Legal Holds for Smart People: Part 4—The Benefits of Using Technology to Manage Legal Holds

Over the past year, I have had several opportunities to give talks about the legal hold process and to speak with a number of people from corporate legal departments. One thing I have learned is that many legal professionals, particularly in smaller companies, still manage legal holds using email, spreadsheets or other jury-rigged systems.

When you only have a few legal holds to manage, this can be a workable approach. If your company is like most, however, you have more than a few—sometimes dozens—of holds to manage at any given time. I know of companies who have thousands of custodians Continue reading

Legal Holds for Smart People: Part 3 – What Must I Preserve?

Implementing a legal hold involves two related inquiries: when does the duty to preserve attach, and what evidence must be preserved. In a previous blog post, I covered when the duty arises. Now I turn to the scope of the required preservation.

This post is the third of a four-part series in which I am providing a primer on the duties surrounding legal holds and offering tips on how to fulfill your responsibilities as a legal hold administrator. In the first post, I introduced the concept of a legal hold and how it is executed. In the second, I reviewed what must be preserved. The fourth will discuss the benefits of using legal hold technology. Continue reading

Legal Holds for Smart People: Part 2 – When Does the Legal Hold Duty Arise?

In a series of four blog posts, I am providing a primer on the duties surrounding legal holds and offering tips on how to fulfill your responsibilities as a legal hold administrator. In this, the second in the series, I will talk about when the legal hold duty arises. In the first post, I introduced the concept of a legal hold and how it is executed. Next in this series, I’ll review what must be preserved and then, in the fourth post, discuss the benefits of using legal hold technology.

The duty to issue and monitor a legal hold can arise long before a lawsuit is filed. As mentioned earlier, the duty commences or is “triggered” when litigation is reasonably anticipated. At that point, a party must take reasonable steps to preserve potentially discoverable information. Continue reading

Legal Holds for Smart People: Part 1 – What Is A Legal Hold?

Our judicial system is firmly rooted on the belief that parties to litigation should share documents and other information prior to trial. In support of that proposition, each party has a duty to identify, locate and preserve information and other evidence that is relevant to that specific litigation. The purpose is to avoid the intentional or inadvertent destruction (“spoliation”) of relevant evidence that might be used at trial.

The key point to understand is that this duty to preserve evidence may arise even before suit is filed or the information is otherwise requested. In 2003, a federal court judge set out the rule for what has become known as a “legal hold.”

“Once a party reasonably anticipates litigation, it must suspend its routine document retention/destruction policy and put in place a ‘litigation hold.’” Continue reading

Second Time’s No Charm: Privilege Lost When Party Twice Produces Same Privileged Documents

Everybody makes mistakes, and in e-discovery, a mistake that is sometimes made is the inadvertent production of privileged material. But what should happen when a party inadvertently produces privileged material, realizes its mistake, and then inadvertently produces the exact same material a second time?

This is exactly what happened in a recent case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Despite the existence of a clawback agreement, the court ruled that the second time was no charm for the party that made the inadvertent production. By making the same mistake twice, the court held, the party waived its privilege in the materials. Continue reading

Legal Rebels Interview: How John Tredennick Helped Blaze the Trail of Legal Technology

Catalyst_Legal_Rebels_John_TredennickAs a partner at a large, national firm in the late 1980s, John Tredennick saw the importance of legal technology and urged his firm to appoint him to lead the firm’s technology initiatives. They agreed, making him technology partner and possibly the first chief information officer at a large firm.

The litigation technology he helped develop there formed the foundation of the company he later founded, Catalyst, where he is now CEO. Continue reading

Just Say No to Family Batching in Technology Assisted Review

Catalyst_Just_Say_No_Family_BatchingIt is time to put an end to family batching, one of the most widespread document review practices in the e-discovery world and one of the worst possible workflows if you want to implement an efficient technology-assisted review (TAR) protocol. Simply put, it is nearly impossible for family batching to be as efficient as document-level coding in all but the most unusual of situations.

We set out to evaluate this relationship with real world data, and found document-level coding to be nearly 25 percent more efficient than family batching, even if you review and produce all of the members of responsive families. Continue reading

Comparing the Effectiveness of TAR 1.0 to TAR 2.0: A Second Simulation Experiment

Catalyst_Simulation_TAR1_vs_TAR2In a recent blog post, we reported on a technology-assisted review simulation that we conducted to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of a family-based review versus an individual-document review. That post was one of a series here reporting on simulations conducted as part of our TAR Challenge – an invitation to any corporation or law firm to compare its results in an actual litigation against the results that would have been achieved using Catalyst’s advanced TAR 2.0 technology Insight Predict.

As we explained in that recent blog post, the simulation used actual documents that were previously reviewed in an active litigation. Based on those documents, we conducted two distinct experiments. The first was the family vs. non-family test. In this blog post, we discuss the second experiment, testing a TAR 1.0 review against a TAR 2.0 review. Continue reading

Comparing Family-Level Review Against Individual-Document Review: A Simulation Experiment

Catalyst_Simulation_ExperimentIn two recent posts, we’ve reported on simulations of technology assisted review conducted as part of our TAR Challenge—an opportunity for any corporation or law firm to compare its results in an actual, manual review against the results it would have achieved using Catalyst’s advanced TAR 2.0 technology, Insight Predict.

Today, we are taking a slightly different tack. We are again conducting a simulation using actual documents that were previously reviewed in an active litigation. However, this time, we are Continue reading

What Can TAR Do? In This Case, Eliminate Review of 260,000 Documents

Catalyst_Blog_What_Can_TAR_DoMany legal professionals continue to question whether technology assisted review is right for them. Perhaps you are a corporate counsel wondering whether TAR can actually reduce review costs. Or maybe you are a litigator unsure of whether TAR is suitable for your case.

For anyone still uncertain about TAR, Catalyst is offering the TAR Challenge. Give us an actual case of yours in which you’ve completed a manual review, and we will run a simulation showing you how the review would have gone – and what savings you would have achieved – had you used Insight Predict, Catalyst’s award-winning TAR 2.0 platform. Continue reading