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The eDiscovery Paradigm Shift

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Perspective on LegalTech New York 2009

As a follow-up to my February 4, 2009 post on LegalTech New York 2009 titled, "LegalTech New York 2009 Update", I am adding the following post from February 3, 2009 on Law.com's Legal Technology Blog, Titled, "LegalTech New Year". The review points out, as I did in my initial posting, that Early Case Assessment (ECA) was the big winner at the show this year, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) was hard to ignore and also does an excellent job covering some of my favorite vendors and their new technologies including Index Engines, Kazeon Systems, Guidance Software, Mimosa Systems, StoredIQ, Clearwell Systems and RocketMatter.

The full text of the post is as follows:

The new year has come and gone on the Gregorian calendar. But the new year for legal technology is still in progress at LegalTech New York, where vendors are unveiling their new products and services and attendees are helping them celebrate.

LegalTech attendees should revel in the number of vendor initiatives aimed at reducing e-discovery costs from acquisition to review and production. And, like last year, EDD vendors continue to design and manufacture their products for international litigation. But LegalTech is not all about e-discovery. There were still plenty of vendors with products outside the Electronic Data Reference Model.

EDD PARTIES

Readers should be aware that Index Engines can access and extract data from tape and tape libraries, really fast. But now they can also extract data from network storage systems, file shares, forensic images, and hard drives and still provide users a single point of access to it -- via a Web browser. Index Engines first indexes data on disparate resources. Once the index is compiled, data can be deduped, searched, reviewed, and extracted on demand. Also note that Index Engines can now filter unwanted file types such as EXE, DLL, etc., during the indexing process to reduce the time it takes to review the data.
In preparation of the new year, Kazeon Systems introduced new pay-as-you-go pricing models that augment their current standard software licensing option and focus on case matters. Kazeon hopes the new pricing models allow customers to implement an e-discovery solution that does not require a major financial investment or lengthy rollout.

Vendors are starting to “go left” of the EDRM to provide organizations a better view of the end of litigation via early case assessment tools. In fact, KPMG promoted the concept with a T-shirt emblazoned with "go left." Toward that end, Daticon EED announced the availability of its Early Case Assessment service that integrates concept-search technology with Discovery Partner, an integrated processing, analytics, review, and production platform. Discovery Partner was also enhanced with an Image Conversion Server that stages production-ready images in anticipation of production. The image server aims to reduce the time it takes to convert images and make the process transparent to reviewers.

Leaning toward the "left" side of EDRM, I watched a demonstration of Guidance Software's EnCase Legal Hold, its new Web-based litigation hold and tracking solution. EnCase Legal Hold has a good point of entrance into the EDD market via EnCase eDiscovery. Guidance hopes the new product will allow customers to issue legal holds and correspond with custodians as well as track and report on the collection and processing of ESI -- all performed with EnCase eDiscovery. Using a single case database, users can issue litigation holds, track correspondence with custodians, monitor and enforce compliance with the legal holds, and track the progress of collection and processing of potentially responsive ESI.

E-discovery players that continue to go to the left side of EDRM are eventually going to meet those players that are moving into e-discovery from stage left. Enter: Mimosa Systems NearPoint. Mimosa started out providing e-mail and file archiving solutions to organizations. Now, it contains a full suite of features designed to automate information management to facilitate the identification, collection, and preservation of content, e-mail and files, based on policies. Endpoint: NearPoint aims to speed up the discovery process and reduce information collection times and reduce storage costs. And don't give me that story that storage is cheap argument unless you power your data center with solar or wind power.

Looking at LegalTech from an international perspective, Clearwell Systems launched Clearwell Mobile for cross-border litigation. The Mobile product is powered by Clearwell’s E-Discovery Platform and provides organizations the ability to “drop” a Platform in a customer’s foreign site and allow legal teams to perform e-discovery “in country,” where the data resides and local counsel are familiar with the foreign entity’s privacy laws. After data has been acquired and responsive data has been retrieved and redacted, it is sent back to the situs of litigation. The good news is that you can return the box after the job is completed, much like returning a rental car – for a one-time, low fee. The other good news: Mobile is fully Unicode compliant.

I watched a demonstration of Mobile at LegalTech. It supports English, Western European, Eastern European, and Asian languages. This multilingual support lends itself to Clearwell’s search technology in search previews, search filters, and search reports in cross-border cases. I witnessed a demonstration of Mobile as it provided automatic language identification to data sets and exacted document counts by language type. The Unicode support also allows users to easily tag documents in different languages and assign them to multiple reviewers.

Huron Consulting remains bullish on outsourcing to India with an announcement of an exclusive alliance with UnitedLex. The alliance will bring together approximately 1,000 domestic document review stations from Huron and 600 Indian-based sets aiming to reduce the costs of e-discovery. As the year progresses, however, and more U.S.-based attorneys in search of work are willing to engage discovery review, outsourcing to India may not be so appealing.

Now, if you wonder about security in your service provider, which you should, check out eMag solutionsISO/IEC 27001:2005 certification for its operation centers in the U.K. and the U.S. EMag is an international provider of e-discovery services and data and its ISO 27001 certification indicates that it provides guidelines to implement risk management processes and policies that ensure secure infrastructures. So, ask your service provider what risk management framework they use to set security controls that ensure the safety and confidentiality of your data.

StoredIQ announced that it has expanded its e-discovery solution to support Symantec Enterprise Vault as a recognized data source during the legal discovery process. That means Enterprise Vault users who use the StoredIQ appliance get two big benefits. One: Vault users will get access to a broad set of data sources, in addition to the e-mail archive. So instead of aggregating data from multiple sources and manually merging it with information from the Vault's e-mail archives, users will be able to facilitate e-discovery processing by using a single appliance. Two: Using the StoredIQ appliance as the single repository for collecting, processing, and preparing responsive data for discovery has the potential to reduce the time it takes to work across the EDRM and minimize the overall costs.

"BEYOND THE [EDD] PALE"

To list the number of vendors I talked to outside of the EDRM would exhaust me. But there are few worth noting. EasySoft, a provider of legal software to streamline document creation and workflow and eliminate repetitive tasks. They discussed their product lines with me that ranged from managing bankruptcy cases to calculating divorce financials and time and billing. They even have shrink-wrap software to help the family law and personal injury lawyer, but those are limited to New Jersey law.

LawProspector aims to live up to its name in litigation terms. It looks to provide access to critical data about the litigation marketplace in a Web-based, software-as-a-service tool built for litigation support and business development teams at major law firms. LawProspector offers views into the current and future litigation activities of lawyers, law firms, and corporations. What can you do with that? LawProspector says it can be used to evaluate lateral hires, monitor existing client litigation activities, and measure the litigation activities of competing law firms and potential clients. I will validate this in due time.

I also reconnected with Courtroom Connect at LegalTech, a provider of litigation support connectivity to law firms, litigation support firms, and court reporters. It was showing off it's Polycom videoconferencing tools for its Remote Counsel product. It is interesting to note that this company got its start from some Stanford graduates who wired California courthouses much like network providers today wire hotels -- and charge back for services.

Software as a service is almost as hard to ignore today as Web 2.0, especially for solo and small firm attorneys looking for a low-cost method of law practice management. Both Clio and Rocket Matter stepped up to LegalTech with new products and services.

Clio announced ClientConnect, a secure Web-based portal for online document sharing, client collaboration, and online bill paying. Once you set a client up and allow him or her access to their data, they can view information on their matter, correspondence, documents (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PDF files), comments on documents, bills and invoices, and an online bill-paying system. ClientConnect comes at no additional charge to the $49 per month fee for lawyers and $25 per month fee per support staff member.
Rocket Matter, in celebration of the new year, officially launched version1.0 on January 6. Previous to that, it had been operating in beta mode. Like Clio, Rocket Matter is software as a service aimed at legal practice management and time and billing needs for lawyers and law firms. I will be taking a closer look at Rocket Matter after I collect myself from all the activities at LegalTech New York.

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