The Paradigm Shift
The great minds addressing the challenge have had wins, but have also met great resistance. The resistance is natural as technology and machine review cannibalize the hours spent in traditional review. That is the ever present elephant in the room, but as Brynjolfsson said on beating the machine, chess player(s), corporate, law firms and vendor partners need to collectively approach the case.
As an example, corporate strategies across matters or low economic matters may all demand concept categorization-type analytics to find the relevant data quickly, but may be too expensive to “enable” in the software. Whether it is expensive technology, attorney review hours or data collection and processing, all of the pieces are there to align with better strategies for nearly any case that should be pursued on merit rather than settlement strategies that make the corporation a target. If we start there with that assumption from the onset of the case, it can work and is working for the savvy corporate, law firm and vendor teams pulling together. This is the minor mindset shift that needs to take place across the industry to address the mounting data growth, litigation and fear.
Because of the reactivity in the current climate in our legal industry, a majority of all matters are handled at the case level. Once the data is produced, it is closed including all of the brilliance in strategy and data intimacy amongst the teams. This has to stop. Whether the corporation is a serial litigant or reactive to the occasional lawsuit, leveraging a single provider with an FFA or AFA is what should be sought. There are many that are now touting managed services, and though this is a start in the right direction, they are mostly only satisfying their personal economic model, and line itemizing analytics, processing, etc. A true managed services provider should include everything for an actual fixed fee that works for that client, creating a predictable expense, better cases strategies regardless of case size or economics, and all case data should allow for collective case intelligence across matters.
We can’t allow our industry to perpetuate pricing models in direct conflict with managing the growing data volumes. Technologists, consultants and case/project managers have assembled solutions and workflows to address these challenges, and, though not all are created equal, there are many who act as a partner or even a department within the corporation to provide solutions to capture case intelligence across all matters.
Rick started in the legal industry in 2002 working for a litigation support company where he began consulting with law firms on paper and electronic discovery. As eDiscovery began to grow, his path took him to deploying software in data processing and forensics. In 2006, he became a co-founder of Wave Software for high volume unstructured data culling for a more streamlined review. The company quickly grew in the emerging eDiscovery market and as a result, he co-founded The Masters Conference to bring thought leaders together for education on the evolving best legal practices. In 2012, he began working in the complex data/document review with iCONECT and began to consult with corporations, the federal government and law firms in complex review. Rick joined TCDI in 2014.
Rick has a Communications degree in Journalism from Liberty University.
Latest posts by Rick Clark (see all)
- Ready to Relax in Style at LTNY17 - January 23, 2017
- Podcast with Ari Kaplan – Reinventing Review for Small and Mid-Sized Firms - October 20, 2016
- What to look for in an eDiscovery SaaS provider - July 18, 2016