eDiscovery continues rapid technological evolution and significant adoption across law firms. At this ILTA session David Cowen of The Cowen Group and Steven Clark of Lathrop & Gage facilitated an open discussion, with standing room only, on the hottest topics in e-Discovery. The subjects covered in this forum were “New Technology Trends and Tools,” “Employment Trends,” and “Native File Productions.”
New Technology Trends and Tools
TAR (Technology Assisted Review) was discussed at length. Everyone in the room understood the importance of these types of tools in discovery which create efficiency and better results. Multiple firms had utilized TAR to prioritize linear review. The goal is to help establish focus for later human review. However the inescapable theme was fear of TAR. The trepidation surrounded the importance of proper identification of documents and review. Firms lack in-depth experience with these tools. Ultimately it was discussed that education should assuage these fears while people continue to test TAR.
Some other trends with technology and e-Discovery included:
With all of the adoption of new technologies there are many impacts on employment. There was a flurry of important points discussed.
Native File Productions
Another hot topic discussed pertained to the use of native files in production of e-Discovery. One individual mentioned that native files make little sense to use. He noted that they are expensive and unnecessary except for Excel or a few others formats. The best solution is to use quasi native production as a viewer. Since native is so expensive to produce, the best example illustrated was describing the difference between a picture in color verses black and white. It might be nice to have color, but do you really need that for document review? The economic aspect makes it cost prohibitive currently.
The overall sense from the discussion was that we are in a new age of discovery. The effects of these technologies are far reaching. It is altering the business of law at firms impacting employment, resources, education, and efficiency. As with any transformative technology there will be some discomfort but ultimately firms will be stronger and clients better served with e-Discovery tools.
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