Catalyst Publishes 2nd Edition of its Popular Book ‘TAR for Smart People’

Book-2ndEditionI never liked the …for Dummies book titles. So when we released the revised and expanded second edition of our book about technology assisted review at Legaltech New York, I was glad we stuck with the original title, TAR for Smart People: How Technology Assisted Review Works and Why It Matters for Legal Professionals.

Download TAR for Smart People.

In a complex professional practice area such as law, it has become impossible for individual practitioners to hold high levels of expertise in every area that a project might involve. Our brains just aren’t big enough to hold everything we humans have learned. No shame in that.

So while humility in any form may come harder to lawyers than to most, this attitude is not merely wise. It is smart. Recognizing our inability to master everything, our strategy shifts to educating ourselves on related practices just enough that we can avoid mistakes, spot issues, and know when to call in help.

TAR for Smart People is therefore not just a clever play on the popular titles (though it certainly is that too). It’s designed to be part of this smart strategy for modern practitioners. We wanted to help legal professionals to learn enough about supervised machine learning tools — and specifically second-generation TAR 2.0 tools — that they can understand the benefits they bring to a case and recognize opportunities for their successful use.

In the year since we put out the first edition, the response to the book surpassed our expectations. We’ve heard from readers from law firms, corporations and vendors across the United States, as well as Asia and the EU. The book has been used as a text for law students learning about e-discovery and at judicial conferences to help get judges up to speed on the latest TAR methods.

This is exactly what we hoped for. And it is why we believed it would be valuable to readers for us to update and expand the book. In the year since the first book, TAR has continued to evolve, both in its practical application and in the research supporting its efficacy.

This second edition of TAR for Smart People adds several new chapters, including one to help you ask your TAR vendor the right questions about CAL, along with several new case studies that further reinforce the power of TAR 2.0 systems over first-generation TAR tools. We also updated the case law with the latest federal and state court decisions involving the use of TAR in discovery.

Catalyst’s founder and CEO, John Tredennick, is the principal author of the book. Several others of us here at Catalyst contributed to it. I am proud to have been one of them, along with:

  • Jeremy Pickens, senior applied research scientist.
  • Robert Ambrogi, director of communications.
  • Thomas C. Gricks III, managing director, Professional Services.

The book also features a foreword by Ralph Losey, one of the world’s leading experts on e-discovery law and practice and author of the e-Discovery Team blog.

We can’t possibly fit all the expertise of various information retrieval scientists, search experts, lawyers, project managers, and data visualization experts into one handy little compendium. But knowing that legal professionals have neurons that actually connect, we can provide a lot of substantive material so that our readers can understand the important principles, with plenty of hard evidence and pointers to additional research to back them up.

It seemed fitting that a book on TAR 2.0 technologies should have its own version 2.0. Whether you peruse it, skim it, or keep it on your desk as a reference, we hope you find it helpful in your own practice.

Comments and questions are always welcome. Arguments are too. After all, what else would you expect from a bunch of geek lawyers and scientists?