eDiscovery: From Simplicity to Strategy

How eDiscovery tools are handling more than just ECA

How eDiscovery tools are handling more than just ECA

eDiscovery is a painful and costly process for those of us in enterprise defense, and Zubulake vs. UBS Warburg made it considerably worse. The changes to FRCP in 2006 codified the Zubulake decision, and the technology sector scrambled to provide legal teams with a solution that could knock down these costs. A decade later, these solutions have been widely adopted and are commonly utilized during through the entire EDRM, and importantly have become proficient at limiting the cost of electronic data discovery.

Now that the market is mature, the most robust products have become more than cost minimization tools. They have evolved to become legal strategy tools as well.

Big data content analysis, when properly harnessed, gives legal teams meaningful insights and the ability to cross-evaluate search terms across all of the company’s data. These kinds of benefits have led to all manner of various improved eDiscovery features, including hit count reporting.

Hit counts allow researchers to minimize the painful ECA practice of blindly running searches into data. Researchers use hit count tools to gain some perspective on the content of their data stores, answering the question ‘how many of my documents contain these words?’ and, as the technology matures, ‘how many of my documents have both of these words?’; ‘all of these words?’; ‘these two words, but not this other word?’

Being able to sort through content with this kind of advanced search logic is a windfall for legal teams, as new HTML5 visualizations help attorneys and paralegals makes sense of these hit counts and other document metadata quickly. Beyond merely saving time and money, this technology can help shape legal strategy. It will be a long time before tech makes information discovery fun, but the right solution, equipped with dynamic ECA tools, can make it a whole lot less painful.

My work in project management at ZL Tech is an exercise in working with others to find productive compromise at the intersection of theoretical solutions and the technical implementation of those solutions. Personally, I enjoy following baseball, learning about word etymology, and dancing (albeit not particularly well).