Technology Assisted Review Trends

by Constantine Pappas on July 11, 2014

Analytics & Assisted Review

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in a panel at the Technology in the Law Symposium, hosted by McDermott Will & Emery at the Mid-Atlantic Club here in Chicago. The panel, “Predictive Coding Trends and Challenges,” also consisted of:

•    Maura R. Grossman, Of Counsel, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
•    Jay Leib, Founder and Managing Member, NexLP
•    Martha Louks, Discovery Consultant, McDermott Discovery
•    Karl Schieneman, President, Review Less
•    Geoffrey Vance, Head of McDermott Discovery and Partner, McDermott Will & Emery (moderator)

Before our panel convened, we were extremely fortunate to have an excellent keynote speaker: the Honorable Nan R. Nolan (retired), formally United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Some readers may recognize Judge Nolan from her trailblazing order in the Kleen Products case (Kleen Products, LLC, et al. v. Packaging Corp. of Amer., et al., Case: 1:10-cv-05711, Document #412 (ND, Ill., Sept. 28, 2012)).

Judge Nolan is keenly interested in promoting a more cooperative form of advocacy between parties, as per the Sedona Cooperation Proclamation. She also expressed a staunch support for applying proportionality principles as a limiting factor in e-discovery. When questioned about the role technology plays in the process, she was adamant to remind us that the legal standard has always been one of reasonableness, not perfection. Given what we’re seeing in the field, I find this reminder particularly apt, especially for those of us who get lost in the minutiae of the process from time to time.

Later on, our panel addressed such topics as whether computer-assisted review had reached acceptance in the industry, predictive coding myths which have been debunked, and other lessons learned along the way. Finally, we spent a few minutes speculating on where the technology is headed in the months and years to come.

The panel reached a consensus on many topics that could help inform your computer-assisted review projects. For example, we all agreed with Jay Leib’s assertion that learning the whole story of your case—identifying the different players and how they interact with one another—is an essential component of success.

We also agreed with Martha Louks’s reminder that it’s very important to set expectations early in the assisted review process. There are many new users out there that still mistakenly expect instantaneous results, so it’s important to get your team fully on board with the project—and its requirements—from the start.

Coming from a different perspective, Karl Schieneman, while generally supportive of using new technologies for review, feels that we are missing a bigger problem in the way document reviewers are treated. Karl believes very firmly that finding strong reviewers—and treating them well—is crucial to a successful project. To that end, our new Review Specialist certification may be helpful in evaluating and recognizing your teams’ expertise.

All in all it was a spirited and lively session. As computer-assisted review continues to mature, the surrounding conversation inevitably matures along with it, and events such as these are helpful in tracking the industry’s pulse.

For more information, be sure to register for Relativity Fest, which will contain a great deal of computer-assisted review content for both the beginner and expert alike. And always feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Posted by Constantine Pappas.

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