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How an Associate Used Analytics to Complete a Review in One Day


With more than 200 attorneys in seven offices, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young counsels public and private corporations, investment companies and advisers, healthcare entities, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals. The firm represents clients in numerous areas of law—from financial services regulation to trust and estate planning—and has been consistently named one of the Philadelphia region’s top mid-sized corporate charitable givers since 2007 by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Brendan Curran, Stradley Ronon’s litigation support manager, has been with the firm since 2007 and has been hosting Relativity at Stradley Ronon since June 2012.

The Case

A team at Stradley Ronon was in the midst of an insurance matter. One Friday morning, opposing counsel sent the team a production of approximately 7,900 documents consisting of 46,000 pages. The partner on the case was hoping to see all of the key documents by Monday morning, leaving an associate with a weekend review to complete.

The associate sent the opposing counsel’s production disk to Brendan and asked him to load the data into Relativity as soon as possible.

“When he sent me the disk and told me the partner needed him to review all the documents by Monday, I knew right away that Relativity Analytics, specifically clustering, was his best option,” said Brendan. “It could help him get to the most important documents quickly.”

“The fact that the associate—someone who had never used Relativity before—was able to so quickly learn how the system works and then find exactly what he needed was outstanding.”

Making Use of Clustering

After loading the production into Relativity, Brendan added the associate—who was new to Relativity—as a user, hopped on the phone, and began walking him through the process.

“We went through the clusters, and I basically explained to him how it works—how the software groups documents by topic, and how it can help you get a sense of what you’re looking at by naming each group or cluster with terms frequently used in the clusters,” said Brendan. “Within a few minutes, a certain cluster jumped out at him.”

The majority of the clusters contained terms in their titles that seemed to have nothing to do with the case. However, one cluster—labeled with terms meaningful to the case—caught the associate’s eye.

“He saw it and said, ‘Oh, this one looks important.’ Within minutes, while I was still on the phone with him, he was able to decide that these were the documents he needed,” said Brendan. “It was great being able to really leverage Analytics.”

Fast Results

“The fact that the associate was able to so quickly learn how the system works and then find exactly what he needed was outstanding.”
BRENDEN CURRAN, Litigation Support Manager

By clustering documents into conceptually similar groups, Analytics helped the associate quickly find the most relevant documents in the case, while ignoring the non-relevant documents. In fact, he was able to determine that the key documents were all in just one cluster containing approximately 450 documents—a mere six percent of opposing counsel’s production set. As a result, the associate was able to complete the review in a couple of hours. Had he reviewed all of the documents without Analytics, Stradley Ronon estimates it would have taken substantially longer to complete the review.

“The fact that the associate—someone who had never used Relativity before—was able to so quickly learn how the system works and then find exactly what he needed was outstanding,” said Brendan. “Not only will he likely be using Analytics in the future, but increasingly our attorneys are using it in all sorts of cases. They know how powerful a feature it can be.”

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