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Big data, predictive coding, impacting e-discovery

March 5th, 2013
Big Data

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Big data’s impact on e-discovery is the overwhelming challenge facing corporate legal teams, although predictive coding may improve e-discovery by 2015, according to FTI Consulting Inc.’s annual Advice from Counsel study.

Among the 2013 Advice from Counsel study’s findings and predictions:

  • The impact of Big Data on e-discovery requests will be the greatest e-discovery challenge by 2015: Sixty-four percent of the in-house lawyers participating in the survey noted that the impact of Big Data on e-discovery requests will be the overwhelming challenge for the foreseeable future, followed at 32 percent by both “social media and data in the cloud”and the “emergence of the ‘bring your own device’ environment becoming a workplace norm.” A notable 14 percent believe the ongoing conflict between U.S. e-discovery requirements and data privacy rules overseas will continue to present obstacles to seamless discovery.
  • Predictive coding has the biggest potential to improve e-discovery by 2015: Fifty-seven percent of respondents believe that predictive coding will improve e-discovery and be a mainstream tactic by 2015. Many respondents expressed optimism that predictive coding technology can better automate the document review process and dramatically reduce costs.
  • Reuse of documents and metadata in e-discovery will become a more commonplace practice: Fifty-seven percent of participants currently reuse coding decisions made on documents for previous matters, and many expressed the opinion that this number is likely to increase among e-discovery practitioners.
  • E-discovery practitioners will need new skills: Reflecting expectations that predictive coding will play a greater role in e-discovery, respondents broadened the list of skills helpful for future e-discovery practitioners. While legal and technology aptitude remained high at 83 percent and 77 percent, respectively, respondents also listed new, and perhaps surprising, skills — including statistics, accounting, project management and linguistics.
  • In-house counsel, outside counsel and service providers will collaborate on e-discovery management: Seventy-three percent of the respondents expect these three groups to more effectively collaborate on e-discovery tasks in 2015.

“As part of the Advice from Counsel study, I spoke with inside counsel to identify the most important trends that will transform e-discovery in the next decade,” said Ari Kaplan , legal consultant and Principal of Ari Kaplan Advisors. “The candid and practical advice by respondents offers a window into the evolving digital landscape of modern litigation and provides guidance on how their peers can safely and cost-effectively navigate these changes.”

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