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.

Screening and Panel in Denver Feb. 19 to Look at Past, Future of E-Discovery

Decade of Discovery Denver Feb 19 15

The Decade of Discovery—an acclaimed documentary that chronicles the impact of the information explosion on the courts and the government during the years 2002 to 2012—will be screened in an exclusive Denver-area showing on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the University of Denver, Davis Auditorium.

The documentary tells the story of a government attorney on a quest to find a better way to search White House e-mail, a teacher who takes a stand for civil justice on the electronic frontier, and the resulting revolution in the way law is practiced and the government operates. It was written and directed by Joe Looby, a lawyer and forensic technology expert.

The free screening will be followed by a discussion by an expert panel that will include the government attorney depicted in the documentary, Jason R. Baron, now of counsel to the law firm Drinker Biddle. Baron served 13 years as the first appointed director of litigation at the National Archives, and prior to that as a trial attorney and senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as counsel of record in lawsuits involving the preservation of White House e-mail.

Other legal experts on the panel will be:

  • Craig B. Shaffer, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Colorado.
  • David Thomson, professor, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
  • John Tredennick, founder and CEO of Catalyst.
  • Kelly Twigger, principal, ESI Attorneys.
  • Francis Lambert, information governance expert.

The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Catalyst and the Denver chapter of ARMA International.

More information is available on the Catalyst website or through the law school’s site.

Join Catalyst and Partners for a Rockin’ LegalTech Concert

LegalTechConcertIf you are attending LegalTech New York this week, don’t miss this first-of-its-kind event: a LegalTech rock concert, “15 Years of E-Discovery, What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been.”

(Read on to learn how to get VIP access and drink tickets.)

The concert kicks off Wednesday night, Feb. 4, at 9 p.m. and continues until midnight. It will be held in the West Grand Ballroom at the Hilton, so you don’t even have to go outside and face the elements.

The concert will feature your favorite LegalTech musicians and there will be a few suprises thrown in as well. It promises to be a fun party, with music and dancing, VIP guests, and one very special tribute.

All registered LegalTech attendees are welcome, but stop by the Catalyst booth at LegalTech (#1411) for special VIP access and drink tickets.

Catalyst is sponsoring the event, along with co-sponsors ALM, Brainspace, Ricoh, DSicovery and MarkLogic.

Catalyst CEO to Release New Book at LegalTech, ‘TAR for Smart People”

If you follow this blog at all, you know that Catalyst’s founder and CEO John Tredennick is a prolific writer on e-discovery and, in particular, on technology assisted review. Now, he has written a book about TAR, TAR for Smart People: How Technology Assisted Review Works and Why it Matters for Legal Professionals, and it is being released tomorrow at LegalTech New York.

Recognizing that TAR is a sophisticated process that draws on science, technology and law, Tredennick set out to write a book that explains the basics of TAR while also exploring advanced issues and applications. The book serves as a practitioners’ guide to TAR, with a focus on the newest TAR protocol, Continuous Active Learning (CAL). Continue reading

An All-Star LegalTech Plenary on TAR (and How to Get VIP Seating)

Catalyst is proud to be sponsoring an all-star plenary session at LegalTech New York next week, Taking TAR to the Next Level: Recent Research and the Promise of Continuous Active Learning. The session, which takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 12:30, will feature a panel of internationally known e-discovery experts, and will be moderated by Catalyst’s founder and CEO John Tredennick.

The panel will discuss the latest research on protocols for technology assisted review, focusing on newer methods and, in particular, on Continuous Active Learning, which has been shown to identify relevant documents more quickly and with less human effort, thereby further reducing review costs. Continue reading

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