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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