The Paradigm Shift
The great minds addressing the challenge have had wins, but have also met great resistance. The resistance is natural as technology and machine review cannibalizes on the hours spent in traditional review. That is the ever present elephant in the room, but as Brynjolfsson said on beating the machine chess player(s), corporate, law firms and vendor partners need to collectively approach the layout of all cases for any given corporation. Corporate strategies across matters or low economic matters may all demand concept categorization type analytics to find the relevant data quickly. Whether it is expensive technology, attorney review hours or data collection and processing, all of the pieces are there to align with better strategies for nearly any case that should be pursued on merit rather than settlement strategies that make the corporation a target. If we start there with that assumption from the onset of the case, it can work and is working for the savvy corporate, law firm and vendor teams working together. This is the minor mindset shift that needs to take place across the industry to address the mounting data growth, litigation and fear.
Because of the reactive nature of the current climate in our legal industry, the majority of all matters are handled at the case level – once the data is produced, the matter will sunset, including all of the brilliance in strategy and data intimacy among the teams. This has to stop. Whether the corporation is a serial litigant or reactive to occasional lawsuit, leveraging a single provider with a FFA or AFA is what should be sought. There are many that are now toting managed services, and though this is a start in the right direction, they are mostly only satisfying an economic model, but still line itemizing analytics, processing, etc. A true sole provider should include everything for an actual FFA/AFA. For a more predictable expense, better case strategies regardless of case size or economics, and all case data should allow for collective case intelligence across matters.
We can’t put our heads in the sand any longer from the growing data volumes and will be the primary discovery medium ad infinitum. Technologists, consultants and case/project managers have assembled solutions and workflows to address these challenges, and, though, not all created equal, there are many who act as a partner or even a department within the corporation to go as far as a sole source to capture case intelligence across all matters. THIS is where the industry will end up with pioneers paving the way as we have done in all of these major shifts in technology across all industries.