The NZ E-Discovery Blog  Facilitating proportionate and efficient e-discovery

A New Zealand Predictive Coding success story

February 20th, 2014

Australian litigation Support provider Law in Order recently published a case study about how Predictive Coding, using kCura’s Relativity Assisted Review was successfully used on a large New Zealand litigation. 

The Law In Order case study can be found here.

The matter in the case study was one where I was engaged by the global corporate client and New Zealand law firm to guide them with their eDiscovery requirements. Part of this involved designing an appropriate strategy that involved implementing the most effective tools to assist them with the process. 

An initial review of the responsive documents from the keyword search terms agreed with the other party, demonstrated a high volume of ‘false positive’ hits from the search terms – documents that were not relevant in the context of this matter. The keyword approach had been completely ineffective in isolating the key documents. We needed a more effective method of isolating the relevant documents, but doing so in a way that was cost effective and made the most of the law firm’s limited resources to review documents.  For this matter the use of assisted review was the most effective option.

The matter was one of the most successful examples I have experienced in New Zealand of the benefits of predictive coding in getting to the most important documents earlier in the process and saving the client significant expense of a burdensome document review.

A game changer?

I am continually finding an increasing number of New Zealand clients that are at the very least now looking at the option of predictive coding.

document volumes in even the smallest matters have increased exponential

For many firms the rapid growth of electronic information is making the discovery process far more expensive and burdensome than ever before. The document volumes in even the smallest matters have increased exponential of late with even a few thousand documents becoming too burdensome. Many traditional methods of reviewing this information is no longer possible.

For a long time the perception of predictive coding was that it was only an option for firms that faced large volume matters. Whilst the benefits will be even greater when there are larger volumes, I am finding these options are becoming increasingly attractive for firms that may not have the same resources at their disposal as larger firms, but still face the same obligations. Options like predictive coding can level the playing field for these firms as they need to be more innovative as they look to gain a competitive advantage. Firms that may only have one or two lawyers can use options like predictive coding to compete with law firms that may have a team of lawyers to call on. 

enable the legal team to get to the key documents quickly and cost effectively

Predictive coding allows one lawyer (or subject matter expert), to review large volumes of documents in a short time period without having to read every single document. The method has been proven to produce improved accuracy and consistency at a much lower cost than more traditional practices. Used correctly, predictive coding will enable the legal team to get to the key documents quickly and cost effectively.

Recently I have worked on projects with clients where they have successfully embraced options like predictive coding to assist them get to the important documents, often quicker, cheaper and more accurately than the opposing parties.

Is predictive coding the right option for you?

Predictive coding is not a silver bullet to tackling eDiscovery and it will not be right for every matter. However the merits of its using predictive coding should at least be explored at the outset of a matter when parties plan their eDiscovery strategy.

If you are unsure about whether predictive coding is right for you then it may be valuable to obtain independent advice to assist you find the most effective approach to suit your requirements. Not all matters will be as successful as the matter mentioned in the Law In Order case study.

I wrote in further detail about how predictive coding can be an option to consider in a recent blog post and an article published in LawTalk.




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