an attorney, you are able to think and react quickly, but unfortunately, unfamiliar technology can be a stumbling block in a dynamic and stressful environment. Even well-practiced lawyers struggle when trying to use new computers, operating systems, and software programs in an ever-changing situation.

Your confidence as a presenter forms the foundation of effective trial presentations, and trial prep is not the time to learn how to navigate a new computer. If you use a Mac daily, then that shouldn’t change when you enter the courtroom.

Although TrialDirector and other associated software (TimeCoder Pro, DepoView, etc.) are designed for the Windows operating system, there are a variety of available methods that will allow you to enjoy the capabilities of your Mac along with all the features of TrialDirector software:

  1. Boot Camp: Don’t worry, this option doesn’t require you to participate in physically-exhausting activities; preparing and presenting in trial is demanding enough. Boot Camp is a program created by Apple that allows you to install the Windows operating system onto your Mac, so you can have two operating systems on one computer. This method gives you great stability and smooth performance with your software; however, while using Windows, you cannot access any of your iOS applications.
  2. WINE: This option requires a little more effort than grabbing a bottle of your favorite beverage and chatting it up with friends. Certain types of WINEs (Windows Emulators), such as WineBottler and CrossOver, allow you to run Windows-based programs on iOS-based systems. You simply download and install the Windows Emulator, and then your software will run on iOS using the WINE. These emulators work similarly to Boot Camp, but not all programs are fully supported, so you might run into some issues depending on the software you’re trying to use.
  3. Virtual Machine: This sounds like the most fun out of the three options, like an exciting virtual reality experience or a time-traveling device. Although a virtual machine isn’t quite that futuristic, it can be extremely helpful when trying to run Windows-based programs on iOS. Basically, it runs a virtual copy of the Windows operating system on your Mac, which allows you to use any software that is designed for Windows. Virtual Machines such as VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop do require more processing power and RAM, but you’ll have fewer problems.

 

 

Ipro Taps Into Trial Technology with Acquisition of inData Corporation

Trialdirector by Ipro

Article by: Ian Lopez, Legaltech News

Its first move following major investment, Ipro looks to a new technology area in an increasingly consolidating e-discovery marketplace.

When it comes to vendor choices, the e-discovery market is increasingly becoming a smaller place. And judging by the activity of recent years, acquisitions and strategic partnerships seem to be the favored method for scaling. Arizona-based e-discovery provider Ipro Tech first ventured down this path after being bought by investment firm ParkerGale. And as Ipro CEO Kim Taylor told Legaltech News, Ipro “sold with the upfront intention to make a few acquisitions.”

On August 1, Ipro made its first of those acquisitions, purchasing inData Corporation, a fellow Arizona company best known for its trial presentation software TrialDirector. The moves allows for the integration of Ipro’s Automated Digital Discovery (ADD) platform with inData’s trial and deposition management offerings.

The intent for users is to be able to shift between e-discovery and trial programs without having to leave a single platform. Speaking about inData’s users, CEO and president Derek Miller told LTN, “Ideally, they’ll be able to add on a subscription piece. … And those that want to just go to trial will still be able to just go to trial.”

When it comes to pricing and subscriptions, Taylor noted that “all that has to be figured out.” He added that Miller and inData CFO/COO Scott Palmer will “move over into different roles” with Ipro, and that over the next three months, all of InData’s employees will “be integrated into Ipro.” The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

For Ipro, the benefits of the acquisition are twofold. For one, it allows the company to make its way into trial technology, a market often overlooked in e-discovery M&A. Further, it is also the company’s first attempt since being purchased to make a play in the increasingly consolidating e-discovery market, which is currently witnessing major companies like kCura, DTI Technology, Lighthouse, and LDiscovery take significant market shares.

“One of the reasons we did the [ParkerGale] deal back in April was to make sure that we have the resources to compete,” Taylor said. “If you look, the other companies out there, whether its kCura or the cloud companies or whatever, they’re out trying to steal my lunch money every day. And they’re only getting bigger and better, so we have to keep up. We do believe if you look at TrialDirector, it’s a household name on the law firm side. … It gives us access to those folks and really helps us kind of get a stronger footing.”

The market is indeed rapidly shifting. In July 2016, Epiq Systems was purchased by DTI for $1 billion, while OpenText acquired Recommind for $163 million. This past June, contract data discovery company Adsensa was acquired by Exari.

And while the e-discovery space becomes the domain of fewer and fewer companies, it remains to be seen whether companies like Ipro can engage in their own acquisition strategies to compete. Mark Yacano, global practice leader of managed legal services at Major, Lindsey & Africa, told LTN that the acquisition is “endemic of the challenges that businesses are facing to stay relevant.” Discussing major players, he described how Relativity, despite moving to the cloud and having partners “wondering how that will impact them, kCura still has an enormous market share.”

“Folks like Ipro have to find a hook, have to find a differentiator,” he said. “I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a provider to integrate with the trial presentation and trial preparation function, because logically they do make sense to pair. But whether or not that’s a significant enough differentiator for Ipro to build market share, I think that’s going to be very, very interesting.”

The Legaltech News article can be found by clicking here.