Your single source for new lessons on legal technology, e-discovery, and the people innovating behind the scenes.

Always Evolving: Meeting the Demands of International e-Discovery

Rob Galliani

Though the Relativity community has its roots stateside, today there are experts from around the world using the platform to tackle challenges that arise in an age where each day means more data than the last.

In 2017, that meant professionals from not just Australia, China, and the UK, but Nigeria, Kuwait, and Romania as well. All together, nearly 165,000 users across 43 countries accessed data in Relativity.

As we look back on 2017, and ahead to 2018, we wanted to highlight a few ways these users have influenced updates to Relativity that help simplify and accelerate how the world conducts e-discovery.

Multi-Language Email Header Support

We believe email threading should be used on every case, big or small. But, until last year, emails that contained headers in foreign languages presented a problem. By default, Relativity email threading operates by mapping email headers, which in English look like “RE” and “FWD.” It now also recognizes these same headers in French, German, and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified).

For those keeping track at home, that means abbreviations like “REF” (short for the French Reference) and “AW” (German for Antwort) are now recognizable by Relativity Analytics.

Look out for Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish headers in the first half of 2018.

Australian Post-processing Renumbering Script

There are several differences between producing in Australia and the United States (searchable PDF, anyone?). For example, Australia’s Electronic Practice Note that governs document exchange, CM6 (which functions similarly to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the US), dictates that documents are exchanged with the same very particular, four-level Prefix/Box/Folder/Document format. Furthermore, that document identifier is typically the same one that the document received during processing (effectively, that means the control number and Bates stamp are the same).

Knowing that we wanted to automate this for our customers in Australia, we chose to work with a developer there to build out a solution, entirely on top of Relativity. Now available for download from the Relativity Community, the Australia Document ID Script can be run over documents post-processing, so that the document identifier is replaced with one that conforms with the Australian standard (e.g., ABC.

We’ll be doing more in 2018 to close other production gaps in the Australian market.

Taking Legal Hold Beyond Legal Holds

The jurisprudence concept of legal hold is pretty specific to the American legal system, and to date, Relativity Legal Hold has been largely used by customers to help them defensibly comply with these standards. At the same time, there is a lot of talk among those who do business in the EU about how to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will govern the handling of both employee and customer data when it goes into effect in May 2018.

With the latest versions of Legal Hold, gone are the days of sending an employee a notification, having them check an acknowledgement box, and then forgetting about it. Templatized Consent Notice forms and dashboards for managing project status allow organizations to easily outline requests, obtain consent, and automate escalations, all from a single auditable location.

It’s perhaps no coincidence, then, that several customers (including our own legal department) are finding that Legal Hold is also useful for establishing compliance with various components of the GDPR and the wide range of required workflows—like handling Subject Access Requests (SARs)— that revolve around consent tracking the exchange of data.

This, combined with the release of preserve-in-place, should make Relativity Legal Hold an appealing option for many in 2018, whether you’re dealing with legal holds or not.

Unified Experience

Around a quarter of our customers have multiple instances of Relativity, and in many cases, these instances span different countries. For customers like this, the workspace portal offers a connected experience. Through a single login and location, the portal allows administrators to synchronize users and groups, create workspaces for various instances, and easily navigate between otherwise disparate workspaces. Managing matters, workflows, and data that reside in say, your Relativity instance in London with your Hong Kong one, has never been easier. In 2018, expect the trend to continue. 

The international community is frequently pushing technologists to keep up with evolving regulatory and practical needs for each region. We’re excited to face these growing demands head-on, and, as always, we’re inspired by how legal professionals all over the world are improving upon what they do each and every day to stay ahead of the curve.

Join the International e-Discovery Community at Relativity Fest London

The latest insights, trends, and spotlights — directly to your inbox.

The Relativity Blog covers the latest in legal tech and compliance, professional development topics, and spotlights on the many bright minds in our space. Subscribe today to learn something new, stay ahead of emerging tech, and up-level your career.

Interested in being one of our authors? Learn more about how to contribute to The Relativity Blog.