Implementation Of Law: A Word Of Wisdom

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We have laws for just about everything from personal laws to commercial, contractual, e-discovery, and list goes on and on…

What’s important is to understand the ‘implementation’ of such laws! In my experience, as an attorney, I have come across hundreds of laws from all the way from legislation to the point when they are repealed! Laws have been around for a long time, yet we regularly find instances/cases where person suffered illegal detention, false imprisonment, and so forth.

The litigation hold in the process of e-discovery can be summed up in the following definition:

A litigation hold is a written directive advising custodians of certain documents and electronically-stored information (ESI) to preserve potentially relevant evidence in anticipation of future litigation

Well, easier said than done! In the NuVasive, Inc. v. Madsen Med., Inc., No. 13cv2077, 2015 WL 4479147 (S.D. Cal. July 22, 2015) case, simply implementing a legal hold was not enough to satisfy a party’s duty to preserve. Instead, the party must take affirmative steps to implement the hold, follow up with custodians to ensure data preservation, and also ensure that the hold covers all forms of data, including text messages and other emerging data formats.

Well, that seems like and, in fact, is a daunting task. In today’s computing scenario, where majority of the time the workforce is mobile, and not to mention the influx of mobile devices each of us have an use – then we try to remember “Where in the world did I save/store that document” – you get the point.

Within the realm of e-discovery, litigation can be reduced by providing an indispensable, seamless, and a fully collaborative platform/solution so that documents, text messages, and voice can be saved in repositories. Proactive approach towards data compliance will reduce costs in the long run for corporations!

The Information Governance Model (IGRM) Reference Guide at E.D.R.M does a fairly decent job at presenting a model.

While the future of e-discovery may rest on the foundation of information governance, a wise and proactive approach with special emphasis on building efficient processes, and more importantly automating those processes within the organization must be adopted to reduce legal complexities.

Here’s a sample tutorial of what SharePoint/Office 365 Compliance Center can help you achieve!

How e-Discovery works in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 allows you to use eDiscovery and compliance features to manage and recover evidence used in civil litigations, as well as manage the records for your enterprise. Being such a powerful web based platform, you can create various sites (similar to web sites) within the SharePoint environment.

Before deploying SharePoint Server eDiscovery features, an important consideration, however, is to plan the search service application infrastructure for your organization. E-Discovery uses search service applications (SSAs) to crawl SharePoint farms. You can configure SSAs in many ways, but the most common way is to have a central search services farm that crawls multiple SharePoint farms. You can use this one search service to crawl all SharePoint content, or you can use it to crawl specific regions, for example, all SharePoint content in Europe.

The way it works is simple: To crawl a SharePoint farm, search first uses a service application proxy to connect to it. The eDiscovery Center uses the proxy connection to send preservations to SharePoint sites in other SharePoint farms.

Key features and APIs in eDiscovery include:

  • Case Manager, which enables records managers to create and manage enterprise-wide discovery projects, place potentially large amounts and various types of content on hold, and preserve a snapshot of content.
  • Enterprise-wide access, which includes the ability to put content on hold and to search for content from a central location. It also includes the ability to conduct searches, access SharePoint content, and place content on hold in any configured SharePoint location.
  • In-Place Holds, which enables an attorney to preserve a snapshot of content while ensuring that users can continue to make changes without disturbing the state of the content snapshot.
  • Analytics, which enable attorneys, administrators, and records managers to collect and analyze data about eDiscovery activity.

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e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
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(855) – 833 – 7775
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Predictive Coding In E-Discovery: The Game Of Convenience

Back in 2012, Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck’s decision in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Group, 287 F.R.D. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), officially gave the green signal to start utilizing TAR in e-Discovery. The same Judge recently issued an opinion in Rio Tinto PLC v. Vale S.A., 14 Civ. 3042, 2015 WL 872294 (S.D.N.Y. March 2, 2015), titled “Da Silva Moore Revisited”, and stipulated sharing of “seed sets” between parties.

Importantly, the opinion reiterates that “courts leave it to the parties to decide how best to respond to discovery requests” and that courts are “not normally in the business of dictating to parties the process that they should use”.

Importantly, Judge Peck instructed that requesting parties can utilize other means to help ensure TAR training, even without production of seed sets. For instance, the honorable Judge suggested statistical estimation of recall towards the end of the review to determine potential gaps in the production of documents.

Yet, in cases such as Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Prods. Liab. Litig., NO. 3:12-MD-2391, 2013 WL 6405156 (N.D. Ind. Aug, 21, 2013), for example, the court declined to compel identification of seed set, however, encouraged cooperation between parties.

So, where are we going with TAR?

According to the Grossman-Cormack glossary of technology-assisted review with foreword by John M. Facciola, U.S. Magistrate Judge, seed set is “The initial Training Set provided to the learning Algorithm in an Active Learning process. The Documents in the Seed Set may be selected based on Random Sampling or Judgmental Sampling. Some commentators use the term more restrictively to refer only to Documents chosen using Judgmental Sampling. Other commentators use the term generally to mean any Training Set, including the final Training Set in Iterative Training, or the only Training Set in non-Iterative Training”. The important thing to know about seed sets is that they are how the computer learns. It is critical that a seed set is representative and reflects expert determinations.

With this in mind, in one of my articles back in April 2014 titled “E-Discovery Costs vs. Disseminating Justice – What’s Important?” I concluded that technology must strictly be used as a tool in aid to the due-process of law.

As an attorney, I love a good argument corroborated as well as substantiated by solid precedents. Use of TAR in e-Discovery invariably is becoming a matter of “convenience” between both parties in trying to resolve issues. Well, we have arbitration laws for that matter!

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e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
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What’s Wrong with Outsourcing? Really?

A company’s existence is directly linked to its profit-making capabilities. This includes employing the most gifted workforce, running optimized operations, having excellent quality controls in place, just to name a few. There is an invisible force, however, constantly acting behind this entire process – the force of ‘laws of economics’ – principles of demand and supply.

The word ‘globalization’ is not a new buzz word anymore. However, its relation to economics is where the dilemma of outsourcing and offshoring lies. Gone are the days when corporations had loyal employees working for them, the technological advancement has disrupted not only how we work but how we think – Yes! We think Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and for the most part have become dependent upon technology.

So, what impact does technology have on driving profits for a company? Look around you – things have changed, human behavior has changed, our thinking process has changed – we have become victims to this unstoppable monster.  As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, rightly said “There is nothing permanent except change”. As a result, companies who adapt to the changing environment remain at the forefront, and those who resist potentially may bear the grunt. In any case, the objective remains to make profits for shareholders.

We all are aware of the exponential growth of technological innovations and big data. What should companies do to maximize their profits in this dynamic environment? Outsourcing seems to be the logical solution. The single biggest advantage is reduction in existing costs. Consider a simple scenario related to e-Discovery industry:

“Company A is looking to hire Document Review Attorney for its e-Discovery project. What could possibly be the lowest per hour rate for a first pass review? How does 20 dollars per hour sounds! In today’s economy, believe it or not, you will find qualified, experienced, and certified individuals who would be willing to work. In the US, this rate is certainly peanuts for an attorney, but in India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Bangladesh, for example, 20 dollars per hour would fetch a luxury lifestyle”

With the advent of cloud computing, developing countries now have access to all the latest technologies, learning tools, methodologies, norms, usages etc. Workforce has truly become global and cloud computing is driving costs further down. As buyers influx the marketplace searching for low priced efficient technologies, sellers lower their costs to remain competitive. Consequently, companies may not afford or attract high paid workers. To bridge the gap, various outsourcing models fit the puzzle, providing same services at a drastically reduced price. Companies now have access to equally qualified workforce available in the cloud. To top it off, Ivy League universities now offer Bachelors and Masters level degrees online. So, for example, I could obtain an MBA degree from an Ivy League business school, while residing anywhere in the world, and provide expertise on a project via the cloud.

Having said that, profitability, principles of demand and supply, and cloud computing technologies are factors exerting pressures on US companies to find alternative ways to increase profitability. Microsoft and Amazon provide secure state-of-the-art data storage centers, and with SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS technologies, allowing for data security. A good example is of WordPress – majority of their employees are virtual. Similarly, Microsoft with its launch of Office 365 and allied products is evidently cloud based, and a qualified professional could administer, manage, and support Office 365 from anywhere in the world!

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outsourcing

Outsourcing


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

7 Tips for Implementing E-Discovery Best Practices

E-Discovery best practices begin with making data management as part of daily routine and business operations. Attorneys cannot achieve this objective without the help of IT department, and IT personnel cannot properly maintain data without guidance from attorneys about what should be kept or destroyed. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure related to e-Discovery and keeping up with changing law in the area is a good start, however, knowing and understanding how to put these lessons to practically work in practice is the key to implementing and conducting e-Discovery successfully. Planning ahead plays a pivotal role as it sets the standard for effective relationships between internal and external legal and technical resources. Below are few tips for implementing effective best practices for both inside and outside counsel.

  1. Be proactive and have a formal document retention policy in place with rules for saving and destroying electronic documents.
  2. Increase company-wide awareness of litigation readiness, and train employees to organize documents in an organized manner. Better yet, implement an effective document management solution such as M-Files – which includes e-compliance module.
  3. Effectively cater to big data and effectively implement strategy for later archival, identification, and production in a timely fashion.
  4. Train IT personnel to act as a deposition witness as per rule 30(b)(6).
  5. Preserve potential evidence when necessary while effectively train and involve key legal and IT personnel as soon as litigation is imminent.
  6. Must have adequate knowledge about client’s information systems and operations to effectively define e-Discovery parameters, ensuring smooth functioning with opposing counsel. Try to minimize disruption of clients operations.
  7. When a document request is received, be a partner in the data retrieval process – not just a messenger.

While harmony, effective communication, and smooth functioning between attorneys and IT personnel can prove to be beneficial for the organization, keeping current with latest technology and how it can streamline the e-Discovery process is equally important. After all, the purpose of technology is to act as a tool to handle complex e-Discovery in a speedy and cost efficient manner.

e-Discovery best practices

e-Discovery best practices


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

E-Discovery Costs vs. Disseminating Justice – What’s Important?

In e-Discovery, courts, attorneys, e-Discovery consultants, and other industry veterans emphatically deliberate proportionality and predictive coding as major apparatuses for reducing e-Discovery costs. First, Rule 26 – “duty to disclose; general provisions governing discovery” of FRCP encompasses, in entirety, matters relating to initial disclosure, time, scope and limits, pretrial disclosure, limitations, parties conference, sanctions, etc., In other words, the legislative intention behind Rule 26 is to ensure and streamline e-Discovery governance matters.

edrm

Secondly, e-Discovery costs can easily escalate to millions of dollars. For instance, on average a Gigabyte (GB) contains 15,000 documents. An average collection of 50 GB entails 750,000 documents which need to be sifted through for relevant details pertaining to specifics of case for defensibility purposes. To give you an idea in terms of costs, reviewing those documents could cost as high as $2 per document or 1.5 million dollars! If 60% were culled down using technology assisted review (TAR), costs would still be as high as $600,000 dollars! E-Discovery budget calculators can be found here.

Here’s the catch! These 750,000 documents are culled down in order to identify potentially relevant documents. The traditional e-Discovery approach is to process all data to TIFF or native for full linear review, whereas, newest and advanced method entails indexing, culling, legal first pass review, and process data for review. With the advent of ‘Big Data’ technology introduced (TAR) or predictive coding as a tool for handling e-Discovery in an efficient cost effective manner.

Statistics plays a pivotal role in TAR, and courts have endorsed usage of TAR in one way or other. However, there may be pitfalls as I explained in one of my earlier posts relating to the limitations of precision and recall in TAR.

Has our justice system become dependent on technology?

Technology is great, however, it must strictly be used as a tool in aid to the due-process of law. As an attorney, I would argue against our justice system’s inclination towards dependability on technology. There are other ways to reduce costs such as global talent acquisition, outsourcing, dual-shoring, offshoring etc., and numerous law firms and corporations have adopted such business models, documenting additional 60% reduction in e-Discovery costs. While reduction in e-Discovery costs are essential, the opportunity cost may undermine defensibility.


e-Discovery and | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775
(703) – 646 – 3043

4 Ways SharePoint 2013 e-Discovery center can keep you ‘Litigation Ready’

The biggest cost driver in e-discovery is document review.  Law firms and corporations are actively seeking ‘ways’ to curtail costs without compromising on quality. Predictive coding technologies, outsourcing, offshoring, dual-shoring, insourcing, and other methods are all the ‘ways’ that can be utilized in order to meet desired objective – bring costs down!

How many of us truly think about being ‘litigation ready’ or being prepared for future litigation? Having a proactive approach is sometimes difficult, especially when costs are key a concern, however, it may actually result in being cost effective in the longer run. Microsoft SharePoint e-Discovery module is essentially the proactive part of maintaining litigation readiness. According to Microsoft:

“Typically, e-Discovery requires searching for documents, websites, and email messages spread across laptops, email servers, file servers, and other sources, and collecting and acting on content that meets the criteria for a legal case. In SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft added the Hold and e-Discovery feature, which made it possible to place a hold on any site in SharePoint. A records manager could put documents, pages, and list items on hold, which prevented users from deleting or editing them. Exchange 2010 introduced a way to place legal holds on mailboxes, conduct searches across multiple mailboxes, and use a Windows PowerShell cmdlet to export mailboxes.”

E-Discovery in SharePoint 2013 includes new ways to reduce the cost and complexity of discovery. These include:

  • The e-Discovery Center, a central SharePoint site used to manage preservation, search, and export of content stored in Exchange and SharePoint across SharePoint farms and Exchange servers.
  • SharePoint In-Place Hold, which preserves entire SharePoint sites. In-Place Hold protects all documents, pages, and list items within the site but allows users to continue to edit and delete preserved content.
  • Exchange In-Place Hold, which preserves Exchange mailboxes. In-Place Hold protects all mailbox content through the same UI and APIs used to preserve SharePoint sites.
  • Query-based preservation allows users to apply query filters to one or more Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint sites and restrict the content that is held.


e-Discovery | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
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SharePoint 2013 e-Discovery

SharePoint 2013

Outsourcing or Insourcing? The Balanced Score Card approach

Outsourcing is now a common phenomena among businesses. Essentially, you contract out a business process to a third party, both foreign and domestic contracting – at times relocating a business function to another country. Traditionally speaking, companies having financial difficulties didn’t have much choice but to restructure, lay-off employees or incur additional debt to cover short term obligations. Outsourcing of redundant business processes came as a sigh of relief for many, especially large corporations with humongous overheads. The incentive to outsource may be greater for U.S. companies due to unusually high corporate taxes and mandated benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Now that you have successfully outsourced and established a cordial relationship with your vendor, industry trends may change that require you to focus more on certain business segments.  Insourcing has been identified as a means to ensure control, compliance and to gain competitive differentiation through vertical integration or the development of shared services (commonly called a ‘center of excellence’).

But wait a minute! It seems like you require both in order to attain a lean and optimal cost effectiveness business model.

E-Discovery Industry:

For the last decade or so, e-Discovery industry has experienced tremendous growth in terms of outsourcing mainly due to escalating costs. The result – growing number of captive centers all over the world, especially with abundant labor resources such as India, Pakistan, and Philippines. The biggest cost driver in e-Discovery is document review – over 60 percent of total costs, one of the main reasons of influx of captive offshore centers or outsourcing. Recently, however, law school graduates in the US, for instance, have been accepting employment at all time low wages – making it increasingly competitive for e-Discovery vendors.

What’s an optimal solution?

According to Balanced Score Card Institute, “The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals” Using this tool helps an organization to identify, understand, and evaluate core business processes, resulting in best practices of utilizing outsourcing and insourcing strategies.

e-Discovery | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
www.claydesk.com
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Can ‘Predictive Coding’ cope up with ‘Big Data?

 

Can ‘Predictive Coding’ cope up with ‘Big Data?

Discovery has changed, and electronically stored information (ESI) was the facilitator. Though ediscovery matters are no longer the novel issues that they once were,” technology is constantly changing. According to Baseline, it was estimated that 90 percent of worlds data has been created in the last two years.  in 2009 there were 988 Exabyte of data in existence, an amount that would stretch from the Sun to Pluto and back in paper form. The problem for corporations is the storage of huge amounts of data – let alone worry about the ‘compliance monster’.

Perhaps, cloud computing is here to ease things out, yet companies are retaining more information than ever, and lawsuits sometimes require attorneys review millions and millions of documents. While Judiciary struggles to devise effective mechanism regarding proportionality rules, big data is growing even bigger – not to mention growing litigation industry. It seems manual review of documents is not an option anymore, as technology is rushing towards meeting the growing needs of document review.

The most important element overlooked is the fact that human eyeballs are still required to review such documents leading to defensibility of the case; after all, isn’t that the real objective?

Definitions of “predictive coding” vary, but a common form of predictive coding includes the following steps. First, the data is uploaded onto a vendor’s servers. Next, representative samples of the electronic documents are identified. These “seed sets” can be created by counsel familiar with the issues, by the predictive coding software, or both. Counsel then review the seed sets and code each document for responsiveness or other attributes, such as privilege or confidentiality. The predictive coding system analyzes this input and creates a new “training set” reflecting the system’s determinations of responsiveness. Counsel then “train” the computer by evaluating where their decisions differ from the computers and then making appropriate adjustments regarding how the computer will analyze future documents.

This process is repeated until the system’s output is deemed reliable. Reliability is determined by statistical methods that measure recall—the percentage of responsive documents in the entire data set that the computer has located—and precision—the percentage of documents within the computer’s output set that are actually responsive. (That is, “recall” tests the extent to which the predictive coding system misses responsive documents, while “precision” tests the extent to which the system is mixing irrelevant documents in with the production set.) The resulting output can be either produced as is or further refined by subsequent human review. Subsequently, attorneys review a much smaller set of documents. Predictive coding therefore effectively “alleviates the need to review whole masses of records in order to find the relevant few.” Most importantly, predictive coding is estimated to reduce ediscovery costs as much as 40% to 60% while maintaining search quality.

A statistic quoted in an IDC and EMC report says that the digital universe is doubling every two years, and will reach 40,000 Exabyte (40 trillion gigabytes) by 2020. The question is: Can predictive coding cope up with big data?


e-Discovery | cloud computing
New Jersey, USA | Lahore, PAK | Dubai, UAE
info www.claydesk.com
(855) – 833 – 7775 (703) – 646 – 3043