On Tuesday, February 14, 2012 we learned that Judge Peck (Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck) had taken the very first known stance on requiring this technology be utilized on a case to be heard in the Federal Court system…and imagine this, the requirement is coming out of the Southern District of New York…a court that seems to have a knack for setting precedent in matters of electronic discovery.
This is quite the development. It was just about a year ago that Recommind made all the national news when it received its patent on this technology. They were not congratulated, to say the least, by everyone who learned of the issuance of the patent! I’m sure you all remember the controversy this caused. The order issued by the Court in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Group et al. specifically includes the Axcelerate product from Recommind.
As a bit of background, predictive coding is a process by which a statistically valid subset of documents is reviewed, document by document, by a highly experienced individual or team of individuals. As these individuals review these documents and make decisions about their disposition (responsive, not responsive, privileged, etc.) the software “learns” from the decisions made by the team. Once a confidence level in the learning is achieved, the software is turned loose on the document population and classifies the documents according to the learning it has acquired.
A little bit spooky, right? However, depending on the success of this endeavor, we could see some very interesting changes to the world of document review. While this particular software learns from the review it observes, another option for you to consider (should you not be comfortable with this newest technology) is the technique of data sampling.
Sampling seems to be some of the most promising technologies being utilized today. Sampling in electronic discovery means to use an iterative process to test search terms until you find the combination of terms that results in the group of documents with the highest possible relevancy. Sampling can be performed at various stages of the electronic discovery process including the processing stage, the early case assessment stage, the review stage and the pre-production/quality control stage.
We find that the most common use of sampling is during document review and analysis. Sampling will assist you in making reasonably sure that responsive documents are identified, reviewed and produced and to guard against inadvertent production of privileged documents. Sampling is an iterative process – meaning it gets repeated, fine-tuned and repeated again and again – allowing the producing party to ensure that it has looked at every reasonable combination of terms to yield the highest probable relevant document set.
For more information about sampling, please click the link below which will take you to the blog I posted back in November, 2011. This blog presented an overview of the sampling process which may be informative for you.
Or, click the link below to access a really nice article on sampling from our strategic partner, Document Solutions, Inc. (Dsi.co).
In any event, whether you subscribe to the theory that predictive coding is the answer to your document review nightmare, or you believe more in an iterative sampling approach to document review, change is definitely in the wind. Stay tuned for more on the results of this precedent setting initiative from Judge Peck.
Thought For the Day…When you’re having one of those “Bad Computer Days”
- For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
- To err is human… to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human; in fact it is downright natural.
- He who laughs last probably made a back-up.
- If at first you don’t succeed, blame your computer.
- A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.
- The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.
- A computer program will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want it to do.
- When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.
Did you ever have one of those bad computer days where you wanted to throw your computer out the window? I found this video on YouTube and thought it was pretty funny…some days, I feel just like this guy!