Talking Science

21 October 2013 by Daniel Kavan

It is a busy week for me! Right now I am in Prague attending the LawTech Europe Congress. Later this week, I will be back in London speaking at the e-Discovery and e-Investigations Forum.  Just like in the fields of law and science, in Legal Technologies it is important to stay up to date on the latest technologies, techniques, best practices and rules.

In fact, the field of electronic evidence and legal technology can, and should, be treated as a science. Kroll Ontrack is working hard on transforming the ediscovery process from an art to a science, and this will be the subject of my presentation at the e-Discovery and e-Investigations Forum.

I’m conscious that this is a blog dedicated to European readers, and most European jurisdictions don’t have “discovery” as a part of their legal system. So I would like to clarify that I’m using the word “ediscovery” as a broad term meaning the techniques and technologies used manage electronic evidence in a legal matter or investigation, whether it’s a disclosure exercise in the English courts, a response to a regulator or a pro-active compliance audit.

So how do we take transform an organisation’s ediscovery process into a science? There are three key areas:

  • First, organizations should be attempting to optimize their entire ediscovery portfolio – not each individual ediscovery project.
  • Second, rather than directing projects through emails and phone calls, apply a more structured method of collaboration, one that is always available for quality checking and reuse.
  • And third, instead of viewing ediscovery as a series of linear steps where data is transferred from tool to tool, think of it as an integrated information continuum where the state of the data simply changes depending on where you are in the process.

This approach, combined with taking a scientific and mathematical methodology to using the latest technologies such predictive coding will result in a repeatable, defensible, cost-effective and efficient solution to managing electronic evidence in all types of ediscovery situations.