The Relativity Blog

Your single source for new lessons on e-discovery and the technology that powers it.

ILTACON Day 3: The Britney Spears Disruption Doctrine of Legal Technology

September 03, 2015 | David Horrigan | Seen in the Field, e-Discovery

ILTA-blog_ILTACON2015

On day three of the International Legal Technology Association’s ILTACON 2015, technology-assisted review (TAR) and disruption in the law were the themes of the day. The challenge for ILTACON attendees is that neither legal disruption nor TAR is an easy concept to define. Fortunately, we find ourselves in Las Vegas, which means we have one of the world’s foremost cultural icons to help illustrate these concepts: the pride of both Las Vegas and Kentwood, Louisiana, Britney Spears.

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ILTACON Day 2: Judge Peck, Jeb Bush’s Email, and What We’re Buying

September 02, 2015 | David Horrigan | Seen in the Field, e-Discovery

ILTA-blog_fabulous-las-vegas

The educational sessions of the second day of the International Legal Technology Association’s ILTACON 2015 brought U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck to the stage and Jeb Bush to the talking points. While the presidential candidate and former Florida governor wasn’t here at Caesars Palace, his email experience provided a cautionary tale about handling digital data.

As part of our continuing coverage of ILTACON, we take a look at Judge Peck’s session with a panel of prominent e-discovery attorneys role-playing in humorous hypotheticals, a session hosted by EDRM and Holland & Hart featuring experts sharing e-discovery mishaps, as well as the results from the 2015 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey.

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ILTACON Day 1: Ashley Madison, Kanye 2020, and Careers in Legal Technology

September 01, 2015 | David Horrigan | Seen in the Field, e-Discovery

david-horrigan-200x200

The International Legal Technology Association’s ILTACON 2015 conference kicked off in earnest in Las Vegas on Monday with the start of about 200 educational sessions that will run through Thursday. We’re covering ILTACON live from Caesar’s Palace on Twitter at both @DavidHorrigan and @kCura, and we’ll provide daily updates here on The Relativity Blog.

Big News in Big Data

Before the day started at ILTACON, the law and technology were already on the minds of many of the over 1,600 attendees in Las Vegas, with news reports illustrating the importance of legal technology and Big Data on life beyond the law:

  • Digital data from the website ashleymadison.com, a meeting place for those with unconventional views of marriage, made headlines and made it into a panel discussion at ILTACON.
  • Tom Brady and the National Football League went back to court in the Deflategate controversy, a legal dispute where the primary evidence is digital data.
  • As ILTACON attendees gathered poolside at the opening reception Sunday evening, the musician Kanye West announced in Los Angeles his intention to run for president in 2020, triggering an avalanche of digital data on social media.

The data-driven news events helped shape the story for ILTACON day one with technology driving life and litigation today—and careers for tomorrow.

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Confessions from an Attorney and Relativity Fest-goer

August 28, 2015 | Keely McKee | Seen in the Field

blog_FEST-quote-hex

Relativity Fest is right around the corner, and this year’s show will offer more attorney-focused (and CLE-pending) content than ever.

We wanted to share some pointers with attorneys attending this year's conference. This year, Relativity Fest is offering 22 sessions built for attorneys, many of which have been submitted for CLE accreditation consideration.

While we at kCura can talk about our sessions all day long, we thought it would be helpful to ask someone who has been in your shoes: How should an attorney plan their trip to Relativity Fest?

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The Lola Machine Test: Should Courts Let Technology Define the Practice of Law?

August 27, 2015 | David Horrigan | Assisted Review, e-Discovery

blog_should-courts-let-tech-define-law_largeWhen e-discovery review attorney David Lola sued a major law firm and a legal staffing agency in July 2013, alleging the firm and the agency violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying him at federally mandated rates for overtime work, it renewed a legal ethics question:

Does e-discovery document review constitute the practice of law?

The legal arguments in Lola, a putative class action, make for interesting employment law—with the provisions of the FLSA interacting with corresponding regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor and North Carolina state law.

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7 Steps to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney Review

August 25, 2015 | Chuck Kellner - D4 | Review & Productions, e-Discovery

7 Steps to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney Review

Reviewing everything in-house drives up costs and makes a firm less productive - follow these seven steps to properly manage the size and cost of review.

7 Steps to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney ReviewMany of us in litigation and litigation support have spent years if not careers managing the costs and risks of discovery. The volume of ESI has grown at a staggering rate and so has the pace of litigation. The industry has responded in kind. Some gains have come from the use of increasingly sophisticated technology. Others come from new staffing models for attorney review. Each requires attention in supervision, project management, metrics, and quality control.

Since review is the most expensive part of the discovery process, it is imperative to do everything possible to manage the size and cost of attorney review. The stakes are highest when it comes to the overall cost of litigation and to whether a party can afford to litigate or negotiate on the merits.

How to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney Review

Going back to “review all” “in-house” will only drive up costs and make good firms less productive, less attractive, and less competitive.

A sane approach is that if you have a good program, stick to it. It will save money and help get your job done better and faster. Think carefully not just about the technology, but about the workflow, supervision, quality control, training and documentation. Don’t pander to the fear.

1. Reduce Your eDiscovery Data Set Prior to Review

To put it simply, smaller data sets take less time to review. Therefore, by reducing the quantity of data before it gets to the review stage, attorney review costs will ultimately be lower. Here are a few steps to cut down on data sets:

  1. Focus on the End Goal: Instead of broadly collecting and producing data, place emphasis on identifying useful documents to keep only relevant information.
  2. Interview and Target: Interview likely key custodians and clearly explain the litigation and issues at hand. Custodians could potentially be the best resources for identifying and producing responsive material.
  3. Preserving it to Prevent Loss of Data: Preserving data in a place with only one copy can get risky. If you preserve data correctly it can prevent litigation sanctions and can serve as a backup if anything happens to the original data.
  4. Involve IT: IT can save the organization money by creating a data map.
  5. Planning: Failing to plan is planning to fail! At least one full day should be dedicated to planning the discovery process.

2. Manage Your Records with a Retention Policy

In the absence of a litigation hold, make sure you are getting rid of data you don’t need. That includes data from desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices, and especially backup tapes. A records retention policy is especially useful when dealing with email and other electronic communications. Document Management can be an overwhelming process, to prevent frustration, take it one step at a time.

3. Implement a Litigation Response Plan

There is a return on investment here. Document roles, procedures and workflow. If you quantify early what’s “in”, what’s “out” and why, you have the metrics to negotiate a defensible, cost-effective, favorable and “proportionate” scope of discovery.

4. Experienced and Dedicated Project Management is Crucial at Every Stage

“Dedicated” means not to dilute or distract from workflow, supervision and quality control. The best combination is a good project manager in the firm, who coordinates with the vendor and in-house counsel, and is supervised by experienced counsel who has both the assignment and the time to supervise. Legal teams who utilize project management best practices have a strong foundation for a streamlined eDiscovery workflow.

5. Understand Your Technology

You can use advanced search algorithms, conceptual-based search tools, predictive coding, or just plain old processing and search terms. You don’t need to be a linguist or a mathematician, but make sure you understand how they work for you. Can you explain how you are selecting what you choose to review and defend what you choose not to review?

6. Document and Utilize Quality Control Measures

If your quality control typically means, “first you review it, then I’ll review it”, you are missing some fundamentals. You need testing and metrics. How good are your search terms? How good is your first-pass review? Do you have metrics and testing to trap for errors? Are your QC procedures documented and approved by supervising attorneys? Are they routinely enforced and not compromised by a crashed schedule? Using a simplified document review coding layout can facilitate a more precise QC cycle and minimize production errors.

7. Dedicate Time to Training and Supervision

You can’t dip into a review for a day and expect it to run on autopilot, nor can you assume a client who insists on self-collecting will collect the right data, and do so in a defensible manner. No one person can supervise all aspects of a complex eDiscovery project, but it is outside counsel's responsibility to know intimately what is going on with the review and supervise the collection process. If the senior attorney is preoccupied with strategy, tactics, clients and opposing counsel, then another senior attorney should assume the role.

Don’t pander to the fear. Use the right technology and staffing models to build your programs and stick to them. Document the procedures, the workflow, and the quality control measures and stick to them. The outcome is proportionate, defensible, and cost-effective discovery.

- See more at: http://d4discovery.com/discover-more/2015/6/7-steps-to-manage-the-size-and-cost-of-attorney-review#sthash.SmqSlhCa.d28tBb9V.dpuf

7 Steps to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney Review

Reviewing everything in-house drives up costs and makes a firm less productive - follow these seven steps to properly manage the size and cost of review.

7 Steps to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney ReviewMany of us in litigation and litigation support have spent years if not careers managing the costs and risks of discovery. The volume of ESI has grown at a staggering rate and so has the pace of litigation. The industry has responded in kind. Some gains have come from the use of increasingly sophisticated technology. Others come from new staffing models for attorney review. Each requires attention in supervision, project management, metrics, and quality control.

Since review is the most expensive part of the discovery process, it is imperative to do everything possible to manage the size and cost of attorney review. The stakes are highest when it comes to the overall cost of litigation and to whether a party can afford to litigate or negotiate on the merits.

How to Manage the Size and Cost of Attorney Review

Going back to “review all” “in-house” will only drive up costs and make good firms less productive, less attractive, and less competitive.

A sane approach is that if you have a good program, stick to it. It will save money and help get your job done better and faster. Think carefully not just about the technology, but about the workflow, supervision, quality control, training and documentation. Don’t pander to the fear.

1. Reduce Your eDiscovery Data Set Prior to Review

To put it simply, smaller data sets take less time to review. Therefore, by reducing the quantity of data before it gets to the review stage, attorney review costs will ultimately be lower. Here are a few steps to cut down on data sets:

  1. Focus on the End Goal: Instead of broadly collecting and producing data, place emphasis on identifying useful documents to keep only relevant information.
  2. Interview and Target: Interview likely key custodians and clearly explain the litigation and issues at hand. Custodians could potentially be the best resources for identifying and producing responsive material.
  3. Preserving it to Prevent Loss of Data: Preserving data in a place with only one copy can get risky. If you preserve data correctly it can prevent litigation sanctions and can serve as a backup if anything happens to the original data.
  4. Involve IT: IT can save the organization money by creating a data map.
  5. Planning: Failing to plan is planning to fail! At least one full day should be dedicated to planning the discovery process.

2. Manage Your Records with a Retention Policy

In the absence of a litigation hold, make sure you are getting rid of data you don’t need. That includes data from desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices, and especially backup tapes. A records retention policy is especially useful when dealing with email and other electronic communications. Document Management can be an overwhelming process, to prevent frustration, take it one step at a time.

3. Implement a Litigation Response Plan

There is a return on investment here. Document roles, procedures and workflow. If you quantify early what’s “in”, what’s “out” and why, you have the metrics to negotiate a defensible, cost-effective, favorable and “proportionate” scope of discovery.

4. Experienced and Dedicated Project Management is Crucial at Every Stage

“Dedicated” means not to dilute or distract from workflow, supervision and quality control. The best combination is a good project manager in the firm, who coordinates with the vendor and in-house counsel, and is supervised by experienced counsel who has both the assignment and the time to supervise. Legal teams who utilize project management best practices have a strong foundation for a streamlined eDiscovery workflow.

5. Understand Your Technology

You can use advanced search algorithms, conceptual-based search tools, predictive coding, or just plain old processing and search terms. You don’t need to be a linguist or a mathematician, but make sure you understand how they work for you. Can you explain how you are selecting what you choose to review and defend what you choose not to review?

6. Document and Utilize Quality Control Measures

If your quality control typically means, “first you review it, then I’ll review it”, you are missing some fundamentals. You need testing and metrics. How good are your search terms? How good is your first-pass review? Do you have metrics and testing to trap for errors? Are your QC procedures documented and approved by supervising attorneys? Are they routinely enforced and not compromised by a crashed schedule? Using a simplified document review coding layout can facilitate a more precise QC cycle and minimize production errors.

7. Dedicate Time to Training and Supervision

You can’t dip into a review for a day and expect it to run on autopilot, nor can you assume a client who insists on self-collecting will collect the right data, and do so in a defensible manner. No one person can supervise all aspects of a complex eDiscovery project, but it is outside counsel's responsibility to know intimately what is going on with the review and supervise the collection process. If the senior attorney is preoccupied with strategy, tactics, clients and opposing counsel, then another senior attorney should assume the role.

Don’t pander to the fear. Use the right technology and staffing models to build your programs and stick to them. Document the procedures, the workflow, and the quality control measures and stick to them. The outcome is proportionate, defensible, and cost-effective discovery.

- See more at: http://d4discovery.com/discover-more/2015/6/7-steps-to-manage-the-size-and-cost-of-attorney-review#sthash.SmqSlhCa.d28tBb9V.dpuf

D4-logo-with-tag-300x92This post was originally published by D4, an Orange-level Relativity Best in Service partner. As data volumes continue to explode and the e-discovery processes that tackle the data evolve, we thought it provided some helpful tips for case teams prepping for their next review project.

Many of us in litigation and litigation support have spent years, if not careers, managing the costs and risks of discovery. The volume of ESI has grown at a staggering rate and so has the pace of litigation. The industry has responded in kind. Some gains have come from the use of increasingly sophisticated technology. Others come from new staffing models for attorney review. Each requires attention in supervision, project management, metrics, and quality control.

Read More »

Speaking the Same Language as Your Team’s Analytics Guru

August 21, 2015 | Andrea Garlanger | Analytics, e-Discovery

blog_speak-same-as-analytics-guru2It’s 8:00 a.m. on a Monday and you just want your morning coffee, but you find yourself face-to-face with Anna, the e-discovery text analytics guru in your office. She wants to chat with you about the review project your case team got up and running late last week, and the strategy she’ll use in applying text analytics to it.

It’s one of your team’s first big cases with analytics, and Anna is thrilled—she’s got a lot of passion for the technology, and is excited to prove its worth to the rest of the case team. You’ve heard a lot about the time and cost savings analytics can deliver, so you’re cautiously optimistic.

Read More »

Take the Gamble Out of Legal Hold in 3 Steps

August 20, 2015 | Nik Balepur | Legal Hold

blog_gamboling-out-of-legal-holdThough the necessity of a strong legal hold is a routine matter in e-discovery—there’s no disputing years of court cases that hold parties accountable for protecting data that may be relevant to a pending or ongoing legal matter—the process of how to preserve that information is far from routine. Why is it that legal holds often feel like a gamble?

Last month, Shepherd Data Services—a Relativity Best in Service partner—hosted a seminar on just this problem.

Read More »

Processing 101 for Attorneys (and Anyone Else Who’s Curious)

August 18, 2015 | Rene Laurens | Processing

blog_processing-101When client data begins to arrive, processing is necessary to convert the native files into searchable information, ensure the integrity of your data, and prepare it for review. While you will likely spend most of your time in review and might not be as involved during processing, it can be helpful to understand what happens during this phase—especially if you’re getting regular updates from your case team and want to put some context around the steps they’re taking to make your data visible.

At a high level, processing data extracts information for searching and filtering. Processing normalizes files—such as Word documents, spreadsheets, images, and emails—into a standard format to maintain the information of the files as they were stored in the ordinary course of business and make it accessible in a review tool. Opening each document in its native application could risk modifying the data, so processing data helps ensure the original information is captured.

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5 Reasons ILTACON Shouldn’t Be in Las Vegas

August 14, 2015 | Shawn Gaines | Seen in the Field, e-Discovery

blog_ILTACON-2015We’re a mere 15 days from thousands of legal technology professionals descending on Las Vegas for one of the industry’s biggest events of the year—ILTACON 2015. For those of you who don’t attend, it’s a great show that travels between a few different host cities. Last time it was in Las Vegas was two years back, when we launched Relativity Binders and led a really large (and really fun) hands-on computer-assisted review training that showed us interest in the technology was stronger than ever. But, if you think about it, Vegas is a strange location for ILTACON—August weather notwithstanding.

Read More »
 

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From the engineers that build it to the specialists that support it, the Relativity blog features content written by kCura’s experts in the software. You’ll see contributions from our workflow advice team, product managers, infrastructure engineers, and more—giving you guidance on how to be most effective in the platform.