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If you want to uncover all the facts and the truth in a case, it all starts with discovery. However, the days of laboring over physical documents are over. Technology changed the game, ushering in the era of eDiscovery tools.
There’s no longer any reason to go hunting through a physical “haystack” to find the informational “needle” you’re looking for. Instead, these days that needle is going to exist in some sort of digital format, and chances are, that haystack is going to be a massive collection of data in a variety of different formats. But you still have to find it.
Clearly, the old tools of sorting through discovery information and locating what you need, much less sorting, processing and storing it, aren’t going to be up to the task. What you need now — what every corporation, law firm or legal service provider needs — are the tools of eDiscovery. Some organizations are reluctant to make the leap to automated eDiscovery solutions because they worry it will be too difficult to deploy or require some sort of specific technical expertise. The truth is that the right eDiscovery tools have a convenient, simple user interface that anyone can learn to work with, just as they use a variety of computer programs every day without a second thought. What’s more, eDiscovery solutions can be deployed in a variety of formats to fit the specific needs of the organization.
What Should Every Corporation Know About eDiscovery Tools?
eDiscovery tools have been around for over a decade. Some have grown and continue to grow as more and more companies adopt eDiscovery, while others have stagnated or become irrelevant because they couldn’t keep up with customer requirements and the latest technologies.
What separates the best tools from mediocre ones is the solution vendor’s capability to listen to the market, develop new capabilities, fix old issues iteratively, but quickly, and develop innovative solutions that are easy to learn and get started with. Also, the solution should be easy to implement, manage and upgrade without requiring a large team or complex set of hardware and software resources.
Above all, eDiscovery solutions should guide the new adopters to quickly build an industry standard process that follows some of the best practices without tying them down to a specific tool or vendor. In other words, a great eDiscovery solution must come with industry best practices built into the tool and still allow you to migrate off to another solution if you so desire.
Here are three key things every corporation should look for when evaluating their eDiscovery options:
The right eDiscovery solution is simple to use, consistent through the entire process and anyone can learn it.
It is not only about search techniques; it is also about the AI and machine learning backbone accomplishing tasks and rendering insights that humans simply cannot execute.
It is about the speed, scalability, automation and lightning-fast processing to deliver higher productivity with consistent quality.
For example, in a recent study, a group of experienced U.S. attorneys competed with AI in spotting risks as they reviewed and approved legal contracts.
The experiment involved 20 trained U.S. lawyers with decades of contract review experience among them being pitted against an AI solution. The attorneys included law firm associates, sole practitioners, in-house lawyers and general counsel. The AI was trained on tens of thousands of NDAs using machine-learning and deep-learning technologies. Both sides had to review five nondisclosure agreements. NDAs are among the most common business contracts, creating a legal obligation to confidentiality. Reviewing NDAs is a task faced daily in the legal profession.
Here are the results, which were vetted by law professors from Duke University and Stanford University:
The AI scored an accuracy level of 94%, almost 10 points above the 20 lawyers, who scored an average of only 85%.
The highest-performing single attorney managed to score 94%, tying the AI, but the lowest-performing attorney scored only 67%.
Time is where the power of AI really stood out. It took an average of 92 minutes for the lawyers to review the five NDAs, but it only took the AI a total of 26 seconds.
Though no one is claiming that AI will be replacing human lawyers, the value of using eDiscovery tools to automate and streamline the process of specific, repetitive legal tasks is obvious.
Value of eDiscovery Tools
By utilizing eDiscovery solutions, law firms, legal service providers, corporations and government organizations can streamline and improve the litigation process, achieving the most successful outcomes possible while saving time and resources.
Benefits of eDiscovery tools include that:
Automated operations deliver up to 10 times higher productivity with quality-consistent outcomes.
Lightning-fast processing speed makes it possible to handle greater amounts of electronically stored information up to 10 terabytes a day — even if that data is scattered across thousands of cases and users and involves a variety of media formats, custodians and job types.
An eDiscovery solution deployed on-premise or cloud-based eDiscovery software is cost-effective compared with outsourcing those duties to a third-party provider. It has the advantage of keeping more control over the process and keeping information behind the protection of a firewall.
A self-service eDiscovery solution allows clients to upload their data securely and confidently to secure cloud storage without the need to ship hard drives that are vulnerable to theft, loss or exposure.
With a fast, intuitive review process, companies can limit the amount of sensitive information they send out, reducing risk and expense while increasing speed and accuracy.
An AI-driven eDiscovery platform enables automated redaction of documents; logical tagging; and review of email threads and data from a variety of sources, including Microsoft Teams, Slack, instant messaging, video chat and others.
Flexible deployment options give clients the option to use the eDiscovery solutions in the way that best meets their specific needs, upgrading when the time is right and deploying them as SaaS or as an on-premise application, all to ensure end-to-end quality and consistency.
Central dashboards with intuitive user interfaces and optional designs and templates give users insights and actionable information, allowing them to chart data throughout the eDiscovery process and use those insights to make defensible decisions.
It’s important to stress, though, that document management programs are not the same thing as eDiscovery software, and just because a company has a repository and search tool doesn’t mean they are enjoying all the benefits that result from a comprehensive, end-to-end eDiscovery platform.
Searching through data is only one feature of eDiscovery, and it’s not always the most effective tool for locating and analyzing data. Yes, search terms can allow clients to comb through data, but because of the overwhelming amounts of data and the variety of formats that data can take, tags are a much more effective tool, allowing documents to be grouped by specific subjects determined by the clients.
Also, when using a basic search method, there’s no method for reviewing or redacting information. An eDiscovery review platform, on the other hand, allows legal review and investigative teams to find the most relevant information, eliminating the risk of exposing a company’s sensitive data. And a search tool doesn’t have features such as native Excel redaction, which protects financial data.
Adaption to eDiscovery and the Protection of Data
This means that if a company is relying on simple document management and search programs to handle its discovery needs, it cannot hope to keep up with the ever-increasing volume and complexity of information. Companies must make the decision and be proactive in adapting to modern eDiscovery solutions. And that means companies must be more aware of the data they create, process and store.
It’s estimated that in 2021, the amount of data produced and gathered worldwide will eclipse all the data produced in all of human history before 2017. That’s just four years to double all the data the world has ever produced. Companies dealing with information in the modern era must have data management and retention policies firmly in place, including strict security protocols regulating the processing, storage and release of data. That data must be archived in an organized, easily retrievable manner, with processes aimed at preventing spoliation.
The Benefits of eDiscovery Tools
Key Point: eDiscovery tools can protect your business in litigation, reducing risk and costs.
eDiscovery tools offer invaluable protection for organizations in times of litigation. If it’s a large company or corporation, there’s likely a large number of legal cases to deal with. But thanks to the right eDiscovery solution, with tools aimed at handling all the important phases of the discovery process, workflows can be easily streamlined and automated in a manner that is always assured of being secure and compliant, reducing risk, controlling spend and putting resources to use in the most effective way possible.
Venio Systems is dedicated to bringing the latest legal technology innovations to corporations, law firms and legal service providers. We provide eDiscovery software solutions that streamline and improve the litigation process for our clients and partners, allowing them to achieve the most successful outcome possible while saving time and resources.
Venio offers a variety of eDiscovery tools that can streamline a specific element of eDiscovery or transform your entire process into a single, end-to-end solution, including:
Venio Legal Hold
VenioOne with a full self-service module called VenioOne OnDemand