TAR for Smart Chickens

Special Master Grossman offers a new validation protocol in the Broiler Chicken Antitrust Cases

Validation is one of the more challenging parts of technology assisted review. We have written about it— and the attendant difficulty of proving recall—several times:

The fundamental question is whether a party using TAR has found a sufficient number of responsive1 documents to meet its discovery obligations. For reasons discussed in our earlier articles, proving that you have attained a sufficient level of recall to justify stopping the review can be a difficult problem, particularly when richness is low. Continue reading

Review Efficiency Using Insight Predict

An Initial Case Study

Much of the discussion around Technology Assisted Review (TAR) focuses on “recall,” which is the percentage of the relevant documents found in the review process. Recall is important because lawyers have a duty to take reasonable (and proportionate) steps to produce responsive documents. Indeed, Rule 26(g) of the Federal Rules effectively requires that an attorney certify, after reasonable inquiry, that discovery responses and any associated production are reasonable and proportionate under the totality of the circumstances.

In that regard, achieving a recall rate of less than 50% does not seem reasonable, nor is it often likely to be proportionate. Current TAR decisions suggest that reaching 75% recall is likely reasonable, especially given the potential cost to find additional relevant documents. Higher recall rates, 80% or higher, would seem reasonable in almost every case. Continue reading

The Rise of Business Intelligence in the Legal Department

I work with large corporate legal departments involved in large-scale and often repetitive litigation and regulatory investigations, and recently found myself wondering, “Why are corporate counsel using analytics with greater ease and confidence for individual litigation reviews, but not to manage e-discovery spend, track and manage data across cases to make more informed decisions, and improve processes and outcomes?”

Beyond using analytics and reporting tools for one-off cases, how many legal teams, including corporate legal operations officers, really track and manage data across all matters in real-time, at the push of a button? Why’s this so important, what’s holding them back, and how are forward-thinking legal departments addressing these challenges? Continue reading

How Good is That Keyword Search? Maybe Not As Good As You Think

Despite advances in machine learning over the past half-decade, many lawyers still use keyword search as their primary tool to find relevant documents. Most e-discovery protocols are built around reaching agreement on keywords but few require testing to see whether the keywords are missing large numbers of relevant documents. Rather, many seem to believe that if they frame the keywords broadly enough they will find most of the relevant documents, even if the team is forced to review a lot of irrelevant ones. Continue reading

Catalyst to Host CLE Webinar on the Legal Ethics of Technology Assisted Review

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We invite you to join us for free webinar,  The Legal Ethics of Technology Assisted Review (TAR) on Wednesday, Dec. 13th. This program is accredited for one hour of ethics CLE credit. Our speakers are Bob Ambrogi, John Tredennick and Tom Gricks.

More than 28 states now say lawyers have an ethical duty to be competent in technology. Bob Ambrogi, keeps a running list of these states on his Law Sites blog. Continue reading

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