Category Archives: Uncategorized

RIP Browning Marean, 1942-2014

I am sad to report that Browning Marean passed away last Friday. He will be sorely missed by his partners at DLA Piper, his clients and his many friends and colleagues. I am proud to say that I have been friends with Browning for many years and count myself in his fan club. We go back to the early days of Catalyst and before that even. The time was too short.

Browning served on the Catalyst Advisory Board for the past two years and was always quick to help whenever I asked. You couldn’t ask for a better sounding board or friend.

Many have already posted their thoughts and regrets about the loss of Browning, including our friend Craig Ball, who as usual made the case as eloquently as possible (Browning Marean 1942-2014). Thanks to Chris Dale as well for his comments, Goodbye Old Friend: Farewell to Browning Marean, and photo gallery. And to Ralph Losey: Browning Marean: The Life and Death of a Great Lawyer. And Tom O’Connor: Browning Marean: A Remembrance.

Browning and I go back to the early days, before there was an “E” in front of discovery. He told me once that he got his start on the speaking circuit after hearing one of my talks. It inspired him to see a lawyer up there talking about litigation technology, he said. Having watched Browning leave me in the dirt with his speaking prowess, I was both honored and pleased to have played a small part in getting him going.

I had the privilege of being with Browning on the dais, at conferences and in quiet evening meals from Hong Kong to London and many places in between. Had I realized time was short, there are so many things I would have wanted to say. Alas, that seldom happens and it didn’t here. He wrote me a few weeks ago to say he expected to be back on his feet in September. How I wish that were still true.

Browning: You touched a lot of people over your too few years and made the world a better place. We carry on in your honor.

Rest in peace old friend.

Continuous Active Learning for Technology Assisted Review
(How it Works and Why it Matters for E-Discovery)

Last month, two of the leading experts on e-discovery, Maura R. Grossman and Gordon V. Cormack, presented a peer-reviewed study on continuous active learning to the annual conference of the Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval, a part of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), “Evaluation of Machine-Learning Protocols for Technology-Assisted Review in Electronic Discovery.”

download-pdfIn the study, they compared three TAR protocols, testing them across eight different cases. Two of the three protocols, Simple Passive Learning (SPL) and Simple Active Learning (SAL), are typically associated with early approaches to predictive coding, which we call TAR 1.0. The third, continuous active learning (CAL), is a central part of a newer approach to predictive coding, which we call TAR 2.0. Continue reading

How Many Documents in a Gigabyte? A Quick Revisit to this Interesting Subject

I read with great interest a recent article in Law Technology News, “Four Examples of Predictive Coding Success,” by Barclay T. Blair.

The purpose of the article was to report on several successful uses of technology-assisted review. While that was interesting, my attention was drawn to another aspect of the report. Three of the case studies provided data shedding further light on that persistent e-discovery mystery: “How many documents in a gigabyte?” 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

#LTNY14: Visit Catalyst at Booth 1511 to See ‘Big Discovery’ In Action

If you are attending LegalTech New York this week, be sure to visit Catalyst at Booth 1511 to see the speed and power of Big Discovery firsthand. To demonstrate the Big Data capabilities of Catalyst Insight — the one e-discovery platform specifically engineered to meet the e-discovery demands of global corporations and their counsel — Catalyst will be using a live database of more than 23 million records. Continue reading

Vote for Catalyst in NLJ’s Best of 2014 Readers’ Rankings

“I coulda’ been a contender,” Marlon Brando famously lamented in the 1954 film On the Waterfront. Well, Catalyst actually is a contender, for best in four e-discovery categories in The National Law Journal’s Best of 2014 readers’ rankings.

Catalyst is a finalist in these four categories:

  • Who is the nation’s top end-to-end e-discovery provider? (question 16).
  • Who offers the nation’s best predictive coding e-discovery solution? (Question 17.)
  • Best data and technology management e-discovery provider. (Question 18.)
  • Best online review platform. (Question 23.) Continue reading

How Many Documents in a Gigabyte? An Updated Answer to that Vexing Question

Big-Pile-of-PaperFor an industry that lives by the doc but pays by the gig, one of the perennial questions is: “How many documents are in a gigabyte?” Readers may recall that I attempted to answer this question in a post I wrote in 2011, “Shedding Light on an E-Discovery Mystery: How Many Docs in a Gigabyte.”

At the time, most people put the number at 10,000 documents per gigabyte, with a range of between 5,000 and 15,000. We took a look at just over 18 million documents (5+ terabytes) from our repository and found that our numbers were much lower. Despite variations among different file types, our average across all files was closer to 2,500. Many readers told us their experience was similar. Continue reading

My Prediction for 2014: E-Discovery is Dead — Long Live Discovery!

Big Dog

The big dog today is electronic discovery.

There has been debate lately about the proper spelling of the shorthand version for electronic discovery. Is it E-Discovery or e-discovery or Ediscovery or eDiscovery? Our friends at DSIcovery recently posted on that topic and it got me thinking.

The industry seems to be of differing minds. Several of the leading legal and business publications use e-discovery, as do we. They include Law Technology News, the other ALM publications, the Wall Street Journal (see here, for example), the ABA Journal (example), Information Week (example) and Law360 (example).

Also using e-discovery are industry analysts such as Gartner and 451 Research.

A number of vendors favor the non-hyphenated versions Continue reading