Author Archives: David Sannar


About David Sannar

A veteran e-discovery executive with extensive experience in Asia and the Pacific, Dave Sannar is responsible for all Catalyst operations and business growth throughout Japan and Asia, including our operations and data center in Tokyo. Dave has been immersed in the e-discovery industry since 2004, when he became president and COO of AccessData Corp., the second-largest computer forensics software company in the world. Dave spearheaded a restructuring of AccessData that grew its workforce by 200 percent and its sales revenues from $4.2 million to over $10 million in just two years.

Using TAR for Asian Language Discovery

In the early days, many questioned whether technology assisted review (TAR) would work for non-English documents. There were a number of reasons for this but one fear was that TAR only “understood” the English language.

Ironically, that was true in a way for the early days of e-discovery. At the time, most litigation support systems were built for ASCII text. The indexing and search software didn’t understand Asian character combinations and thus couldn’t recognize which characters should be grouped together in order to index them properly. In English (and most other Western languages) we have spaces between words, but there are no such obvious markers in many Asian languages to denote which characters go together to form useful units of meaning (equivalent to English words). Continue reading

Using TAR Across Borders: Myths & Facts

As the world gets smaller, legal and regulatory compliance matters increasingly encompass documents in multiple languages. Many legal teams involved in cross-border matters, however, still hesitate to use technology assisted review (TAR), questioning its effectiveness and ability to handle non-English document collections.  They perceive TAR as a process that involves “understanding” documents. If the documents are in a language the system does not understand, then TAR cannot be effective, they reason.

The fact is that, done properly, TAR can be just as effective for non-English as it is for English documents. This is true even for the complex Asian languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK). Although these languages do not use standard English-language delimiters such as spaces and punctuation, they are nonetheless candidates for the successful use of TAR. Continue reading

Part II: Practical Considerations for U.S. Legal Teams Taking Discovery to Asia

[This is the second in a two-part Q&A between Rachel Teisch, Catalyst’s director of product marketing, and Dave Sannar, Catalyst’s head of Asia operations. Part I discussed trends and cultural differences U.S. legal teams should be aware of before embarking on cross-border discovery in Asia. Part II focuses on tactical considerations for collecting, processing, reviewing and transferring data subject to litigation, investigations and regulatory compliance.] Continue reading

Part I: Q&A with Dave Sannar on E-Discovery Trends in Asia

[This is the first of a two-part Q&A between Dave Sannar, Catalyst’s head of Asia operations, and Rachel Teisch, Catalyst’s director of product marketing. Part I discusses trends in Asia discovery. Part II focuses on tactical considerations for collecting, processing, reviewing and transferring data subject to litigation, investigations and regulatory compliance.] Continue reading

How to Avoid Asian Language Pitfalls in Discovery

A surge in cross-border litigation and enforcement of antitrust and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations is subjecting many Asian-based companies to U.S. discovery obligations. While e-discovery is “business as usual” in the U.S., discovery involving companies in Asia is still relatively new—and rife with potential pitfalls.

When parties involved in cross-border litigation or investigations are faced with multi-language documents subject to discovery, including the challenging Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) languages, they must understand how to accurately process and index CJK documents for proper search, review and analysis. Many Western search and review systems were not designed to capture the nuances of CJK language complexities. As a result, they offer sub-optimal search results, sometimes finding too many documents and sometimes missing important ones. An understanding of CJK differences can help you select the right technology and experts. Continue reading

A Qualitative Approach to Winning E-Discovery Business in Japan

blog_tokyo_skylineMany years ago, a surprising turn of events taught me a lesson I’ll never forget about working with Japanese companies.

A U.S. law firm had invited the e-discovery company I worked at to make a presentation to its client in Japan. The law firm had worked with the client for several months and it was time to talk discovery. To be impartial, the law firm had invited several e-discovery vendors to present. Continue reading