Tag Archives: eDiscovery Best Practices

The eDiscovery Impostor and How to Spot Them

eDiscovery impostor

The eDiscovery Impostor and How to Spot Them

“To err is human,” but in an industry as seemingly driven by precision as eDiscovery, errors are all too common. Yes, mistakes are going to happen. Which is why we can fall back on processes and procedures to ensure that even when those mistakes happen, there are controls in place to catch and correct them.

Technology can go a long way in helping with Quality Control, especially when you’re dealing with large document and data sets, which increase the chances of missing something. But technology is only as good as its users, and according to some in eDiscovery, you have to be on the lookout for impostors.

What is an eDiscovery impostor? It’s simply a vendor or service provider that doesn’t deliver up to the standard expected or demanded by the requirements of the industry and the law. If you find the pickles were left off of a hamburger after you pull out of the drive thru, sure, it’s frustrating, and depending on how much you love them, you may even turn the car around to get what you had coming. But in the legal space, meeting deadlines with accurately processed and produced evidence is literally the law, and there are very real consequences for not meeting expectations.

Technology Impostors

Sometimes it’s an issue with the technology itself. Tom O’Connor, director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center and well-known industry thought-leader noted in an earlier article that errors loading data into many eDiscovery tools “Is still a mess. I (and people I work with) still get up to two-thirds of their load files with errors.” And then on the backend of that process, many solution-platforms lack reporting to help with QC. “This is absolutely crucial,” O’Connor stated. “And it’s astonishing to me how many programs don’t do it or do it in an incomplete manner.”

Service Provider Impostors

There are other types of eDiscovery impostors on the vendor and service provider side of things. Sal Llanera, who has over 25 years of experience in Forensic Technology, has held executive positions with Ernst & Young and other top accounting/consulting firms in New York supporting law firms in complex fraud and litigation assignments, and is the Founder and Principal of SL Data Management, shared some stories of his personal experiences with eDiscovery Impostors.

No QC on production deliverables:  One time an e-Discovery outfit approached me through a friend and offered me $20/gig for processing. So I sent them some personal emails (gmail accessed via Outlook) as a PST for a processing test. About 30% came back as junk, most likely due to rendering issues. I asked them what happened, and they blamed my emails, then had the audacity to ask if I’d give them another chance. 

People disappear when there are issues: With one particular vendor, we had some issues with the data over the weekend. No call back till a weekday. Come-on, we work with lawyers in a reactive environment. No weekend support?  Subpar work-ethic. This situation actually hurt my business.

Did not process data: A few years ago, I asked a friend in the business to handle a processing job for me. I handed over the drive, and in return he bought me a cup of coffee. Great, right? Two weeks later, I found out he never processed the data. It was such a large dataset, he figured I wouldn’t notice. I no longer talk to him. And like the second example, this directly hurt my business.

How to Avoid eDiscovery Impostors

Like anything else where you need to check veracity, simply do your due diligence. Ask providers for references. And then ask those references questions like:

  • How many projects they’ve done with them?
  • Are they responsive to emails/communication 24/7?
  • Are they problem solvers?
  • Were there any other issues?
  • Were they resolved quickly and professionally?

Even when you think you know someone, a little bit of research in the beginning can make a world of difference with the outcomes.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

What Percentage of Your Cases Go to Trial Each Year?

Percentage of Cases Go To Trial

 

What Percentage of Cases Go to Trial?

In a recent Ipro survey, 68% of respondents said that less than 5% of their cases go to trial each year. This probably isn’t a surprise to those of us working in the legal industry. For many, the goal is absolutely that: get to a resolution as quickly as possible and skip trial all together. Because of this, a large portion of legal teams working in the eDiscovery space don’t ever consider tools that are designed for fact management and trial presentation. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for them outside of the courtroom.

Percentage of Cases Go To Trial

For example, whether or not a case goes to trial, the legal team has to build a strategy around the facts and the evidence. A fact management tool allows a legal team to connect those facts with specific pieces of evidence or custodians, along with annotations by attorneys or lit support, so they can begin building a case strategy while conducting document review.

Another example of using trial-based tools before trial is presentation software. Often, presentation software can be connected directly to your fact management tool, allowing a legal team to present the strategy or case during mediation, at a meet and confer conference, or any other time where they may need present key elements of the case (including documents with highlights and call-outs, or video deposition clips) in a clear and organized fashion.

That’s where a solution like Ipro for desktop comes in: it’s a full eDiscovery processing and review tool with built-in fact management (Case Story) and trial presentation (TrialDirector 360) components, allowing for a seamless workflow from data ingestion through eDiscovery to presentation. So if you never see the inside of a courtroom, or a large percentage of your cases end up at trial, eDiscovery and Trial technology can level the playing field for your firm.

 

 


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Having Trouble Navigating the Unpredictable Waters of eDiscovery?

eDiscovery adventure guide

Ipro’s eDiscovery Adventure Guide

Find out how 5 legal teams overcame their challenges, utilizing Ipro’s Hybrid approach to eDiscovery.

There are a lot of stakeholders and processes involved in eDiscovery, which makes it an extremely complex adventure. For many years, people said that with the right software, you could handle everything. But software alone isn’t enough. That’s why you need a technology partner to help navigate the unpredictable waters of eDiscovery.

When software isn’t enough: Data continues to grow in size and complexity, and the need for that data in investigations and litigation is now a daily occurrence. For an agile response, innovative approaches to eDiscovery are necessary, and rather than trying to go at it alone, forward-thinking legal teams will look toward a hybrid approach.

Download the eDiscovery Adventure Guide Today!

Ipro eDiscovery Adventure Guide

Women in eDiscovery Phoenix Chapter Hosts Judges Roundtable

Women in eDiscovery Phoenix Judges Roundtable

Women in eDiscovery Phoenix Chapter Hosts Judges Roundtable

Photo: Front Row:  Kate Mortensen (Chief Legal Officer, Xact Data Discovery), Jamie Sheppard, (Client Success Manager, Ipro Tech), Tiffany Trejo (eDiscovery Specialist, Ricoh eDiscovery), Judge Pamela Gates (Maricopa County Superior Court, Presiding Judge), Judge Danielle Viola (Maricopa County Superior Court, Victoria Stevens (Sr. Paralegal, Wilenchik & Bartness, P.C.); Second Row: Judge Samuel Thumma (Arizona Court of Appeals), Lisa Waldin (Project Manager, Ryley Carlock), Judge Dominic Lanza (US District Court for the District of Arizona)

On October 17th, the Phoenix Chapter of Women in eDiscovery hosted a Judges roundtable event at the downtown offices of Snell & Wilmer. Four judges came to speak to over fifty attendees about eDiscovery trends and best practices they are seeing from the bench. Lunch was sponsored by Ipro.

WiE was launched in 2007 as a non-profit organization focused on providing women with legal technology education, networking and leadership opportunities. It’s now 28 chapters strong and growing, with each hosting monthly or quarterly meetings comprised of professionals within the legal industry including law firm and corporate legal attorneys, litigation support professionals, paralegals, legal IT staff, consultants, and vendors.

Below are highlights of what each speaker shared during the roundtable.

 

Hon. Dominic W. Lanza, US District Judge for the District of Arizona

eDiscovery Tip: “I don’t always hold Rule 16 meetings but begin with a Rule 26f conference right away. It may be your only shot to raise issues or concerns, so it’s vital that you find a way to be concise in disputes and crisply discuss scope with a focus on specifics and costs during the meet and confer.”

Before his appointment to the bench in 2018, Judge Lanza spent 10 years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, where his responsibilities included serving as the chief of the financial crimes and public integrity section and, later, as the office’s chief assistant. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he worked for five years at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, specializing in appellate litigation, and clerked for Judge Pamela A. Rymer of the Ninth Circuit.

 

Hon. Pamela S. Gates, Maricopa County Superior Court Presiding Judge

eDiscovery Tip: “I suggest a focus on cooperation by all parties through the 4 P’s of eDiscovery: Preservation, Production, Protection, and Proportionality. For example, if something can’t be produced, give reasons. The worst thing that could happen is to claim you’ve produced everything and have opposing counsel bring up something you’ve missed.”

Judge Gates was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer in September 2009 to serve on the Maricopa County Superior Court. She currently serves as the Presiding Civil Judge. Prior to this rotation, she served as the Associate Criminal Presiding Judge and the Associate Presiding Judge for Family Court (Downtown). Judge Gates served on numerous state-wide committees and received the 2018 Maricopa County Bar Association Judicial Officer of the Year Award and the Penny Gaines Collegiality Award. Prior to becoming a judge, she worked as a partner at Bryan Cave LLP.

 

Hon. Danielle J. Viola, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge

eDiscovery Tip: “Unless judges understand all of the details, they can’t rule. This is why it’s important to provide specific information, especially during proportionality complaints, and make experts like I.T. personnel readily available to answer questions.”

Judge Viola was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 2011. She currently enjoys a civil assignment and is chair of the Jury Advisory Committee for Maricopa County Superior Court, as well as serving on the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence and the Court Interpreter Program Advisory Committee. From 2014 through 2019, Judge Viola presided over a criminal calendar where she also served as the Administrative Judge for the Post-Conviction Relief Unit and as the Associate Presiding Judge for the Criminal Department. Prior to joining the bench, Danielle she was a partner at Snell & Wilmer.

 

Hon. Samuel A. Thumma, Arizona Court of Appeals Judge

eDiscovery Tip: “Judges are strangers to the individual cases, so you need to be prepared to educate and explain. Anytime you have an ESI issue come up, it’s a learning opportunity for everyone. This is why it’s important to have eDiscovery experts who are able to speak to both the technology and legal concerns in clear language.”

Judge Thumma has served on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, since 2012, serving as Chief Judge for two years ending June 30, 2019, and Vice Chief Judge for two years ending June 30, 2017. Before being appointed to the Court of Appeals, Judge Thumma served as a Judge on the Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County, for nearly five years, presiding over criminal and juvenile matters (including nearly 250 trials) and serving as an elected member of the Judicial Executive Committee. Nationally, Judge Thumma is a Uniform Law Commissioner, where he chairs the Study Committee on Jury Selection and Service; is a member of the Committee to Monitor Developments in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution and chaired the Drafting Committee for the Uniform Employee and Student Online Protection and Privacy Act (2016). He is a member of the American Bar Foundation. By appointment of the National Center for State Courts, he serves on the Joint Technology Committee, a cooperative effort of the NCSC, the Conference of State Court Administrators and the National Association for Court Management. Judge Thumma is a frequent lecturer and author, having presented at more than 340 seminars and published 12 law review, and 50 other law-related, articles. Before joining the bench, Judge Thumma was a partner at Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, P.A., in Phoenix, and an associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

 

Using Video Deposition Testimony for Opening Statements & Closing Arguments (Ipro Guest Blogger, Attorney Joshua Gilliland)

Trial Video Depositions

*Editor’s Note: Today’s Ipro blog was written by Joshua Gilliland, a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg from 2013 to 2016, the Web 100 from 2017 to 2018, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.

Trial advocacy is a mix of law and theater, requiring a lawyer to know both the law and their audience. Attorneys must effectively argue their client’s case using the evidence and the jury instructions to show their client is right (or has been wronged), and it is up to the jury to put things right.

The opening statement is an opportunity to set the stage for what the trial is about, and the closing argument is the chance to tie all the issues together with a bow. One highly effective strategy for both is using video depositions, but they must meet the requirements in Federal or state court.

Strategic Reasons to Use Video Deposition Clips

Back in 2002, David Narkiewicz described the value of using video depositions in trial as follows:

Video DepositionWithout a doubt, trial presentation software is most powerful when used to show a clip of a video deposition while simultaneously showing the transcript for the jury to watch and read. Instead of just showing a video clip, highlighting a particular comment by the witness with a color, such as yellow, can make the use of that clip extremely powerful. You can retrieve this clip by just typing in the page and lines of the transcript, and the video and transcript are played instantly on the screen.

Jurors today have lived with smartphones that allow them to watch videos in the palm of their hand, and many of these jurors are in Generation X or Millennials and want to hear the bottom line and not a presentation that manipulates their emotions.

This requires thinking about how to use short video deposition that conveys the key message, such as “day-in-the-life” videos, or using a specific passage of testimony that sums up a case are effective ways to maximize trial presentation technology to simply state complex information for the jury to understand.

Deposition testimony allows jurors to get an immediate look at a party (or party representative) in a lawsuit. However, just because you can show a line of deposition questions and answers, does not mean you should. The facts of the case can dictate the trial strategy.

As trial presentation expert Ted Brooks of Litigation-Tech has explained, video depositions of deceased parties were used in an asbestos reinsurance case from early in his career. Without the video depositions, the only way the jury would have “heard” the deceased’s testimony was to hear someone read it into the record.

The fundamental strategic reason for using a video deposition clip in an opening statement or closing argument boils down to effectively communicating the key facts of a lawsuit.

How to Prepare Video Deposition Clips

The first step in preparing video deposition clips in TrialDirector 360 is to have a synchronized video deposition. A video deposition can be synched in TimeCoder Pro, but it is highly likely a court reporter firm will provide a synced Digital Video Transcript (DVT file) that can be loaded into TrialDirector 6 or Trialdirector 360.TrialDirector 360

Video deposition clips can be created by selecting the relevant page and line designations within the transcript. Attorney colloquy and objections in the deposition should be edited out so the clip is only of the question and answer. It is often required that the questions before and after the relevant examination designation need to be included to give context to the answer. As every trial is unique, what needs to be presented can vary.

The main point of having a video excerpt in a closing argument or opening statement is for impact. This could be because a person is deceased, there is an admission of extreme importance, or the deponent gave inconsistent testimony at trial. There are numerous reasons to want to use a video deposition clip, but the key issue is presenting some testimony the jury will not forget when they begin deliberations.

Notes on Depositions from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 32 allows a party to use a deposition against an adverse party if the party had was present or represented at the deposition; had notice of the deposition; would be admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence; and meets one of the Rule 32(a) requirements. Fed Rules Civ Proc R 32(a)(1)(A), (B), and (C).

Federal Courts have allowed video deposition excerpts in opening statements. In one case where a party brought a motion in limine to exclude the use of a video deposition, the Court allowed the video deposition because Rule 32(a)(2) states a deposition can be used for “any purpose” and the opposing party’s conduct was factually relevant and could be alluded to in opening statement. Northfield Ins. Co. v. Royal Surplus Lines Ins. Co. (C.D. Cal. July 7, 2003).

In another case, the proffering party was limited to use video deposition testimony under Federal Rules of Evidence 403 that prohibit cumulative evidence, because the deponent was going to testify at trial. Beem v. Providence Health & Servs. (E.D. Wash. Apr. 19, 2012).

In a complex technology case, the Court granted a motion in limine excluding a video deposition clip from an opening statement, explaining, “…if unrestricted, a video deposition can be shown once in opening, again during trial (at least once), and in closing in the exact same form. Repeatedly showing the same few deposition segments seems to exalt the relevance of those videotaped shreds of evidence over live testimony.” Hynix Semiconductor Inc. v. Rambus Inc. (N.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2008), citing Federal Judicial Center, Effective Use of Courtroom Technology: A Judge’s Guide to Pretrial and Trial, 156 (2001).

(Interested in learning more about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure? Check out Ipro’s FRCP Cheat Sheet!)

Notice Requirements Regarding Video Depositions

The use of a video deposition in trial is subject to notice requirements under Federal and state Rules of Civil Procedure. In Federal Court, a party must provide a transcript of any deposition testimony the party offers. Fed Rules Civ Proc R 32(c). In California, there must be a notice in writing of the intent to offer video depositions into evidence, which allow for objections and video editing. Cal Code Civ Proc § 2025.340(m). It is pivotal to know the local rules for submitting evidence lists and any standing orders for using video depositions in trial.

Sources:

[1] FEATURE: GENERATION X AND Y’S INFLUENCE IN THE JURY BOX, 50 Orange County Lawyer 42, 44.

[2] THE RANDOLPH W. THROWER SYMPOSIUM: CHANGING LITIGATION WITH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: VIDEO DEPOSITIONS, TRANSCRIPTS AND TRIALS, 43 Emory L.J. 1071, 1075-1076

[3] FEATURE: UNDERSTANDING AND USING COURTROOM TECHNOLOGY IN THE NEW HARRIS COUNTY CIVIL COURTHOUSE, 44 Houston Lawyer 30, 31

[4] DEPARTMENT: LEGAL TECH: TECHNOLOGY IN THE COURTROOM: TRIAL PRESENTATION SOFTWARE, 24 Pennsylvania Lawyer 49, 49

 

AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

AI in eDiscovery

AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

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

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

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

Expectations vs. Reality – AI in eDiscovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Cruz, eDiscovery Hosting Support Consultant at RVM Enterprises

What is the Future of Legal AI?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Learn more about Ipro’s AI & Advanced Analytics!

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

Salt Lake Legal and Ipro

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

A Proven Partnership

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

Flexibility and Consistency

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

Advanced Analytics and AI

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

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

Shane Bawden, Salt Lake Legal                 Salt Lake Legal and Ipro

A Technology Partner to Grow With

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

 

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

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

eDiscovery Processing

eDiscovery Processing Challenges and How Technology Can Help

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

Challenges from a Developer’s Point of View

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

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

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

Challenges from the User’s Point of View

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

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

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

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

Steps for Creating a Smooth Processing Stage

Know Your Data

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

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

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

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

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

Look for a Technology Partner

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

How Ipro Can Help

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

File Types

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

Load File Errors

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

QC Reporting

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

Streams into Review

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

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

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

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

eDiscovery managed services

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

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

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

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

  1. eDiscovery On-Demand

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

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

  1. Complex and Specialty Discovery

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

  1. Corporate Legal Teams

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

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

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

  1. Predictable Pricing

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

Conclusion:

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

 

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

 

Written by Jim Gill
Ipro Content Writer

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

ediscovery costs

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

5 Models for Recovering eDiscovery Costs for Law Firms

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

To clarify, eDiscovery in this case refers to:

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

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

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

Concept 1

The Traditional (Hourly Billing Only)

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

Concept 2

The Ingester (Bill for Ingestion of Data Only)

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

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

Concept 3

The Vault (Storage Billing Only)

  • $20/GB/moth = Data storage

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

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

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

Concept 4

Bill Like a Service Provider

Pre-Processing and Culling

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

Review

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

Processing and Production

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

Concept 5

Bill Like a Service Provider, Take 2

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro