What’s Wrong With eDiscovery Today? Déjà Vu All Over Again

On December 4th, 2018 - eDiscovery Day - Jo Sherman and Tom O’Connor spoke on a webinar entitled “What’s Wrong with eDiscovery Today?” We didn’t want this to be another discussion of how TAR or analytics aren’t being used effectively but, rather, a look at the failed promises of technology as well as the human failures of eDiscovery.  Both Jo and Tom felt strongly that the overall problem was indeed human, due to the way professionals approach eDiscovery in today's litigation world. Finally, they wanted to discuss how those problems could be fixed.

After the webinar, attendees were enthusiastic about the discussion.  One even said “I’m finding the actual critical analysis of our core philosophies and approaches really interesting.” Others felt their blunt statements about current pricing models and suggestions about shifting focus to managing data from the onset of a project as well as using a unified platform were points well taken.

tom oconnorI called Tom to discuss the webinar and any takeaways we, as eDiscovery professionals, might be interested in. At that point, Tom said to me that he didn’t believe this was not an entirely new discussion, He thought he had heard it somewhere else and said that after the webinar, he found myself wandering around his house humming Déjà Vu by Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

Then he had an epiphany…he realized HE HAD heard it somewhere before.

From his OWN mouth.

Several years ago, he hosted a webinar which talked about the reluctance by firms to move into web-based litigation support systems.  Here’s what he wrote in preparation for that session:

Your current litigation support software may not measure up to the demands of today’s electronic document-based litigation. Why? Perhaps it’s built on 80’s technology and unable to manage large volumes of data.  Maybe it can’t handle certain document types or foreign languages. Or maybe it’s just not all that easy to use.

 Let’s face it. Some of today’s popular litigation support systems were designed and built back when Milli Vanilli was still riding high on the charts.  These systems have attempted to keep up with the times, but, due to their architectures, they struggle under the demands of the ESI productions that firms are seeing today. And while most of us acknowledge these faults, we continue to use the old programs because that’s what we’ve “always used,”.

This webinar will answer the following questions:

  •  What are the limitations of older litigation support systems?
  • What can modern litigation support platforms do that legacy systems can’t?
  • How can my firm or legal department migrate to or co-exist with a next-generation platform?
  • What are the best practice paths and processes to do so?
  • What firms have done so, and what can I learn from them?
  • How can I maximize my success with a new platform?”

And isn’t this where we find ourselves now? Using not just old systems but old approaches. Collect everything, process everything, search everything. Analyze those results.  Produce tiff files with extracted text and a load file. Use different software for each step Why? Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.

Bottom line, we here at EDT as well as Tom and Jo truly believe there’s a better way to handle this problem. Jo and Tom discuss this approach in the webinar. You can listen to it here and see if you agree.

And by the way, the first person to respond to gayle@discoveredt.com and can identify the source of the quote in the title gets a free 15-minute consultation with Tom O'Connor. Except for Judge Peck, who Tom tells me would absolutely know the quote’s author. Good luck and no fair looking online!

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