All posts tagged e-disclosure

Back to Basics – Proper Planning

Big Data

A trawl of the various blogs and articles on eDisclosure finds plenty of articles on predictive coding, Technology Assisted Review (TAR), big data, analytics, the Jackson Reforms and cost budgeting.  Indeed, even our own blog to date has focused a great deal on these issues, as the tags on the left show.  All of these topics are essential reading for anyone involved in eDisclosure, but they all assume one thing – everyone knows the basics.  No doubt all of our readers are fully aware of the new rules regarding the submission of budgets.  Anyone who is following the Plebgate saga cannot fail to be aware of Andrew Mitchell’s predicament due to his budget not being submitted at least seven days ahead of the CMC.  As a consequence, the court said Mr Mitchell “would be limited to a budget consisting of the applicable court fees for his claim”.  The judge also went on to say:

“Budgeting is something which all solicitors by now ought to know is intended to be integral to the process from the start, and it ought not to be especially onerous to prepare a final budget for a CMC even at relatively short notice if proper planning has been done.”

From our perspective, the key words here are “proper planning”.  One of the most costly aspects of litigation is the actual review of the documents due to the hours that this can potentially take.  But if you are inexperienced at eDisclosure, or don’t know your megabytes from your gigabytes, or both, where do you start?  Hopefully here.

The first thing to think about when your client rings is where to find the information relevant to the case.  The answer to that question will lie with your clients, or if you work for a corporation, with key personnel in IT and management.  The Electronic Documents Questionnaire contained within the Schedule of Practice Direction 31B is a useful template (http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part31/pd_part31b#IDAK4UJC), but here are the key questions that will help us to help you:

  • How many individuals are potentially involved?
    • Individuals are referred to as custodians.
  • Where is the relevant data for these custodians stored?
    • Their data may be on multiple sources, e.g.:
      • Desktop computer
      • Laptop computer
      • External device
      • Smart phone
      • Server
      • Backup tapes
  • Is it necessary to collect all the data from all the sources to avoid the possibility of having to return, thus incurring additional costs?
  • How much data might there be?
    • This is very important as it will eventually help determine the number of potential documents for review.
    • The unit used for data in these circumstances is a Gigabyte (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabyte).
  • What type of data is there?
    • What type of email does your client use, e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes?
    • Any databases or proprietary software?
    • Any messaging data, e.g. Bloomberg Messaging?
    • Any audio data?
  • What languages are contained within the data?
    • Do you have reviewers with the necessary language skills?
    • Is machine translation, whereby your review platform carries out a basic translation, appropriate for your initial review?
  • Who should collect the data and how should it be collected?
    • Where is the data geographically?
    • Do you require an independent third party to collect the data in a defensibly sound manner?
  • What are the data privacy implications, if any?

Whilst these questions are not exhaustive, if you have thought about them, you will be in a position to start your conversation with your eDisclosure providers.  Ideally, relationships ought already to have been built up with technology experts as in most cases there will be little time to conduct a “beauty parade”.

We can help you collect the information you need.  Together we can then begin to plan how you are going to retrieve the data, how long that may take, and what the costs may be.  You will also need to start thinking about the actual data: what happens when it is processed before review, how can you reduce the volume of data to review, and what technology do you want to use to help you as it is likely that some sort of data filtering technology and review platform is going to be required.

These topics will be covered in the next Back to Basics post.

Next week, Rob Jones will be writing a blog post on what you need to know about Technology Assisted Review (TAR). You can see a preview below.

Document Review with an Army of One?

Ralph_SearchOn 10 September we are hosting a complimentary breakfast seminar in London for lawyers and litigation support professionals on “Predictive Coding – How it’s Bringing Innovation to Legal Practice”.  We are delighted to have as our guest speaker Ralph Losey, Partner and National e-Discovery Counsel at the US law firm Jackson Lewis who will share his extensive experience using machine learning technology in legal practice. We are also pleased to have as our UK legal expert, Neil Mirchandani, Partner at Hogan Lovells in London who will be commenting on the applicability of these technologies to UK legal practice.  Although this technology is not new there is still a lot of uncertainty in the UK about how it works and which cases and which document collections it works best on.

The seminar will include discussion on scientific studies comparing human to computer review, some war stories showing how the technology has worked and the cost benefit analysis looking at a recent survey of corporates and how to control disclosure costs.  We are hoping to debate the issues that arise in the UK in relation to the use of this sort of technology and what our experience of it has been.  For those who would like to stay on afterwards, there will also be a more mechanical session and demonstration of how to use the technology with Ralph.

If you would like further information about the event please click here and if you would like to register please email us at events@krollontrack.co.uk.  We are hoping for a lot of audience interaction and you can pose questions for the experts to answer during the session by emailing us or commenting below.

About Tracey Stretton

Tracey Stretton is a legal Consultant at Kroll Ontrack in the UK. Her role is to advise lawyers and their clients on the use of technology in legal practice. Her experience in legal technologies has evolved from exposure to its use as a lawyer and consultant on a large number of cases in a variety of international jurisdictions.

Money, Money, Money

euros

As everyone knows, businesses are becoming more and more focused on controlling expenditure due to both sound business practice and the general economic downturn. The cost management regime in the UK courts puts additional emphasis on the need to set and adhere to budgets for parties involved in  litigation. In a regulatory context, corporates often see the benefits of carrying out pro-active compliance audits but can be put off from reviewing electronic documents due to (sometimes misplaced) concerns about escalating costs.

I have worked in the edisclosure business for 9 years now and can tell you that there are three main areas in which edisclosure pricing is generally criticised: it is considered to be too expensive and/or too unpredictable and/or too difficult to understand. Add to that the difficulty in accurately comparing pricing from different suppliers and you have a nightmare scenario for law firms and their clients.

At Kroll Ontrack, we recognise these concerns and have introduced new pricing models with the overriding aim of simplifying and providing certainty to clients for edisclosure costs. These models help not only our clients who need our assistance on individual matters but also those who are looking to outsource all of their edisclosure projects  for a fixed monthly fee.

In response to these pricing models, Mark Surguy, partner at Eversheds has commented as follows: “The significant volume of corporate data, the new civil procedure rules on costs budgeting and the difficult economy have put e-disclosure costs in the limelight. Kroll’s innovation in addressing the issue is exactly the kind of flexibility we need to get these projects executed commercially.”

For more information on these pricing models please contact us to discuss them

Next week, Graham Jackson will be writing a blog post on data breaches. You can see a preview below.

Andrew Szczech, Sales Director, Legal Technologies

About Andrew Szczech

Andrew Szczech, Director of Legal Technologies Services, EMEA, is responsible for the business development of Kroll Ontrack's legal technologies business in Europe, focussing on the provision of electronic evidence services to law firms and corporates. These services include e-discovery, computer forensics and consulting which are provided in order to assist clients in multiple practice areas including dispute resolution and antitrust. Frequently, there is a need for solutions to address complex cross border data protection challenges. Andrew also manages the growth and development of global accounts throughout Europe.