Tag Archives: Legal Technology

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

5 Reasons Your Legal Team is Being Held Back by Legacy eDiscovery Software

legacy eDiscovery software

We’ve all been there: we know we need to change our way of doing things but are stuck in the status quo. We tell ourselves, if it isn’t broken, why fix it, because the thought of going through the difficulty of evolving often overshadows any benefits that might come with updating.

Those of us working in eDiscovery are no different. Even as digital information is constantly growing, file types changing, and processing and review costs continue rising, we hang onto outdated software that becomes more and more unstable with age—from limited processing capabilities, issues with filetype compatibility, or a lack of continued development and support.

Here are 5 reasons why continued use of unsupported legacy software is a ticking time bomb in your eDiscovery process.

  1. Tech Support

This is an obvious one. Using legacy eDiscovery software that is no longer supported by the company that created it is like driving a car with high-mileage and no warranty: it may still run fine and get you from point A to point B, but when it breaks down, you’re on your own.

  1. Operating System Support

As far as digital lifespans go, 5 years is a long time. If your legal team is using legacy eDiscovery software which was created for older versions of an OS, it could lead to issues if it’s no longer being supported to meet with scheduled OS updates. (For example, Microsoft released Windows 10 in 2015, which has had 7 additional versions updates since then, with various “end of service” dates scheduled in 2020).

  1. File-type support

It’s no secret that data is growing exponentially each year, particularly in the corporate sector. From an eDiscovery standpoint, the challenge lies with the near infinite number of file types (and variations within each type) in which data can live. Every program and application you use creates different file types: email, chat, social media, planning and content-creation tools, etc. Different versions of the same program or application create variations of those file types, and different formatting within each of those can create still more variations. From this perspective, it’s easy to see why a legal team needs software that is continually being updated in order to keep up with this growth.

  1. Lack of advanced tools and analytics for today’s workflows

More and more, legal teams are looking to add the latest tools which increase the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of document search and review. If your team is using software that is no longer being developed or supported, you may be missing out on the latest innovations in Early Case Assessment (ECA), Technology Assisted Review (TAR), and other advanced technology which allows your team to deal with larger datasets and take on more complex cases.

  1. Difficulty meeting unique production requirements

FRCP Rule 34(b) states that a requesting party may specify the form or forms of ESI production, which are determined by the parties at the Rule 26(f) “meet and confer” conference. The inability to meet unique production requirements due to outdated or unsupported software will result in having to turn to outside service providers to do the job for you, resulting in extra costs and added stakeholders, in order to meet the production deadline.

Functional Software isn’t a Long-Term Solution

It’s time to stop struggling with legacy eDiscovery tools. Ipro easily migrates data from the most popular legacy flat-file review databases and has been purpose-built with the most cutting-edge features in eDiscovery. No matter what your eDiscovery needs are, Ipro has the flexibility, scalability, and value to meet them.

 

Register for Ipro’s upcoming webinar:

eDiscovery from the Trenches: 3 Veteran Practitioners Discuss How to Create a Successful eDiscovery Workflow

Redaction Errors in Federal Opioid Case Reveal Importance of Legal Technology

legal redaction technology

Redaction Errors in Federal Opioid Case Reveal Importance of Legal Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Ipro Can Help with Redactions

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

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

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

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

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

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

Self-driving cars, eDiscovery, IoT

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

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

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

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

The Self-Driving Uber:

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

Tesla on Autopilot:

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

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

Tesla and the 2-year-old Driver:

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

 

Written by Jim Gill
Ipro Content Writer

 

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

What is Hybrid eDiscovery and How Will it Shape the Future of Legaltech?

hybrid eDiscovery

In Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for E-Discovery Solutions, they say a future trend in eDiscovery will be people moving to a Hybrid eDiscovery deployment where “organizations are looking for greater cloud flexibility where capabilities can be ‘dialed up’ and ‘dialed down’ as needed. Established processes, methods and technologies may not be enough. Indexing and classification services, for example, will work better and be less bandwidth-and resource-intensive if they are located closer to the data source.”

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. For many years, people have touted end-to-end solutions, with the notion that an in-house legal team can handle everything that comes their way with the right software. But there are a lot of stakeholders involved in the eDiscovery process, which makes the idea of a single team doing everything extremely complex:

  • Attorneys need electronic evidence to make their case
  • Litigation Support, Paralegals, and Case Managers have to actually get that data and put it into a usable form so attorneys can review it
  • IT has to work with all parties, collecting, managing, and hosting that data in a secure way, while the legal team does their work

In the same way, there are a lot of components to ensure eDiscovery happens.

  • Software is needed to process, cull, search, review, and produce electronic information
  • Services are needed to do the work of eDiscovery, either though utilizing in-house personnel or looking to outside service providers
  • IT Infrastructure is needed to host the software and all of the case data in a secure and accessible way.

What is hybrid eDiscovery and how does it deal with these issues differently than the current models?

As a concept, it combines the best aspects of powerful in-house software, an outside service-provider, and a dedicated cloud environment and IT department specialized to eDiscovery, bundled into a solution with a single technology partner. Hybrid eDiscovery gives you the confidence, that no matter what type of case falls in your organization’s lap, you have the flexibility, scalability, and support to handle it, either in-house or utilizing your technology partner’s services.

Software:

Obviously, it’s a non-starter if you don’t have access a robust eDiscovery tool that can process any type of data, while utilizing the latest innovations in ECA, Advanced Analytics, and AI in order to speed up the review process and accurately produce ESI. Some software claims to be “easier to use” than others. But what really matters is if the software can handle the needs of high-volume complex eDiscovery. A drag and drop, single-click process doesn’t mean anything if you’re constantly having to send work out to someone else when things get heavy. It also gets costly. Add that with the ability to flexibly deploy software in whatever way works best for you – on prem or in the cloud for enterprise level clients, or a modern desktop deployment for smaller law firms and government agencies – and you have the foundation for a Hybrid eDiscovery solution.

Services:

Having a technology partner to help out when you need it allows your organization to surge or dial back resources depending on workload and data needs. And unlike an outside service provider, a Hybrid eDiscovery technology partner is the creator and owner, as well as the user of the technology, so they can adapt quickly to better support your organization. From helping with case and user creation, strategy, processing, data imports, setting up Review Passes and custom searches, exports and/or productions, they can be as hands on or hands off as you’d like. And because you’ll work with the same case managers, they’ll come to know you’re your workflow, acting more as an extension of your case team, oftentimes giving around-the-clock support in order to meet tight deadlines. Long-story-short, they are prepared to handle the technical aspects of a matter, thus allowing attorneys to focus on the practice of law.

Hybrid eDiscovery in the Cloud

A lot of people think of “The Cloud” as a singular place, but there are many types of clouds. Here are the three types of cloud hosting most used in eDiscovery.

Public Cloud (AWS, MS Azure):

  • All infrastructure exists in the data centers of the provider
  • Users have a private environment within larger ecosystem
  • Cloud host responsible for data security, IT management & support

Sounds good right? Except these public clouds aren’t just used for eDiscovery, so case data is in the same cloud as the data of large corporations and financial enterprises (which may be high-profile targets for hacking). Public cloud providers are experts in data security & IT management, but they aren’t specialists in eDiscovery.

Private Cloud (AKA, On-Prem):

  • More control over data and environment
  • Dedicated private network located either on-premise or at a remote site
  • “On-Prem” eDiscovery deployment often means a private cloud

Control of eDiscovery data is fully with the user, which is an added benefit from a security and control standpoint. But the burden of maintaining an in-house system is heavy: managing hardware and software upgrades, maintaining an IT team that understands the needs of the legal department, securing against hacks and data breaches, while trying to recover costs and scale in the face of ever-growing datasets.

Hybrid eDiscovery:

  • The scalability of a public cloud with the data control of a private cloud
  • Hosting team speaks the same language as your legal team and acts as your dedicated eDiscovery IT department
  • State-of-the-art data center, with limited employee access to sensitive data & a lower profile for targeted hacks
  • Hosting fees are a fraction of those on public clouds. And because you’re changed flat rates for data processed and hosted only, cost is not only reasonable but predictable
  • Regardless of the software deployment you’re using (desktop, on-prem, or cloud hosted), you can scale up using your Hybrid eDiscovery partner’s cloud at any time

Conclusion

As Gartner stated, Hybrid eDiscovery is something that will continue to trend in legaltech. Software alone 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 it alone, forward-thinking legal teams will look toward a hybrid approach.

Find out more about Hybrid eDiscovery with Ipro

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Manager, Ipro

Where Does eDiscovery Fit in the Facial Recognition Conversation?

ediscovery facial recognition

Where Does eDiscovery Fit in the Facial Recognition Conversation?

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

For most of us, the concept of facial recognition – like so much technology of the last decade – began as a sci-fi detail we accepted on the big screen but didn’t give much thought to in our day-to-day lives. Then one day, our phones started tagging photos automatically, asking, almost sheepishly, “Is this you?” And just like that, the idea that an algorithm could learn to recognize our faces was real. But we’ve moved on from that innocuous beginning and now are treading more and more into the realm of another type of film (I’m thinking here of Brazil or Minority Report) where technology aids law enforcement in making our world a safer place, but also introduces new privacy and ethics conundrums when that technology fails or is corrupted. And, as always, eDiscovery has a place where legal and tech (in this instance law-enforcement and facial recognition) collide.

Law Enforcement, Facial Recognition, and Privacy Concerns

In a Washington Post article in July 2019, it was revealed that agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were using facial recognition software to scan state driver’s license databases, analyzing millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or consent.

In the past, police have used fingerprints, DNA and other “biometric data” collected from criminal suspects (think of those large binders of mugshots you always see victims flipping through in cop shows), but the photos in DMV records are of a state’s residents, most of whom have never been charged with a crime.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the FBI has logged more than 390,000 facial-recognition searches of federal and local databases, including state DMV databases, since 2011. Even though neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized the development of such a system, and now lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum are concerned.

“Law enforcement’s access of state databases,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) said is “often done in the shadows with no consent.” And Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Republican, seemed particularly incensed during a hearing into the technology earlier this year.

“They’ve just given access to that to the FBI,” he said. “No individual signed off on that when they renewed their driver’s license, got their driver’s licenses. They didn’t sign any waiver saying, ‘Oh, it’s okay to turn my information, my photo, over to the FBI.’ No elected officials voted for that to happen.”

Off-The-Shelf Facial Recognition Tools for Law Enforcement

In Oregon, back in 2017, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office became the first law enforcement agency in the country known to use Amazon’s artificial-intelligence tool Rekognition, and almost overnight, the deputies of this small county in the suburbs outside of Portland had ramped up their investigative ability. With this off-the-shelf technology, they were able to scan for matches of a suspect’s face across more than 300,000 mug shots taken at the county jail since 2001. With that information, they can take a picture – perhaps captured by a security camera, social-media account, or cellphone – and link it to an identity.

But linking a photo to previous mug shots is analogous to the same action that happened prior to the addition of technology. It’s something detectives used to do manually but now are assisted with the use of AI. Still, there are significant problems with the technology itself.

Facial Recognition Bans Due to Concerns Ranging from Privacy to Racial Equity

Some places have already taken measures to ban face recognition software. In 2019, San Francisco became the first city to ban the technology for law enforcement and government agencies. Similar measures are under consideration in Oakland and Massachusetts. Lawmakers in California are also considering a statewide ban on facial recognition programs.

To add to that list, the largest manufacturer of police body cameras, Axon, is rejecting the possibility of selling facial recognition technology at the recommendation of an independent ethics board which it created last year after acquiring two artificial intelligence companies.

In a 42-page report, the ethics panel found that face recognition technology is not advanced enough for law enforcement to depend on, with concerns ranging from “privacy costs to racial equity.” In fact, the technology was found to be less accurate in identifying the faces of women than men, and younger people compared to older ones. The same was true in people of color, who were harder to correctly identify than white people.

But the lack of regulation or precedent means that, while the technology is being banned in some places, it’s being pursued in others. For instance, Detroit reportedly signed a $1 million deal for software that let it continuously monitor “hundreds of private and public cameras set up around the city,” including gas stations, restaurants, churches and schools, according to the New York Times.

Facial Recognition and eDiscovery

So where does facial recognition fit in eDiscovery? As with any emerging technology, it’s worthwhile for those of us in legaltech to stay abreast of these changes. For one, any new technology is potential ESI that must be discoverable should a criminal or civil case arise in which that electronic data is evidence. Often, people in legal circles might argue, “That hasn’t happened yet, so we’ll worry about it later.” Then again, people a few decades ago might find it unbelievable that data from a phone app (“phone app?” they might add with a puzzled look) meant for requesting rides from a stranger would be used in a nationally covered murder case.

But there is also the notion that facial recognition tools might be used to help attorneys and litigation support specialists do their work. In fact, the company Veritone recently announced an AI eDiscovery tool that makes unstructured data searchable by keywords, faces, and objects.

As technology continues to forge ahead, it’s important that the legal world engages in the conversations surrounding these technologies, before they find themselves deeper in the state of catch up many say they’re already playing.

 

Learn more about Ipro’s AI & Advanced Analytics!

Ipro for Enterprise from Ipro eDiscovery & InfoGov on Vimeo.

New Study Shows AI Made Scientific Discoveries Humans Missed:

AI eDiscovery

New Study Shows AI Made Scientific Discoveries Humans Missed: What are the Implications for eDiscovery?

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

People are always talking about how Artificial Intelligence is the future of legal technology. But up to this point, very few are using it within eDiscovery, and those who are stick with the standard TAR / Predictive Coding approach. Outside of legal, breakthroughs are happening which could open doors for attorneys and investigators to use AI to help sift through large datasets while making connections otherwise not possible with human-only review.

In a recent study published in Nature, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used an algorithm called Word2Vec to read scientific papers. The algorithm was given no training in scientific knowledge, instead relying only on word associations. While reviewing over 3 million previously written scientific papers and looking for associations humans may have previously missed, the AI led researchers to knowledge that existed but wasn’t apparent without the help of machine learning.

Vahe Tshitoyan, the lead author on the study, stated, “This algorithm is unsupervised, and it builds its own connections.” Because it’s not trained on a specific dataset, you could easily apply it to other disciplines. He continues, “The information is out there. We just haven’t made these connections yet, because you can’t read every article.”

But any shadow of a doubt can throw a court case into question, which is why bringing AI into the legal sphere is tricky at best. This very well-considered and in-depth article in Law360 discusses why AI Tools need to be litigation ready or “discovery in a lawsuit contesting decisions those tools have made could quickly become a nightmare: Your company may suffer enormous distractions and decreased productivity as it struggles to address litigation requirements that are inconsistent with its AI systems, data and culture; may be subjected to onerous court orders that interfere with its ability to conduct its core businesses; may even suffer adverse judgments on claims that lack merit.”

This highlights the push-pull that exists around AI in the eDiscovery industry: innovators will create technology and find potential uses for it in legal, but the need for data integrity and defensible processes will slow those advances’ practical application.

But forward movement is forward, even if it is slow moving. And in the digital age, even when progress may seem to stall, new approaches can change things seemingly overnight. And even if the Word2Vec algorithm isn’t currently practical for Review, it may be useful during investigations or Early-Case-Assessment, where human reviewers simply need the extra insight AI can give them, allowing them to get to the facts of a case quicker, and then continue through the more standard processes required for defensibility.

Which is why it’s important that we continue to look outside the bubble of legaltech for possibilities. The answers are out there. We just need to make the connections.

 

Learn more about Ipro’s AI & Advanced Analytics!

Ipro for Enterprise from Ipro eDiscovery & InfoGov on Vimeo.

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

Ipro Case Study with Chamberlain Hrdlicka

Challenge:

With a thriving practice, the burden of growing discovery volumes was challenging to manage. Chamberlain Hrdlicka had adopted litigation document review, processing, and transcript management software years earlier; however, with exponential growth in client data volumes, the limitations of that software became glaringly evident. They experienced performance and workflow issues on many cases, resulting in a great deal of stress on human resources. As a result, they set out to optimize the firm’s litigation software technology.

Their goals when searching for a new e-discovery solution for the firm and their 125 attorneys were to:

  • Increase ingestion speed by utilizing a distributed computing
  • Improve reviewer efficiency and precision for their legal
  • Reduce stress on their eDiscovery team

Prior to the implementation of the Ipro eDiscovery Suite, they found themselves working nights and weekends waiting for documents to upload into review. Their eDiscovery group could only take on so much work due to the time it took to prepare for review and prepare productions.

Solution

The Ipro eDiscovery Suite provided their firm with powerful processing, review and production capabilities “unlike any we’ve had before,” which allows them to give clients the relevant data they need at quicker speeds. “We’re able to maximize the integrated platform to quickly ingest, cull and search data collections, taking advantage of the advanced analytics features for e-mail threading, deduping, automated clustering and converting relevant documents to TIFF while the review is still in progress.” Chamberlain Hrdlicka

Prior to using Ipro, the process to review a current caseload would require a much larger team of reviewers; now, they can accomplish the same task in less time with significant cost savings. They can conduct a high-level ECA (Early Case Assessment) once the documents are into the review platform to know if there are gaps and whether they have everything they need for the case. The Ipro eDiscovery Suite has allowed them to handle large, intricate cases on a routine basis while mitigating significant impact to their attorneys’ workload. Despite the relatively small team, Chamberlain Hrdlicka can now optimize efficiency and productivity through the use of state-of-the-art technology, setting themselves apart from other firms—both large and small.

Benefits

“The addition of Ipro revolutionized how we work, what services we provide, and the number of resources required to get the work done. Upon implementation, Ipro led us to create a service provider model within our firm, allowing us to save time, resources and money and serve our clients in a more meaningful way.” Chamberlain Hrdlicka

The Ipro eDiscovery Suite ultimately improved the firm’s ability to produce higher quality, streamlined reviews and provided the flexibility to handle cases of any size. Using Ipro, they were able to increase their caseload by hosting over 330 cases and 40TB of data, while still working fewer hours and maintaining a small team. “The workflows are well thought out and the system is intuitive to use, which minimized the learning curve for our technical staff, support personnel and attorneys as they adopted the system.” Chamberlain Hrdlicka

They can offer their clients confidence in what the review process will cost. There won’t be any surprise expenses associated with using a third-party vendor or data hosting fees. They continue to leverage Ipro’s advanced technology to provide innovative, defensible and cost-effective eDiscovery and litigation support services. They can reduce client costs through increased productivity and reduced complexity, rather than by discounting rates.

To learn more about Ipro’s eDiscovery suite and how it can work for you, contact us or visit our website for more information.

 

About Chamberlain Hrdlicka

Chamberlain Hrdlicka is a diversified business law firm with offices in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio. The firm represents both public and private companies, as well as individuals and family-owned businesses across the nation. The firm offers counsel in tax planning and tax controversy, corporate, securities and finance, employment law and employee benefits, energy law, estate  planning and administration, intellectual property, international and immigration law, commercial and business litigation, real estate and construction law.

https://www.chamberlainlaw.com/

 

About Ipro Tech, LLC

Simplifying the Process from Discovery to Trial

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 solutions and services that significantly reduce the cost and complexity of eDiscovery.

https://iprotech.com