The Relativity Blog


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

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Dean Gonsowski

Dean Gonsowski is the vice president of business development for kCura, where he works closely with key enterprise customers, partners, and government agencies to enable them with more effective technology adoption for evolving e-discovery purposes. He also leads initiatives to empower and grow Relativity’s vibrant user community, while evangelizing customers’ day-to-day needs and identifying nascent trends. Dean has more than 20 years’ experience in litigation, e-discovery, information governance and cybersecurity, and is a member of The Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production (WG1), the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). He also serves as an advisor to the Legal Technology Professionals Institute and on the steering committee of the EDI Leadership Summit.
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Recent Posts

Survey Says: Analytics Making In-house a Home

2017-03-28+0000| | Information Governance, Analytics & Assisted Review, In-house Counsel

blog_analytics-is-making-in-house-a-home-.pngIn January, members of the World Economic Forum met at their annual Davos summit to discuss analytics, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI), topics with enough potential to have global business leaders expressing both optimism and fear:

"It's not like we actually have economic growth today. So we actually need technological breakthrough, we need AI ... Our responsibility is to have the AI augment the human ingenuity and augment the human opportunity." - Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO 

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A Changing World: Ralph Losey on “Stepping In” for e-Discovery

2017-03-28+0000| | Analytics & Assisted Review, Community, Education & Certification, Law Firm, Litigation Support

blog_losey-stepping-in-interview.pngThere is no shortage of industries in which artificial intelligence is having an impact—and that’s not likely to change any time soon. What is changing, however, is the nature of AI itself, and the way it influences the day-to-day life and work of your average consumer.

The legal industry is no exception. As we mentioned in a recent look at Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines, written by Thomas H. Davenport (who has taught at Harvard Business School) and Julia Kirby (an editor at Harvard University Press), it’s impossible not to see how e-discovery has changed over the last decade as AI and other forms of data analytics hit the legal scene.

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A Clear View or a Short Distance? AI and the Legal Industry

2017-03-28+0000| | Analytics & Assisted Review, Law Firm, Litigation Support

111016-only-humans-need-apply-02.pngIf you're like me, work from futurists like Richard Susskind fills you with a curious mixture of excitement and anxiety. The excitement comes from the advances in artificial intelligence (AI) that are playing out in the legal world where analytics (including technology-assisted review) have quickly taken center stage. Conversely, it’s impossible not to see these advancements as an encroachment on the everyday work that the e-discovery community has been doing over the last decade, on the way toward building an $11 billion industry.

Headlines like “How Soon Will You Lose Your Job To An AI Robot?” only make matters worse by constantly pitting man against machine in a Terminator-esque zero-sum game.

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The Digital Legal Practice Has Arrived

2017-03-28+0000| | Education & Certification, Law Firm

110116-digital-legal-practice.pngThis article originally appeared in Bloomberg BNA's "Big Law Business" community. Check it out here.

In 2016, as never before, “business as usual” means that fluency in technology is “table stakes” for all professionals, particularly ones that are facing efficiency and automation pressures. More crucial than efficient business practices, however, are the ethical obligations these quickly evolving technologies demand.

Although not all cases revolve around e-discovery, it is time for litigators to start preparing as if they did. Last year, the State Bar of California shared their thoughts on the matter, stating that in some cases lack of knowledge about e-discovery was tantamount to incompetence. In broader support for the need of basic technology fluency, 25 states (and counting) have adopted attorney ethics provisions linking technological competence to legal competence—incorporating language similar to what the ABA added in 2012 to the comments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Not Your Grandfather’s ECA: Webinar Discusses Changing Times

2017-03-28+0000| | In-house Counsel, ECA & Investigation, Law Firm

092816-ECA-Webinar-Recap.pngIt’s been a while since I did a webinar expressly focusing on ECA. I must say, I’d taken far too long of a hiatus. 

Fortunately, I got right back on the horse, and earlier this month I had the pleasure of moderating a webinar entitled: “Thinking Outside the (Black) Box with Early Case Assessment.” It featured a panel of stellar practitioners, including Alison Grounds (managing director) and Chris Haley (director of legal technology) at Troutman Sanders eMerge, as well as Rene Laurens (senior Relativity solutions specialist) from kCura.

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Pokémon GO(es) Crazy: Ranging Legal and e-Discovery Implications

2017-03-28+0000| | Legal Update, In-house Counsel, Law Firm

Pokemon-Go-Grazy.pngUnless you've been on a deserted island (sans Wi-Fi) this summer, you've undoubtedly heard about the Pokémon GO craze. For folks intentionally or otherwise blissfully avoiding the game, here are the basics: Pokémon GO is a free, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic (in partnership with Nintendo).

Since hitting the market, Pokémon GO has been the subject of many an editorial—covering everything from sociological concerns over the game’s ethics to culinary recommendations for the gamer on the go. Here’s our take.

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The Rumors of ECA’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

2017-03-28+0000| | Analytics & Assisted Review, In-house Counsel, ECA & Investigation

ECA-is-not-Dead.pngSamuel Clemens—best known by his nom de plume, Mark Twain—was famously quoted as saying “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Apparently, while traveling abroad and becoming ill, rumors about his health rose to such a pitch that an American newspaper actually published Twain’s obituary. And, while his actual quote has morphed over time, it nevertheless serves as an interesting anecdote for anything that has prematurely been buried (like Roger Goodell – NFL Commissioner).

Early case assessment (ECA) has faced a similar fate over the last few years as the reports of its demise have blossomed, though some e-discovery experts denied this trend from the start. Let’s untangle fact from fiction to trace the origins of this solution.

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Underwriting e-Discovery Risk with ECA in the Insurance Industry

2017-03-28+0000| | In-house Counsel, ECA & Investigation, Law Firm, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy

Insurance02.pngInsurance keeps our business and personal lives afloat. The common risks we take to go about our everyday lives—the risk that our home will be burglarized, for example, or that we won’t cause a car accident on our way home from work—could be catastrophic if we didn’t have policies in place to protect us from the consequences when those risks come to fruition.

This places an incredible burden on the insurance companies that stand behind those policies. As a highly regulated business with a range of risks and different constituents, most insurance companies have to be comfortable living with the correspondingly complex and frenetic world of e-discovery.

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Making a Case for Machine Learning to Legal Departments

2017-03-28+0000| | Analytics & Assisted Review, In-house Counsel, Law Firm

making-a-case-for-machine-learning-blog.pngThis article originally appeared on the Fast Forward Labs blog. Check it out here.

e-Discovery software is not used exclusively by law firms or service providers—today’s corporate counsel are facing constant pressure to reduce costs in litigation, especially when faced with numerous discovery requests. This trend is getting more challenging due to exponential data growth and content proliferation. IDC’s Digital Universe study predicts the world's data will amount to 44 zettabytes by 2020, which will have a significant impact on the compliance and e-discovery needs of organizations on a global scale. Corporate legal departments are aware of the trend, but an often-heard challenge is understanding what tools are available to combat this data deluge.

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3 Legal Tech Takeaways from Richard Susskind’s ‘Future of the Professions’

2017-03-28+0000| | Analytics & Assisted Review, In-house Counsel, Education & Certification, Law Firm

Book---Future-of-Professions.pngIf you’re like me, the quantity of business books you actually read is a small fraction of all business books you’d like to read. But, when I ran across Richard Susskind's latest book entitled The Future of the Professions: How Technology will Transform the Work of Human Experts, I knew I needed to make an exception and definitely read his tome. I ordered it from Amazon straight away and started digging in. 

Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from this provocative author and his latest endeavor.

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The Relativity Blog provides engaging e-discovery and legal technology lessons to a diverse audience of practitioners. Written by the team behind Relativity and the community that drives this industry, the blog is your go-to source for tangible takeaways, thought-provoking discussion, and expert insights into stories and technologies that can help you improve your day-to-day work.

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