Jul 31, 201812:25 PMLegal Login
with Mindi Giftos
Technology can (and should) change the practice of law
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Technology assisted review (predictive coding)
Discovery is extraordinarily costly in civil cases involving the review of large numbers of electronic documents for relevance and privilege. Technology assisted review (TAR) reduces the overall cost of discovery by replacing a linear and manual process with supervised machine-learning technology that mimics the judgment of attorneys based on their review of a document sample.
Use of predictive coding has allowed our firm to tackle discovery situations where the volume of documents was still significant even after the negotiation of search terms and the application of other restrictions. In one instance, the firm’s use of TAR reduced the total review set by 85% after training the system with a sample composed of 2% of the total set of documents. This resulted in substantial cost savings and a much more focused one-touch review.
While predictive coding is not a one-size-fits-all solution to discovery issues, the benefits of TAR also are not restricted to the review and analysis of large document sets. The approach has promise for early case assessment through analysis of the underlying documents and subsequent assessment of the validity of the claim and/or defense. TAR also has potential to help with information governance by identifying important business resources and providing a basis for reducing the storage of documents that ultimately could be a subject of a legal hold or discovery.
The future is now
Technological and business innovations do not occur in vacuum, but are often set in motion by necessity. For those law firms that have successfully integrated newer technologies into their legal-service delivery models, that necessity has been driven by client goals and the ever-important imperative to meet client budgets. The innovations detailed above are just a sampling of what is to come, but even these examples are a powerful reminder that the future is already here.
Angela Quinn is the chief client officer at Husch Blackwell LLP. Chris Smith is a litigation partner in the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences, and Education industry group. Both are based in the firm’s St. Louis office.
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