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

Prioritising what we look at

March 30th, 2016

Put very simply the use of TAR (technology assisted review or predictive coding), can at its simplest assist legal teams prioritise what they look at.

A method that allows you to get to the most important information fast, and for less money, should at the very least be considered.

By prioritising what lawyers look at, tools like TAR are options where technology can be applied to assist lawyers get to the key documents quicker, cheaper and more accurately than traditional practices. This enables the legal team to make more informed decisions about the matter.

Accelerating the document review process

The software does not make the final calls on documents, but instead prioritises the information for lawyers to review. The legal team can then devote their energies into looking at the most important information, instead of trawling through large volumes of irrelevant material.

Much of the information in discovery exercises can be irrelevant, and we do not want lawyers investing their time (and the clients’ money), manually looking at information that may be totally irrelevant for what you are after.

A problem than many can probably relate to !

By grouping similar documents together, the technology enables a more consistent and accurate document review. The irrelevant documents can quickly and easily be removed from the review set.

By using these techniques to either group similar documents together or prioritise documents, lawyers can expedite the document review exercise. These tools can significantly accelerate the document review exercise when compared to a more traditional linear review process that would usually involve reviewing ‘document by document’. With TAR, lawyers are not required to spend considerable time and money looking at each document.

Reinforcing the role of the lawyer

Too often the focus can be distracted by the notion of technology replacing lawyers, together with looking too much ‘under the hood’ at how the technology works. The greater use of technology helps automate tasks, rather than jobs. The message should be how the technology can be used to make lawyers more efficient, cost effective and productive.

TAR relies on humans (lawyers) to train the system with an iterative review process. Its predictions are based upon the calls of humans.

Using the likes of TAR heightens the importance of the lawyer, especially the lawyer with considerable knowledge about the matter as the use of TAR allows a more consistent and accurate review of information. The choice of who is to conduct the initial review of the training set is crucial. It is important to use the expertise of a lawyer that is knowledgeable about the matter. If not then the results may be of a poor quality.

Any option that can group similar content together, prioritising the most important information so you can consider them first cannot be a bad thing !



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