NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — LegalTech Conference 2016 — Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Global technology company Nuix, has called for the legal industry to redefine and reconsider its approach to early case assessment (ECA) in litigation.
“As ESI evolved in eDiscovery, some vendors have deliberately confused the market by seeking to define ECA in terms that align to the features of their products, for example conflating it with a narrow set of technology assisted review (TAR) technologies such as predictive coding,” said Sheehy. “In fact, these three-letter acronyms have almost nothing in common and predictive coding is particularly poorly suited for ECA. The legal industry is letting its clients down by wrongly defining and poorly executing early case assessment.”
“Nuix has long been an advocate for true ECA, which helps litigants quickly understand the facts and merits of the case, key players, and critical dates so they can set a realistic case strategy.”
Using an intelligent technology-enabled ECA process, litigants can visually understand context and establish scope, prioritize sources of electronically stored information (ESI) at the outset of a case and avoid the wasted time, money, and effort of setting eyes on every document, Sheehy explained.
Nuix’s white paper “Early Case Assessment: Evolving from Tactical to Practical“—by Angela Bunting, the company’s director of eDiscovery Products and Solutions and George J. Socha, Jr., Esq., co-founder of EDRM and the president and founder of Socha Consulting LLC—examines how legal teams can use statistical, date, textual, and relationship analytics to rapidly identify and prioritize their ESI sources.
“With these techniques, you can get a much clearer, more accurate, and comprehensive view of the issues at hand and the potential pitfalls you will need to avoid, at the earliest possible stages of the discovery process,” said Socha.
The paper highlights how the transition from paper-based to digital discovery led to a loss of valuable skills and has been exacerbated by misleading new technology concepts.
“In pre-digital days, the discovery team would conduct a preliminary walkthrough of boxes containing material potentially relevant for disclosure to understand and start to prioritize those materials,” said Bunting. “In the transition to electronic discovery, we seem to have lost those basic skills in favor of more esoteric capabilities that technology vendors and analysts told us we needed.”
The paper also lays out a practical five-step methodology for applying these analytics as the digital equivalent of the traditional walk through the warehouse. Legal teams can quickly find out what data they have, flag any issues with that data, learn who the key players are and what information they hold, uncover the fundamental facts of the case, and clear out digital deadwood.
“These five core elements of ECA will be vital for the legal industry in 2016, especially with the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure placing a greater emphasis on the proportionality of discovery,” said Sheehy. “By updating its approach to ECA, the industry can reduce costs for litigants and make fair trials more accessible to everyone.”
Nuix (www.nuix.com) protects, informs, and empowers society in the knowledge age. Leading organizations around the world turn to Nuix when they need fast, accurate answers for investigation, cybersecurity incident response, insider threats, litigation, regulation, privacy, risk management, and other essential challenges.
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