Blockchain Will Affect eDiscovery (But Probably Not Today)

blockchain eDiscovery

Blockchain Will Affect eDiscovery (But Probably Not Today)
Written by Jim Gill, Content Chief, Ipro

Forward-thinking law firms, in-house legal teams, and ALSPs aren’t wrong for keeping blockchain on their radar. After all, there’s no harm in staying aware of nascent technology that may impact the industry a little too soon rather than too late.

Where we Currently Stand:

Recently, Bettina Warburg, Technology Investor and Visiting Professor at University of Texas, gave an interesting and informative talk on blockchain at LegalTech 2020. She basically laid out the stages of technology innovation as such:

  • Infrastructure
  • Middleware
  • Applications

With the internet we know, infrastructure was everyone agreeing to build the world wide web using TCP/IP; middleware was the development of the different coding languages used to create pages on that infrastructure; and applications are just that — the tools we use to do certain tasks. Warburg said that with blockchain, “We’re currently at about the same place we were in 1995 with the internet.”

She went on to discuss three areas blockchain is most likely to impact the legal industry, once applications are developed and adopted.


This seems an obvious one, in that any new source of electronic data – especially if it’s used for enterprise or corporate purposes and thereby is subject to civil litigation – will need to be discoverable. So in the same way that technology vendors were figuring out how to collect, process, and review emails in 2006, the same will have to happen for blockchain-based applications. And along with the technology, guidelines like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and accompanying court-rulings and case law will shed light on how our current processes and solutions will change.

Compliance Innovation:

Currently, compliance is carried out by sampling percentages (of a supply chain, engagement, enrollment, etc). Because blockchains are immutable and transparent to everyone, compliance can be carried out for entire businesses in real time, rather than a sample at intervals. On the flipside of this issue, blockchain tech isn’t GDPR compliant for the same reasons, which would require some type of blockchain pruning, so that people can opt out of sharing their personal information, even though it still exists within the blockchain.

Code as Law:

Because blockchain technology allows machines to conduct business and transact currency within the parameters of their coded directives, it could set the precedent of machine code being adopted into law, with machines themselves then being able to carry out arbitration. If this is beginning to sound like sci-fi, you’re not alone. But then again, we thought the same about pocket computers / communicators straight out of Star Trek not so long ago.


There’s a lot of potential yet to be understood from blockchain. But if you think about the early legal tech companies that were around in the 90s, they were doing very different things and solving different problems than we have today. The successful were able to take that foundation and experience in the industry and pivot into the needs and challenges that came in the aughts and teens. And the same will happen in the coming decade.

As Olga V. Mack, CEO of Parley Pro, said in a recent Above the Law piece about blockchain and AI, “Your focus must be on whether a solution solves your problem and allows you to do things better, not what technology powers it.” Which is why we must keep a clear perspective on emerging tech and stay focused on the very real challenges the eDiscovery industry is still facing every day, like how to effectively deal with Slack data or helping the corporate legal department move from being a cost center to enabling business growth. When we start knocking these things out of the park, then maybe we’ll be ready for blockchain.

Looking for more insights into emerging technology and the eDiscovery industry?
Register for the Ipro Tech Show, taking place at Arizona State University College of Law, March 11-12.


9 New Ways Low-Tech Law Firms Leak Money, Thanks to AI

The following blog was curated with information from the AI panel at the Ipro Tech Show 2019. The conference is held by Ipro Tech, a Phoenix-based legal thought-leader and innovator in the eDiscovery industry—simplifying the process from discovery to trial while significantly reducing the cost and complexity of eDiscovery through user-friendly software, services, and support.
Written by Lara Piu

“The AI era is here. Sound futuristic? More like fundamental,” says eDiscovery & Information Governance Counsel William Kellerman at Hanson Bridgett LLP.

“It’s basically taking something that takes a lot of human effort and using a computer to make it easy, make it routine,” he stated in his recent Ipro Tech Show talk, where he and other top legal experts informed leaders about the future of the industry.

Yet, less than a third of people working at law firms use AI or machine learning according to a new Bloomberg Law Legal Operations & Technology survey.


Ease of use, budget, billable hours, and compliance are some of the reasons they’ve not jumped on the AI bandwagon. But now that the rest of the world is in-deep with AI, ironically, low-tech firms are experiencing new problems—here are just nine of them:

1. Civil procedure compliance

Justice is served with the right combination of data and expertise.

“8% of lawyers, doctors, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals, are correct 8% of the time; machines on their own are correct around 50% of the time; but an expert using machine learning is correct 95% of the time,” reports Kellermann, who advocated that justice is served with the right combination of data and expertise at the Show.

2. Above the line write-offs

AI electronic billing that reviews outside counsel bills can create above the line write-offs.

For example, data provided by the law firm is loaded into the system, the AI tool bubbles up certain items to the top, and anything that’s above the line is not paid for, or paid at a lesser amount, according to Kellerman.

3. Alternative fee agreements

The technology lawyer and litigator also reports that companies use AI to create alternative fee engagement agreements.

“So … you’re going to do all of this patent work for this price for the year, and that’s all you get. It’s no longer hourly billing,” Kellerman adds.

4. Pre-bills

The same pre-bill technology firms use to analyze associate and partner contributions is now being used against you in the vendor space.

“Anybody who’s providing legal services, regardless of how you’re doing it, how you bill and what you bill for, is going to be scrutinized by these kinds of tools,” Kellerman advises.

5. Inefficient legal specs

Monthly legal invoice review, analysis, and payments is a tedious job that firms that continue to have human resources to tackle, but now more than ever, legal firms must be efficient.

Corporate clients demand value and production.

Squire Patton Boggs Director of Practice Support, Stephen Goldstein says, “That movement is causing corporations to be much more aware about how they spend their legal dollars.”

6. Class action certifications

AI’s ability to quantify whether the burden or the damages for class members and their circumstances are substantially similar, it can help—or hinder—class certification.

“These technology uses coming are coming to the legal space and creating a great opportunity,” Kellerman notes, but naturally, the key is to be on the winning side of that equation.

7. Zero-trust differential privacy

Next-level corporate security represent life and death matters as well as organizational risk, which is how we arrived at the new zero-trust environment.

And this makes AI and machine learning crucial. Kellerman says, “Those are the kinds of things we’re going to need to see in our law firms, in our businesses, and the corporations who are going to drive that, to secure these conversations, to ensure privacy, and to do the work we need to do to inform the experts.”

8. Information overload

Between text, email, and the app of the day, the sheer volume of data that has to be sifted through today is at an all-time high and growing exponentially.

“You’re putting a lot of that information in a system that is being preserved. So the volume of data that is being generated today is at an unprecedented level,” explains Precision Discovery CEO, Kinny Chan.

9. Rogue stickies

Goldstein, who has been working with predictive coding for at least a decade, recalls how stickies fell off manually tagged documents in the old days. But with electronic discovery and predictive coding, more information is found rather than lost, he explains.

“It’s able to concentrate on what’s not relevant and just move it out of the way so we concentrate on what we need to concentrate on,” Goldstein says, noting some firms have resisted the technology with concerns to loss in billable hours. “But the good news for everyone in the room here is, this is not going to replace our jobs, this makes us all more valuable.”

“Anybody who’s providing legal services, regardless of how you’re doing it, how you bill and what you bill for is going to be scrutinized by these kinds of tools.”

—  William Kellerman, eDiscovery & Information Governance Counsel, Hanson Bridgett LLP


Want to learn more on how to help your bottom-line?

Register to attend the Ipro Tech Show 2020

Getting up to speed on AI is just one of the many ways successful legal firm partners build their future-proof vision at Ipro Tech Show 2020. Held March 11-12, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona, the show inspires informed legal and compliance innovation for litigation professionals, executives, attorneys, paralegals, IT professionals, law firms, corporations, government agencies, and legal experts each year.

“I found my first Ipro Innovations conference to be a high-energy, thought provoking event that I felt privileged to attend,” says leading legal industry analyst and Ari Kaplan Advisors Principal, Ari Kaplan.

Ipro’s Quick Recap of LegalTech NY 2020

LegalTech 2020 Recap

That’s a wrap on another LegalTech NY, and while everyone is packing up, saying goodbyes, and getting ready to travel, here’s a quick recap of this year’s 2020 conference:

Smaller but More Focused:

I don’t have the actual stats on attendees, but speaking with other folks, it seemed a little smaller this year, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The booths were sharp, the people engaged, the panels and presentations focused. Not that they weren’t those things in past years, but this year felt purposeful. Which I think reflects the fact that more and more people are coming into eDiscovery and legal technology with some experience. The last 10 years has indeed been one of growth and adoption in the legal community, and you could see that in the knowledge given not only by speakers, but by attendees with their questions and by sharing their experiences and best practices.


Day one featured Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Attorney General, who gave great reminders as to what is important about the justice system in the United States: namely the rule of law, which lies upon the pillars of determining what evidence is admissible and basing decisions upon a standard of proof, using that evidence. When asked about the impeachment, he called it “legal-ish,” saying that it is presented like a legal hearing, but in the end it is a political hearing where “you can say anything, not require witnesses, base the outcome on hearsay,” and where there is “no judge, no advocate, and no appeal.” He then went on to say as long as we have the rule of law to maintain confidence in the judiciary, then democracy will continue to thrive.

Day two featured Bettina Warburg, who gave a fascinating and accessible presentation on blockchain, discussing where it is in development and how it affects the legal community. She had a great explanation of the phases of tech innovation, beginning with infrastructure, then middleware, then applications. With the internet we know, infrastructure was everyone agreeing to build the world wide web using TCP/IP; middleware was the development of the different coding languages used to create pages on that infrastructure; and applications are just that — the tools we use to do certain tasks. She said that with blockchain, “We’re currently at about the same place we were in 1995 with the internet.” There’s a lot of potential yet to be understood from blockchain. But if you think about the early legal tech companies that were around in the 90s, they were doing very different things and solving different problems than we have today. The successful were able to take that foundation and experience in the industry and pivot into the needs and challenges that came in the aughts and teens. Blockchain isn’t something that is affecting us greatly today, but it should not be ignored, especially for those forward-thinking companies,


LegalWeek is a whirlwind, full of micro-events of all kinds: meetings, conversations, and impromptu gatherings that yield some of the best takeaways. There were also plenty of formal get-togethers and there was no way you could go to all of them. I’d like to highlight the ACEDS happy hour at Club 48, where it was great to kick off a new year with President Mike Quartararo and Ari Kaplan, who is leading the ACEDS advisory board. Ipro is happy to be an ACEDS partner this year, and we look forward to more collaboration with them.

Finally, Ipro hosted it’s annual party at Faces and Names, which was packed to the brim with a veritable who’s who of eDiscovery and legaltech. It was amazing to see so many different people in the industry: some who’d known each other for many years, and others who were just introduced. It was a great way go into the final day of the conference.

So there’s the quick run down — look for more detailed articles by Ipro related to the knowledge coming out of LegalWeek2020 soon!

Written by Jim Gill
Content Chief, Ipro

Hybrid eDiscovery: Because One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Hybrid eDiscovery for all

Hybrid eDiscovery: Because One Size Doesn’t Fit All

In the legal technology industry, we hear the word “agility” used quite a bit, mostly in regard to processes and workflow. eDiscovery traditionally has been a fairly fixed process, moving along the eDiscovery Reference Model (EDRM) with only slight variations on a theme.

Corporations create and maintain data (i.e. electronically stored information [ESI]), and in response to internal investigations and litigation, that data is preserved and collected, often by the in-house legal team. From there, the help of Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSP) may be used to process that data into usable formats and outside law firms are called in to conduct review.

But if you ask any eDiscovery professional, “What is the best approach,” you’re likely to get the same answer again and again: It depends.

For such a legally regulated process, there are near-infinite variables that arise from matter to matter. Variations in data sizes and sources, in production requirements, in complexity. Which is why there are often so many moving parts and parties in the process, with varying degrees of involvement, depending on the needs of the case.

In response, many legal technology vendors carve out their approach, and their users adapt to the parameters. The only preference legal teams can choose is which vendors they employ. And because of the “it depends” nature of eDiscovery, they often need to employ a variety of software applications and services to cover everything.

And it works. It gets the job done. But is it agile? Does it provide a flexible and accessible framework that allows users the ability to get the job done however they want to get it done? Or is it a process built on compromise.

That is the goal of Hybrid eDiscovery: to give users the option to check whichever boxes they want to meet the needs of the matter at hand. Options on deployment, on scalability, on services, on pricing, without putting limits on processing power, AI and analytics, review capabilities, and production quality.

Hybrid eDiscovery allows you to take the current process of in-house legal teams, ALSPs, and outside law firms and customize it to your organization’s needs and preferences. And by adding transparency for all parties involved, while cutting down on the number of data hand-offs, a hybrid approach gives legal teams true agility at all stages of the eDiscovery process.

If you’re going to be at LegalTech in New York, February 5th, Hybrid eDiscovery will be the topic presented on the Legal Innovation Trends and Education Stage at 11:30am. Stop by and hear Ipro’s Aaron Swenson, Director of Product Growth and Strategy and Derek Miller, VP of Desktop Products discuss this rising trend in eDiscovery.


Ipro will showcase major software updates to Ipro for enterprise and desktop at LegalTechNY 2020

Ipro will showcase major software updates to Ipro for enterprise and desktop at LegalTechNY 2020

Like a lot of people in the industry, Ipro is gearing up for LegalTech next week in New York. We have lots of exciting things going on, including two new product releases.

If you will be in New York, schedule a 1:1 meeting or stop by and visit Ipro’s booth 2004 for a hands-on look at Ipro’s eDiscovery solutions.

Ipro for enterprise: 

  • Reduce risk and take control while maintaining defensibility
  • Empower internal and external legal teams to effortlessly collaborate
  • Gain cost predictability through straight forward, competitive pricing
  • Seamlessly integrate with your existing internal systems
  • Flexibly manage data environments and hosting costs by deploying on-premises, in the Ipro cloud, or a hybrid

The 2020 release of Ipro for enterprise has new intuitive Review interface, powerful analytics, and job manager, placing Ipro at the forefront of eDiscovery systems. Best-in-class Processing produces the highest quality documents and gets them into review faster than any other engine out there. The newly designed UI has an intuitive look and feel, enhancing your ease-of–use.

Ipro for desktop:

  • Simplify your Discovery to Trial workflow within a single tool
  • Available where you are – take your case offline when necessary
  • Manage hosting costs by keeping data local
  • Use Fact Management to organize, highlight, and chronologically order case facts
  • Present virtually any type of document or media from your PC
  • Create deposition clips in a snap

With Ipro for desktop, you’ll be able to quickly access relevant electronic evidence, manage review, organize facts, and prepare for presentation or trial with this true, all-in-one litigation solution. Deployed locally, this solution is easy to install and support with virtually no overhead, allowing eDiscovery to be carried out offline on a particular computer or in a network.

Schedule a private meeting with our client success team!

Ipro Announces Strategic Partnership with NetGovern, Helping Legal Teams to Meet the Challenges of “ZettaByte Scale” eDiscovery

Ipro Netgovern Partnership

Ipro, a global leader in eDiscovery and Trial software technology, announced today a strategic partnership with NetGovern. This partnership will provide an innovative approach for customers to perform Early Data Assessment (EDA), enabling the rapid review of relevant data before it is ever collected, thereby dramatically lowering expensive eDiscovery costs.

Cloud and On-Premises data repositories containing zettabytes (i.e., billions of documents) are now the norm, and collecting from various storage locations has become a real challenge for in-house legal counsel. NetGovern allows real-time, consolidated access to multiple sources of enterprise unstructured data, enabling legal teams to effectively make tactical decisions prior to preserving or duplicating Electronically Stored Information (ESI). Combining this functionality with Ipro’s best-in-class capabilities – including data processing, enhanced visual analytics, new intuitive document review, and trial solution – creates what is possibly the industry’s most flexible, scalable, and powerful eDiscovery experience.

With this partnership, Ipro expands its offerings to help legal teams perform investigations for litigation and internal matters, assess compliance & security risks, protect intellectual property, respond to eDiscovery, subpoenas, and public record requests, and ultimately prepare for settlement or trial.

“Searching through billions of documents and creating legal holds from multiple sources, such as Office 365 mailboxes and applications, on-premises file shares or Box, is how we make a difference every day. We are excited to take part in helping our mutual customers make confident decisions much earlier in the process,” says Pierre Chamberland, Founder & CEO of NetGovern.

Dean Brown, CEO at Ipro Tech, adds, “As corporate data continues to grow, innovative approaches to eDiscovery are necessary. Ipro continues to invest in this market to stay ahead of the demands of eDiscovery and ensure our clients gain insight into the complexities of today’s data-filled world.”

Both Ipro and NetGovern reiterated their continued commitment to provide their customers with flexible deployments whether On-Premises, or fully-hosted in Public & Private Clouds.

During Legalweek 2020 in NYC, both companies will answer questions and celebrate this partnership at its “Game On eDiscovery!” event at Faces and Names on Feb 5, 2020. For information about scheduling a meeting, contact us here:

About NetGovern
NetGovern’s information archiving and governance software helps organizations solve data compliance, safeguard personal information, simplify eDiscovery and protect their reputation. Our all-in-one solution offers the fastest speed to value, lowest cost of ownership, and most secure visibility of sensitive information found in messages and files, independent of storage location.

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.




New Article by Ipro Client Manager, Ethan Hirsch, Published by NALA

NALA and Ipro

A new article highlighting TrialDirector 360 and written by Ipro Client Manager Ethan Hirsch was published by NALA: The Paralegal Association this month.

Before joining Ipro, Ethan spent two years as a Paralegal Assistant, supporting all aspects of case management and deposition/trial prep and has provided law firms, government agencies, and other litigation companies with the highest level of training, consulting, and support, using his knowledge of case management, trial preparation and presentation.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

“When you start off in the litigation support field, your firm may not even own licensing for trial presentation software, so there’s a good chance you’ve never seen or even heard of TrialDirector®. And when you finally see it, you still may not fully grasp the value of a software program like it.

“I know I didn’t, even after starting work at inData Corporation and later moving to Ipro. It was only after training and consulting law firms for months on TrialDirector software, while customizing case management tactics and workflows to help clients be prepared for trial, before I fully understood. But when you ultimately sit in the hot seat to support firms with presentation in the courtroom, there’s no doubt about its value.

“An attorney’s job is to tell a true and complete story with words, using months, if not years of case management, motions, discovery, productions, hearings, and finally a trial. TrialDirector puts all of those things together in just a few seconds to enhance the presentation of the evidence to the 12 members of the jury. Evidence gets you to trial but telling the story of the evidence to the jury wins it.”

Continue Reading the full article published on NALA: The Paralegal Association’s website.

NALA is a non-profit organization which provides current information about the paralegal profession, continuing education (publications, courses, and webinars), networking opportunities, professional certification programs, occupational survey reports, and publications to help paralegals excel in the workplace.

Watch Ipro in 2020

In the eDiscovery industry, few can truly execute the practical application of software and processes to help you get your work done quickly and effectively.

That’s why you should check out Ipro in 2020!

Ipro offers proven, battle tested eDisocvery software bundled as a solution and deployed the way you want it – Cloud, On-Prem, Desktop, or Hybrid. We also offer a variety of managed services, including processing & hosting, workflow and case management, as well as trial engagements. That is what makes Ipro more than a software vendor. We’re a true technology partner for your day to day needs.

Flexible, Scalable, Powerful.

New Webinar! Learn How Ipro for Enterprise Reduces Risk & Cost for Corporations

January 23, 2020, 1pm EST

Join Ipro’s Director of Product, Aaron Swenson, as he reviews the all NEW Ipro for enterprise, and how it helps corporations quickly respond to subpoena requests, complex litigation, and internal investigations, while reducing overall cost and risk..

In this webinar showcase you will learn:

  • How your legal team can reduce risk and costs by culling irrelevant documents and intellectual property sent to outside counsel
  • How the latest in AI, Advanced Analytics, and Data Visualization help your team quickly uncover facts in ways that would be impossible with traditional linear search
  • How the new consumer-modeled interface empowers internal and external legal teams to effortlessly collaborate while maintaining a high degree of data security and compliance

Flexible, Scalable, Powerful
Ipro for enterprise can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid, giving you absolute flexibility to manage environments and hosting costs.

Ipro Chats with George Socha About eDiscovery Trends for 2020

eDiscovery trends 2020

Ipro Chats with George Socha About eDiscovery Trends for 2020

It’s that time again where everyone is posting their predictions on the most important trends in eDiscovery for the new year. Luckily, I had the good fortune to recently speak with one of the industry’s leading voices, George Socha, about where he thinks the focus will be in 2020.

He targeted three areas which are emerging, expanding, and going to “hugely change the eDiscovery landscape we face.”

Here are some of the highlights:


“If you think of how we live our lives today – how we communicate with people and the device we constantly have with us, tracking communications, giving us access to data, tracking where we go, what we do, what we buy, what websites we visit – it’s with our mobile devices.

“And If the goal of eDiscovery, of discovery in litigation and investigations, is to figure out what happened, you have to get to the content on those devices, and the content not on but available through those devices.

“All too often, the cost and inconvenience of collecting mobile data is an insurmountable barrier. Then the next barrier we must get past is in processing that data in a way that actually makes it available and usable on a reliable basis. And then after that, the display of that content within the tools we use for analyzing and reviewing it, so it can be worked with intelligibly.”


“There is the AI we use today in eDiscovery: different names for supervised machine learning, where you say, ‘This is what I like’ and then you say to the system, ‘Now go find more of that for me’; and then there is unsupervised machine learning, which makes things such as email threading possible.

“Which takes us to the AI we’re not using or not using so much yet. The forms of predictive analytics, for example, that could in theory guide us so that if you are answering a complaint, you work with a system that has a wealth of information about previous complaints and answers to complaints, and it suggests to you what answer you might want to put together, and then lets you go from there. That’s just one potential example. The range of possibilities is enormous and includes not only what we can do for litigation, but what we can do in virtually every other area of the practice of law. But we’re still on the beginning of the up-ramp for that, and we’ve got a long way to go.”

The Cloud:

“The cloud, for eDiscovery purposes, is important in two different ways. First, the cloud is where so much of the data we need to get at is stored today. A very high percentage of corporations of all sizes have data in the cloud. I’ve seen numbers that range anywhere from 40% or so to 92% and higher, but whether it’s 40% or 90%, that’s a pretty high percentage, and for discovery purposes will have to be treated as 100%. How do you find that data? How do you gain access to it? Can you use it where it’s stored for eDiscovery purposes or do you need to port that data or some portion of it over for use at another location?

“Then the other side is, are the eDiscovery systems you use operating in the cloud. Do they store data in the cloud, operate locally, or are they a hybrid of the two? Increasingly, I think we’re going to see systems that are exclusively operating in the cloud and storing data primarily in the cloud with data available locally for convenience purposes.”

For the full conversation with industry veterans George Socha, Derek Miller, Ryan Joyce, and Sarai Schubert, all talking about their earliest days working in legal tech over the past three decades and giving their insights into what they see happening in 2020 and beyond, visit us here:

30 Years of eDiscovery: Industry Veterans Discuss Where We’ve Been & What the Future Holds


Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro