Advanced predictive coding solutions like technology-assisted review (“TAR”) are gaining popularity in the legal field. TAR uses artificial intelligence and allows litigators to streamline document review in ways they never imagined. Technology-assisted review software applications can quickly analyze massive data sets and provide statistics, categorization, and reporting data that is superior to traditional human review and requires less hours to produce. Litigators can use TAR for many functions including eDiscovery review, case prediction, and settlement evaluation. Courts in the United States and abroad have accepted the use of technology-assisted review in the discovery process and litigators have become adept at its use. Corporate clients are increasingly interested in exploring the cost and process benefits that TAR provides.
Here are five compelling examples of technology-assisted review solutions and the reasons why litigators, and their corporate clients, should use TAR services to assist with their cases.
1. Technology-assisted review can provide early case resolution.
During the early stages of a case, lawyers may collect a large number of documents in anticipation of discovery. Much of this data will emerge during the discovery phase of a case. By deploying TAR early in the case, litigators can quickly evaluate the potential merits of the case, then decide whether to pursue settlement (thus avoiding unnecessary litigation costs) or to take the case through discovery, motion practice, and trial. It can also help counsel determine the potential value of the case. The ability to formulate comprehensive strategy decisions early proceedings helps to mitigate risk, decrease the client’s potential exposure, and avoid unnecessary litigation expense.
2. TAR provides early access to key information.
Through the skillful deployment of artificial intelligence solutions, litigators can achieve an early command of the facts that provides important tactical advantages in structuring the case, i.e., who to depose, what documents to seek from the opposing party, what affirmative defenses may exist, what are the key trial themes. In the days of manual review, this critical insight would not be available until the completion of a time-consuming review process. By using a continuous active learning approach, the TAR system updates in real time to find the most relevant documents as the legal and document review teams work their way through the data. TAR also helps counsel identify issues that may not have been immediately apparent at the outset of the case. And finally, the application of TAR algorithms to the opponent’s document production – when deposition dates are looming – can help the legal team swiftly prepare for the deposition phase of the case and determine whether any discovery motions should be filed. Overall, having access to key information quickly provides critical strategic advantages to the legal team.
3. TAR solutions enhance organization of information.
One common issue that arises during litigation – especially with eDiscovery review – is keeping everything organized. TAR solutions remedy organizational dysfunction through superior categorization capabilities. The system can weed out documents that are irrelevant to the lawsuit while simultaneously ranking relevant data which enables litigators to prioritize data for further analysis and then, determine which documents to use during the deposition and trial phases of the case. TAR solutions can review and analyze documents on a rolling basis, so the legal team does not have to wait for all possible relevant data to be collected before starting its analysis of the fact. Lawyers can also use TAR or other AI-based programs to help review and organize data sets for other practice demands like regulatory matters, internal investigations, and contract review.
4. TAR usage decreases overall document review costs.
A major benefit TAR offers is the ability to significantly cut discovery costs which historically have been upwards of 70% of eDiscovery expenses. Although integrating TAR into practice will have upfront costs, it will significantly decrease the work and time needed to complete the document review process. These efficiencies allows for litigators to focus their time on strategy and other higher value projects, which is beneficial to both the lawyer and client. Clients will be pleased to see legal efforts expended on critical case-related matters as opposed to tedious document review projects.
5. TAR helps firms stay competitive.
In the digital age, it is a certainty that lawyers must embrace and adapt to new technology. To stay relevant, litigators must eventually incorporate TAR tools into their practice, just as they previously needed to accept things like email and electronic legal research as practice norms. Courts and corporate clients each expect their outside counsel to be knowledgeable about the available technology tools and to be adept at their use in the litigation context. Considering the technology’s economical and global appeal, time and cost-saving benefits, and track record of offering improved outcomes, failure to use TAR can result in lost business,
All of the above supports the contention that litigators should start using TAR with their cases if they have not already incorporated this technology into their practice. Firms should research different solutions and determine the best fit based on litigation needs, client demands, and budget constraints. Lawyers should also keep up with any new TAR capabilities or trends that develop over the coming years. If you found this blog informative, you may enjoy reading An Unlikely Pair: Lawyers and AI or The Epiq Angle Blog.