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“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. The right fit at the right cost involves at least the following:

  • Meeting the Primary Objective. What is the primary objective and how does the technology help accomplish it?
    • Most reviews are laser focused on responsiveness and privilege for production, with compliance as the primary objective. Others, however, may be on finding the key information, such as reviewing an incoming production.
  • Ranking the Secondary Objectives. What are the secondary objectives in order of importance, and does the technology help accomplish them in roughly that same priority?
    • This is usually where certain technologies stand out. Matching the secondary objectives to the key technology solutions in order of priority helps differentiate the right choice.
  • Facilitating Workflows and Timing. Can the data be broken down into smaller subsets and are efficiencies gained by different technologies being applied at the right time?
    • The data in a review set should be segmented into different buckets so that different technologies can facilitate proportionate and efficient decision-making on each. Technology must be deployed at the right time.
  • Ensuring Defensibility. What is the overall status of the negotiations and agreements, and what is the likelihood that the technology will become a catalyst for dispute?
    • The status of existing protocols or agreements, filings and other situational questions can affect the choice of technology.
  • Cost Alignment and ROI. Based on the above, is the cost associated with the technology proportional and predictable, and can its value be demonstrated through a clear ROI?
    • The feature set of the technology should align with its cost and have an articulable ROI that makes it a proportional and smart choice.

Choosing review technology that fits a case involves a lot of practical experience and judgment.  It also can occasionally involve an array of strong feelings associated with individual experience and relationships. However, at the end of the day, the technology is a key question. The choice of partner for that technology is a separate process. Repeated and regular eDiscovery success means being able to work with a variety of tools that are the best “fit” for the matter or portfolio.  For an example of our thought process on measuring these questions, see “How We Found a Powerfully Simple Solution to Routine eDiscovery Matters.”

Our next blog will be published Friday, June 5, and will be an interview of Kiwi Camara, CEO of Disco, in our Sitting with the C-Suite Series. 

In the meantime, feel free to reach out at csanko@bakerdonelson.com.