E-discovery has become a tricky and complex process for attorneys. While automated review can be a good option, Huron Legal Managing Director Nathalie Hofman, who advises law departments and firms on document review, says there are still times when linear review is the better choice. In a recent Eye on Discovery piece on the company’s website, Hofman did an internal Q & A with Robert G. Kidwell, member of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. The interview offers legal professionals some guidelines on when to use, and not use, automated review.
Kidwell advises against using automated review in instances where there are complex issues or similarity between identically responsive documents. On the hand, he says it’s very helpful in a situation where you have a very broad subpoena or other discovery obligation and “it’s basically an ‘all business documents’ request.”
He discusses an instance in which the issues separating a responsive document from a nonresponsive one were not that clear-cut to allow pure semantic logic to distinguish between the two. In the end he says human input was necessary to determine what the dispute was about, the types of documents that might be relevant, etc., adding that this proved to be faster and more effective than the automated method which he also employed.
Another tip, he says don’t discount the usefulness of search terms in automated review.
At the end of the day, Kidwell says both forms of document review remain relevant; although powerful, automated review is not a panacea.