Category Archives: Uncategorized

For Our Readers: Discounted Registration for Arkfeld eDiscovery Conference


Judge Scheindlin

Judge Scheindlin

The fourth annual ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Evidence Conference takes place March 11-13 in Tempe, Ariz., and we are happy to be able to offer this blog’s readers a 30 percent discount on registration.

This annual conference — produced by noted e-discovery attorney and educator Michael Arkfeld and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University — features three full days of programs presented by some of the leading judges, practitioners and educators. Continue reading

Your TAR Temperature is 98.6 — That’s A Pretty Hot Result

Our Summit partner, DSi, has a large financial institution client that had allegedly been defrauded by a borrower. The details aren’t important to this discussion, but assume the borrower employed a variety of creative accounting techniques to make its financial position look better than it really was. And, as is often the case, the problems were missed by the accounting and other financial professionals conducting due diligence. Indeed, there were strong factual suggestions that one or more of the professionals were in on the scam.

As the fraud came to light, litigation followed. Perhaps in retaliation or simply to mount a counter offense, the defendant borrower hit the bank with lengthy document requests. After collection and best efforts culling, our client was still left with over 2.1 million documents which might be responsive. Neither time deadlines nor budget allowed for manual review of that volume of documents. Keyword search offered some help but the problem remained. What to do with 2.1 million potentially responsive documents? Continue reading

Download our Free E-Book: ‘TAR for Smart People’

book_tar_for_smart_peopleIn her column today for the popular legal blog Above the Law, technology writer Nicole Black says that one of the best items of swag at this year’s LegalTech New York was the new book from Catalyst, TAR for Smart People: How Technology Assisted Review Works and Why It Matters for Legal Professionals.

At LegalTech, Catalyst handed out the book in hard copies. But for those of you who did not make it to LegalTech (or who just don’t want to kill any more trees), the e-book edition is now also available. To get your own copy, download it here free. It is available in both PDF and Epub versions.

The book was written by Catalyst founder and CEO John Tredennick,  with contributions by Dr. Jeremy Pickens,, one of the world’s leading information retrieval scientists and senior applied research scientist at Catalyst; Mark Noel, a lawyer who is managing director of professional services at Catalyst; and me, a lawyer and technology writer and director of communications at Catalyst. It features a forward by internationally known e-discovery lawyer Ralph Losey.

Starting from the premise that TAR is a sophisticated process that draws on science, technology and law, the book 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).

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

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.

Measuring Recall in E-Discovery Review, Part One: A Tougher Problem Than You Might Realize

A critical metric in Technology Assisted Review (TAR) is recall, which is the percentage of relevant documents actually found from the collection. One of the most compelling reasons for using TAR is the promise that a review team can achieve a desired level of recall (say 75% of the relevant documents) after reviewing only a small portion of the total document population (say 5%). The savings come from not having to review the remaining 95% of the documents. The argument is that the remaining documents (the “discard pile”) include so few that are relevant (against so many irrelevant documents) that further review is not economically justified. Continue reading

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.