Courts Open Door to Computer-Assisted Document Review

Judge Andrew Carter of the Southern District of New York recently adopted Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck's first-of-its-kind decision approving and encouraging the use of computer-assisted document review. Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe, No. 1:11-cv-1279 (ALC) (AJP) (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 26, 2012) ("Carter decision").

In Da Silva Moore, a gender discrimination case, Judge Peck adopted a predictive coding protocol for the review of three million e-mails. No. 1:11-cv-1279 (ALC) (AJP) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2012) ("Peck decision").

Computer-assisted review, or "predictive coding," refers to the use of a computer algorithm that "learns" to find relevant documents based on a human reviewer's classification of a document subset. This allows the legal team to review a smaller proportion of documents, and to focus on the documents that are most likely to be responsive. Computer-assisted review promises to reduce the number of reviewers and time to complete the review, thereby reducing discovery costs. Like manual review, a good predictive coding protocol includes quality control testing to confirm that the computer really "got it."

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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