While there are countless movies and television shows featuring lawyers and legal cases, they typically culminate in the cliché of a suspenseful courtroom scene where a character is either exonerated or cleverly goaded into a confession. But once in a while, a film or TV episode actually delves into the details of file discovery or document review.
You may remember Julia Roberts playing Erin Brockovich surrounded by banker’s boxes full of files. Or perhaps attorney Kim Wexler on Better Call Saul banished to doing doc review in a windowless basement (some scenes actually feature a Bates Stamp machine). The show Suits also had several plots involving document discovery, and an entire episode of The Good Wife was devoted to the topic of keyword searching in e-discovery software. (Wait, what’s that? The show was canceled?)
But if you live and breathe e-discovery like we do, regardless of whether legal documents and data are part of the narrative, it’s likely you’re finding parallels between your real-world experiences and many of the stories Hollywood brings to the screen.
With that, let’s look at a quick rundown of some of the most successful and anticipated summer movies of 2018 and see how they relate to the world of e-discovery.
Synopsis: A band of superheroes tries to prevent supervillain Thanos from collecting six Infinity Stones that will bring him unstoppable power.
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: The secret subtext? The whole film’s an allegory for how using a connected e-discovery experience can empower your team. Taking advantage of the collective superpowers at your disposal will make for far more efficient projects.
Synopsis: A young Han Solo finds his way in the galaxy, meeting up with Lando Calrissian and using a new but familiar spaceship to complete a dangerous mission.
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: Can a "solo" practitioner successfully navigate a complex, fast-paced e-discovery project? Only by embracing technology and working with a great partner. Next time you’re facing a job that feels more overwhelming than completing the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, try channeling a little of Han’s self-confidence and a lot of his reliance on his trusty co-pilots.
Synopsis: In a loose spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven film trilogy, Debbie Ocean assembles an all-female team with the right skills to pull off the ultimate heist.
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: Can a team of eight do what it once took eleven to accomplish? Absolutely, if they are taking advantage of the latest machine learning workflows. Building a high-performing team requires assembling a diverse array of talents and perspectives as well as embracing the latest productivity technology.
Synopsis: The Parr family (Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack) are back for more adventures as they battle a dastardly cybercriminal while trying keep their home life together.
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: e-Discovery teams can accomplish superhuman feats by combining their totally wicked Relativity skills with cutting-edge workflows and applications. Have you built something awesome on Relativity, or is there a Mr. or Mrs. Incredible on your team who should be recognized? Be sure to submit your innovation or nominate a peer for a 2018 Innovation Award.
Synopsis: The Jurassic World theme park has been destroyed, and teams race to save the remaining dinosaurs and collect their DNA before a volcano consumes the island. Chaos ensues. (Doesn’t it always?)
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: Be careful about how and where you store your data and put smart controls on who can retrieve it. Prioritize security, consider threats strategically, and work with a team you can trust. A few escaping files or passwords can do more damage than a pack of velociraptors.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is back as Ant Man, relying on his high-tech suit to shrink (and now grow!) to miniscule or superhuman size depending on the task at hand. Hope van Dyne joins him as The Wasp, whose additional powers include flight and the ability to control the size of Scott’s ego.
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: Customers using RelativityOne can take advantage of the cloud to maintain a tiny, “ant-sized” infrastructure footprint while enabling the ability to rapidly scale up, adding system resources to support giant processing and imaging jobs many times their normal size.
Synopsis: A reunion brings people closer together as they reconnect, learn more about each other, and share past experiences—with lots of music and dancing throughout the course of several fun-filled days and nights.
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: Take away the ABBA soundtrack and Meryl Streep (not that she isn’t welcome!) and this one shares some real similarities with Relativity Fest. Whether it’s your first time or a return visit, it’s an event where you’ll make some great memories and take away lasting lessons. Don’t miss out on the action.
Synopsis: Tom Cruise returns for a sixth time as Ethan Hunt, fighting bad guys and trying to save the world (no word on whether he’ll be able to decipher the paradox of how he's completed five consecutive impossible missions).
e-Discovery Lessons to Look For: Remember when self-destructing messages were just a fanciful narrative device? With the newly announced Gmail confidential mode along with Snapchat and other privacy-enabled communication technologies, we're living in a new world. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is investing in a thoughtful approach to preservation, or complying with evolving regulations will truly feel impossible.
When you venture in and out of movie theaters this summer, pay close attention to the lessons revealed in the subtext of these films like clues in their metadata. The payoff could be feeling like an action hero on your next e-discovery adventure.
If you want to delve into the latest e-discovery technology and wade knee-deep into more cinematic content, our brand new Analytics and Active Learning class features a data set of thousands of Wikipedia articles on movies of the past 100 years. Being immersed in a data set filled with familiar titles, names, and genres illustrates how these Relativity features can reveal the narratives hiding beneath the surface of your data.