Author Archives: Bob Ambrogi

Bob Ambrogi

About Bob Ambrogi

A lawyer and veteran legal journalist, Bob advises Catalyst on strategic communications and marketing matters. He is also a practicing lawyer in Massachusetts and is the former editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal, Lawyers USA and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. A fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, he also writes the blog LawSites.

Ralph Losey: Catalyst’s Multidisciplinary Team is ‘The Ideal E-Discovery Team’

Ralph-Losey

Ralph Losey

Rarely do we use this blog to blow our own horn. But when a widely acknowledged leader in the field of e-discovery singles out Catalyst for having “the ideal e-discovery team,” we cannot let it pass unmentioned.

That is exactly what happened in a recent post by Ralph Losey at his e-Discovery Team blog. The topic of his post was visualizing data in a predictive coding project. He begins by discussing how an e-discovery team should be composed. It should include not just lawyers and technologists, as is often the case, but also scientists, Ralph says. Further, the lawyers on the team should be sophisticated about search. Finally, the lawyers should not simply be part of the team, but they should lead it.

He then continues:

For legal search to be done properly, it must not only include lawyers, the lawyers must lead. Ideally, a lawyer will be in charge, not in a domineering way (my way or the highway), but in a cooperative multi-disciplinary team sort of way. That is one of the strong points I see at Catalyst. Their team includes tons of engineers/technologists, like any vendor, but also scientists, and lawyers. Plus, and here is the key part, the CEO is an experienced search lawyer. That means not only a law degree, but years of legal experience as a practicing attorney doing discovery and trials. A fully multidisciplinary team with an experienced search lawyer as leader is, in my opinion, the ideal e-discovery team. Not only for vendors, but for corporate e-discovery teams, and, of course, law firms.

Even if Ralph had never mentioned Catalyst in this quote, we would emphatically endorse the point he makes. In the final analysis, discovery is a legal and judicial process, despite all the technology that supports it these days. Having lawyers at the helm who understand the law and the legal process is critical to ensuring it is done right.

Thanks for the kind words, Ralph. You are one of the true pioneers in our industry.

TAR in the Courts: A Compendium of Case Law about Technology Assisted Review

Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck

Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck

It is less than three years since the first court decision approving the use of technology assisted review in e-discovery. “Counsel no longer have to worry about being the ‘first’ or ‘guinea pig’ for judicial acceptance of computer-assisted review,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck declared in his groundbreaking opinion in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe.

Judge Peck did not open a floodgate of judicial decisions on TAR. To date, there have been fewer than 20 such decisions and not one from an appellate court.

However, what he did do — just as he said — was to set the stage for judicial acceptance of TAR. Not a single court since has questioned the soundness of Judge Peck’s decision. To the contrary, courts uniformly cite his ruling with approval.

That does not mean that every court orders TAR in every case. The one overarching lesson of the TAR decisions to date is that each case stands on its own merits. Courts look not only to the efficiency and effectiveness of TAR, but also to issues of proportionality and cooperation.

What follows is a summary of the cases to date involving TAR. Each includes a link to the full-text decision, so that you can read for yourself what the court said. Continue reading

How Corporate Counsel are Integrating E-Discovery Technologies to Help Manage Litigation Costs

The newsletter Digital Discovery & e-Evidence just published an article by Catalyst founder and CEO John Tredennick, “Taking Control: How Corporate Counsel are Integrating eDiscovery Technologies to Help Manage Litigation Costs.” In the article, John explains why savvy corporate counsel are using the multi-matter repository and technology assisted review to manage cases and control costs. Continue reading

Another Court Formally Endorses the Use of Technology Assisted Review

Given the increasing prevalence of technology assisted review in e-discovery, it seems hard to believe that it was just 19 months ago that TAR received its first judicial endorsement. That endorsement came, of course, from U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck in his landmark ruling in Moore v. Publicis Groupe, 287 F.R.D. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), adopted sub nom. Moore v. Publicis Groupe SA, No. 11 Civ. 1279 (ALC)(AJP), 2012 WL 1446534 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 26, 2012), in which he stated, “This judicial opinion now recognizes that computer-assisted review is an acceptable way to search for relevant ESI in appropriate cases.”

Other courts have since followed suit, and now there is another to add to the list: the U.S. Tax Court. Continue reading

National Law Journal Article on Using TAR for Non-English Documents

In a recent memorandum, a U.S. Department of Justice attorney questioned the effectiveness of using technology assisted review with non-English documents. While the DOJ “would be open to discussion” about using TAR in such cases, it is not ready to adopt it as a standard procedure, the memo said.

In an article published Sept. 1 in The National Law Journal, Catalyst founder and CEO John Tredennick responds to that DOJ memo. In the article, Yes, Predictive Coding Works in Non-Western Languages, Tredennick explains that TAR, when done properly, can be just as effective for non-English as it is for English documents. This is true even for the so-called “CJK languages” — Asian languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Read the full article at the NLJ website: Yes, Predictive Coding Works in Non-Western Languages.

 

Case Study: Using TAR to Find Hot Docs for Depositions

Common belief is that technology assisted review is useful only when making productions. In fact, it is also highly effective for reviewing productions from an opposing party. This is especially true when imminent depositions create an urgent need to identify hot documents.

A recent multi-district medical device litigation dramatizes this. The opposing party’s production was a “data dump” containing garbled OCR and little metadata. As a result, keyword searching was virtually useless. But by using TAR, the attorneys were able to highlight hot documents and prepare for the depositions with time to spare. Continue reading

Judge Refuses to Order Predictive Coding Where Not Agreed in ESI Protocol

gavelTwo years ago, it was big news in the world of e-discovery when U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck issued the first judicial opinion expressly approving the use of predictive coding. As other judges followed suit, issuing their own opinions endorsing or approving predictive coding, the trend led law firm Gibson Dunn, in its annual e-discovery update, to declare 2012 “the year of predictive coding.”

The trend towards judicial acceptance of predictive coding and other forms of technology assisted review (TAR) has continued, to the point where it is now newsworthy when a judge declines to order TAR. Continue reading

New Training Blog Provides Tips and Tricks for Catalyst Products

Patty Daly

Did you know that Catalyst Insight includes a variety of “hotkey” shortcuts that can help save costly reviewer time? Would you know how to conduct a search for initials in Insight without also bringing up every word in which those letters appear together?

You can learn tips and tricks such as these by following the newly launched training blog from Catalyst’s training department. The blog is intended to help users get the most out of Catalyst’s products such as Insight and Insight Predict. The blog will also provide announcements of new and updated training materials and of updates to products and features. Continue reading

Head of Catalyst’s Korea Office Publishes Book on E-Discovery for Businesses

l9788994567266The head of Catalyst’s South Korea office, Youngsoo Park, is the coauthor with Jeongho Yoo of a just-published Korean-language book about e-discovery for business leaders. The book, What Every Business Person Should Know about eDiscovery, provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of e-discovery.

The book is only the second ever about e-discovery published in Korea and the first in which hands-on professionals explore the topic in depth. The book covers the history and basics of e-discovery and then examines key topics and legal issues in e-discovery practice, both in the United States and Korea. It also explains several of the leading technology platforms for e-discovery, including Catalyst Insight. The book was published earlier this month in Seoul by InfoTheBooks.com.

Park, who is considered one of the leading e-discovery experts in Korea, joined Catalyst in 2013, when the company opened its first office in Seoul. He oversees the office and the expansion of Catalyst’s Asia-Pacific operations into South Korea. Continue reading

The Big News in E-Discovery for 2013 Was the Lack of Big News, Says Report

Perhaps the best snapshot of the state of e-discovery in the U.S. is the annual Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update from the law firm Gibson Dunn. For several years in a row, the headline of the update centered on sanctions, as I’ve noted here before. Then, for the 2012 year-end report, the rise of predictive coding edged out sanctions as the update’s lead.

Now, Gibson Dunn is out with its year-end update for 2013, and the big news is the year’s lack of big news. That is not to say that nothing of interest happened in 2013 — plenty did. But it was not a year of blockbuster cases or major legal developments in e-discovery. Rather, it was a year in which companies Continue reading