Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Lawyers charge a lot for discovery, and aren’t even very good at it

Posted by rjbiii on September 30, 2007

So says an article posted by Forbes.

Corporations are evidence machines, generating terabytes of electronic documents, e-mails and digitally recorded phone calls each year. Lawyers try to sift through all this dross in search of the smoking gun that can determine the outcome of a case. But, so say studies by library scientists and others, the lawyers aren’t very good at sifting. Worn down by the anesthetizing process of flipping through thousands of digital images a day, they miss as much as they find. That’s where a San Francisco company, H5, comes in. “Our work is to discover the ideal narrative to walk into court with,” says Nicolas Economou, 42. “We give you the bullets designed to win.”

The provocative headline, however, merely dissolves into an article that reads like a press release for H5, and uses examples that are in reality no more than straw men. The comparison of their automated search techniques with “eyes on” review done by a legion of attorneys is not considered a true measure for any searching and filtering technology. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. Comparisons these days should be about different technologies. This is difficult, because few software companies in the industry are secure enough to allow an objective party to compare applications and publicize benchmarks. But I already know any set of automated methodologies is better, faster, and more efficient than a thousand contract attorneys manually reviewing every document.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m happy with the state of technology in the industry. Far from it. Maybe H5 has a great solution. I’m not familiar with it. I agree, as well, that attorneys aren’t good at using methodologies developed and (for the most part) used by database gurus, records managers, and librarian scientists. As we’ve posted before, electronical discovery brings the need to access knowledge from across several disciplines. Attorneys often drive the process, and for good reason. For a large or complex project to be successful, however, those attorneys trying to manage the project need to know when to rely on someone else.

[HT: DataKos Blog]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: