On May 20, 2020, I sat down with Kiwi Camara, the Chief Executive Officer of DISCO, via WebEx. In the segments below Kiwi covers, among other things, his advice to in-house clients on driving more value in the eDiscovery process through the smart use of technology and leveraging review decisions over multiple cases. You won’t want to miss Kiwi’s predictions about the future of eDiscovery technology specifically, or legal technology more generally.
Kiwi Camara is both a lawyer and a technologist. He has a B.S. in computer science and earned his JD at 19 from Harvard Law School. Kiwi practiced law in Houston, Texas and had a commercial litigation practice. One of his largest clients asked him to take a holistic look at the company’s eDiscovery program and spend. That was the first time that he systematically reviewed demonstrations from eDiscovery vendors. He was unsatisfied with the speed and overall performance of the tools. As a result, Kiwi built a custom solution for that client that was “blazing fast and super easy” to use. In 2013, he started selling DISCO to other customers. The signature of DISCO to this day, reported Kiwi, is performance and the ease of use of the technology. (more…)
The last time we considered a new family car purchase, the salesman asked me what features I wanted. That is easy for me. Apple CarPlay functionality is important to me because of how seamlessly the iPhone integrates. However, what determines our family car purchase is overall fit. Given our large family, size and safety considerations tend to predominate, and we are never going to buy (or not buy) our family car because of CarPlay’s availability.
Similarly, when looking at the “right fit” for document review technology, the first question is not what any individual wants, but what the overall team (and case) needs. The decision is driven by the overall functionality of the review technology and how it matches to the case objectives. And, it must be aligned with cost containment and predictability to ensure that the technology is a smart, proportional fit. (more…)
Having an efficient and proportional strategy has always been critical to keeping cases on track against budget and deadlines. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented disruptive impact on many cases and schedules. Better and more efficient eDiscovery management will be key to ensuring that cases can get back on a reasonable schedule, and that the costs and effort are proportionate. Knowing the cost and timing implications of every eDiscovery decision will be critical to managing through the crisis.
Operational awareness empowers great eDiscovery decision-making. Each eDiscovery decision has cost and time ramifications. As decisions are made, they have distinct downstream consequences. This is similar to constructing a house. Once the foundation is set, it is very costly and time consuming to change the footprint of the structure. EDiscovery is no different. Every decision has downstream consequences. For eDiscovery management and operations, each decision has both an immediate time and cost impact, as well as implications for the overall project cost and completion. Because this affects proportionality and the ability to execute, both must be understood and managed cohesively and strategically. (more…)
Not all eDiscovery cases are created equal. The path to a more cost-effective eDiscovery management strategy starts by identifying the individual matters that need increased focus. This blog post is devoted to identifying the cases where an eDiscovery strategy can make the most meaningful difference.
In the last blog, we covered current pandemic-driven realities – namely, disrupted case schedules and new budgetary pressures. The economic uncertainties mean eDiscovery budgets should be examined for additional savings, while meeting litigation priorities and obligations.
Ediscovery costs can affect all investigation and litigation matters involving data. But, the larger and more significant matters have unique characteristics that make them likely candidates for cost-saving measures. These matters usually involve some mix of significant monetary or business impact claims; large data sets, many affected employees, and/or difficult searching criteria; and expansive production requests covering many topics. (more…)
The coronavirus means significant new litigation realities. It is not too early to start preparing for litigation on the other side of the pandemic. This series of short blogs will provide practical solutions for managing your eDiscovery strategy and getting large case litigation back on track.
Several major themes have developed in the wake of the crisis. Courts have suspended deadlines or made other changes extending litigation schedules. Many case schedules are now uncertain, including some that are paused. Companies are looking to cut costs anywhere and litigation budgets will be prime targets. Litigation departments will be forced to do more with less, necessitating a re-evaluation of virtually everything that has a price tag.
In eDiscovery, not all cases are created “technologically equal.” For smaller matters that have simple standard data footprints, a smart technology “fit” should be a key goal. If your case requires a straightforward search and production, the technology solution must be simple, easy to budget, and put the trial lawyers as close to the data as possible. Recently, Baker Donelson prepared a case study on this issue with one of its trusted partners for these types of matters. We will be making that available shortly. (more…)
To ensure value, eDiscovery projects should look to both provide a compelling narrative to the trial team, as well as continuously improve case outcomes by facilitating case management.
The goal of eDiscovery should be to provide value in enabling better client outcomes. As we talked about last week, value implies more than just a defensible production, which is the bare minimum. Value from eDiscovery comes in two additional ways: (a) providing a compelling case narrative as work product after the review, and (b) facilitating the trial team’s interaction with the data by a thorough understanding of the needs. Last week, we talked about why this is important. This week, we will cover some practical impediments that exist in the eDiscovery industry at large, and then cover some practical solutions to the challenge of providing better eDiscovery value.
Impediments to Facilitating Better Outcomes
Why has so much of the eDiscovery industry stopped short of delivering real client value?
Part of the answer is that eDiscovery’s intrinsic nature as a “manufacturing process” activity has been poorly understood across the legal industry, directly leading to high costs and inconsistent results. Stated differently, if each eDiscovery project is treated as a special snowflake, ignoring that eDiscovery is a repeatable process, the variability of the results/outcomes will get the attention. If eDiscovery is seen clearly as a manufacturing process, however, process deviations will get the attention. (more…)