LeanDiscovery Blog

The LeanDiscovery® Blog is based on the principle that eDiscovery can be improved by lowering costs and delivering more value to enable better client outcomes.

Sitting with the C-Suite: Kiwi Camara of DISCO

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. read more…

“Right Fit” Document Review Technology

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. read more…

Sitting with the C-Suite: David Dobson, Epiq

On May 15, 2020, I sat down with David Dobson, the Chief Executive Officer of Epiq, and discussed a wide range of topics via WebEx. With COVID-19 challenges, the legal industry is faced with a situation where litigants will need to do more with less. This is simultaneously an opportunity for differentiation and a strategic challenge.  I asked David about the eDiscovery industry generally, and responding to the COVID-19 crisis specifically.

David joined Epiq about a year ago after spending his entire career in leadership positions for technology-related companies. As part of that experience, David was in a leadership role at a large technology company through the Great Recession, which, coupled with his industry experience, provides him with a unique perspective on the current environment. read more…

Expecting More from Document Review

We are Disney lovers at my house. My wife and I have made many trips to Walt Disney World. A few years ago, the two of us went celebrating an anniversary, and proudly wore our Disney pins announcing it. On one of our park days, we were walking by a food stand. The cast member called us over and wished us a happy anniversary and gave us each a free churro.

What do you remember about your last document review project? As we get ready to cover the people, process and technology aspects of the review, we want to start with the top things that we strive for in our document review projects. Great customer experience (CX) provides more than you expect. On our Disney anniversary trip, my wife and I were given what we expected when we went to the park and rode the rides. Neither of us remember that. We remember the churro. read more…

Special Announcement: Understanding the Business of eDiscovery


We are excited to announce a new video interview series: Sitting with the C-Suite. In each segment, I will be talking with a chief executive officer of an eDiscovery company. We will explore how each is addressing the COVID-19 crisis, what clients are doing to manage through the crisis, and generally covering the past, present and future. Naturally, as we are dealing with the pandemic, we will be doing this via remote interviews to comply with any applicable social distancing mandates. 

The pandemic means companies are doing more with less and dealing with case delays and tightening budgets. Now more than ever, it is critical to understand the eDiscovery industry generally (and your partners specifically). This video interview series will help anyone start to explore the eDiscovery industry from the perspective of its top leadership. read more…

Grilled Cheese and ESI Productions

Grilled cheese sandwich in a skilletOne of the last trips that my wife and I made prior to the social distancing guidelines was to Franklin, Tennessee. We had lunch at The Grilled Cheeserie, a restaurant devoted to gourmet grilled cheese melts. The components and options for a grilled cheese—bread, cheese and add-ons—are not complex. Depending on your preferences, mood and dietary restrictions, execution will be the difference between an adequate and excellent experience. (Our experience was excellent!) A production protocol is very similar. The component parts are simple, but how you put them together in a matter makes a big difference.

Document productions are a culmination of the various steps taken to that point throughout your eDiscovery processes. This is a key point in any lawsuit. For the larger matters, with a significant volume of ESI, the keys to a document production are stability and a good overall fit in how you match the ESI Stipulation to the actual matter requirements. read more…

How We Found a Powerfully Simple Solution to Routine eDiscovery Matters

While the focus of our blog recently has been to identify immediate large matter cost reductions in response to the “new normal” brought on by COVID-19, we wanted to take a quick detour and address an important topic. Specifically, we do not want any reader to think that we focus only on the large data matters, or that we are not in touch with the more standard cases that practitioners must manage. In fact, the vast majority of all discovery matters are fairly routine in terms of their size and complexity.

Managing eDiscovery, then, is not a one-size-fits-all proposal. However, the goal is always the same: get to the merits through a final, defensible production. How you accomplish that goal varies depending on many factors. The average eDiscovery case has minimalistic support needs.  While substantial immediate cost savings are best found in cases with more expansive eDiscovery needs, the long-term opportunity for cost savings and efficiencies can also come from incremental cost reduction on the “everyday” cases. read more…

Spoiler Alert. Starting at the End.

Early in my career, I worked on an arbitration that challenged the effectiveness of a claims administration company.  I sent our client’s expert witness five audits of the company, a fact I noted in the cover letter.  Unbeknownst to me, there were six audits—and the last one was not favorable for our positions.  While this error was later corrected, my “five audits” expert letter was a very popular exhibit for the opposing counsel.  This was my tangible object lesson to avoid the process getting tangled up with the merits.

The eDiscovery process is designed to uncover the relevant case facts.  Everything progresses toward this presentation of the material factual disputes to a factfinder.  Because this is eDiscovery’s ultimate purpose, we are going to start our discussion of eDiscovery phases at the culmination of the process: the presentation of the evidence. read more…

Buzzword Mania: Taking Your eDiscovery Strategy to the Next Level

Success in eDiscovery is determined largely by the ability to synergize “people, process and technology.” Okay, we hear your collective groan. The phrase is trite, tired and overused, which is what it is. Since it works so well for eDiscovery, however, this blog will lean in on buzzwords. Many of the “26 Annoying Phrases You Should Stop Using at Work” are included—with a few additional ones thrown in for good measure. Can you find them all? Happy searching!

The COVID-19-related changes are innumerable, as courts have been out of pocket for many weeks and litigation budget cuts are par for the course. The global pandemic will require a clear paradigm shift, requiring many teams to think outside the box on the go-forward eDiscovery case strategy and, ultimately, do more with less. read more…

Accelerating Efficient eDiscovery Through Operational Awareness – Two Key Questions

Consequences Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.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. read more…