Insights From The Inevitable: Pushing the Boundaries of eDiscovery

Insights From The Inevitable: Pushing the Boundaries of eDiscovery

On October 1st, the Text IQ Inevitable 2020 Series brought together three senior legal professionals whose careers have placed them at the intersection of the law, information governance, data governance, and emerging technologies. The result is an insightful and engaging discussion that speaks to the heart of the challenge: how to manage massive amounts of data (read company assets...and liabilities) effectively.

Watch On-Demand

Our panelists include:

  • 2019 Corporate eDiscovery Hero Award Finalist, Rachelle Toletti. Rachelle is VP Senior eDiscovery Counsel at Tesla and the lead manager of eDiscovery and litigation.
  • Kady Von Schoeler, Head of Information Governance, Security and Privacy Compliance for Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company. Kady leads a Mass Mutual initiative to reduce discovery spend and create workflow efficiencies.
  • Ethical hacker and digital forensic expert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP Partner, Richard D. Lutkus. Richard is a Partner in the eDiscovery & Information Governance Practice.

Managing Data: Pay Now or Pay Later?

“Today, the inhouse eDiscovery role requires you to become a data mapping technologist...you've got to master the art of mining data down defensively, and by the way, cost effectively.” ~Toletti

Noting how eDiscovery has evolved from banker’s boxes, redwells, copy and print production (the day’s when a Bates Stamp was...well, a stamp), Tesla’s Toletti says that today, “you’ve got to master the art of mining data down defensively and cost effectively,” given the massive volumes of data involved.

Seconding Toletti, Kady Von Schoeler agrees that cost effectiveness is increasingly hard to manage. Interestingly, because her portfolio of matters is relatively small, they can’t rely on traditional service providers – there is a cost/benefit mismatch. A catch 22 that increases the challenge.

“It’s pay now or pay later in terms of managing data,” says Seyfarth’s Lutkus. “Do you want to get ahead of it and try to classify it, understand where it's at and what, what it is,” asks Richard, “or do you want to have to deal with it in the throes of litigation?”

Where Are the Data Management Boundaries?

“I realized we could start spinning our wheels within our world of eDiscovery, but our eDiscovery operating model could only ever be as good as the company's information, governance practices and information management practices.” ~Schoeler

It comes down to linking arms in what I call “a trifecta approach,” which involves collaborating across teams says Rachelle. “The reality is that having less data in play generally for legal purposes translates to measurable cost savings and also other efficiencies as well.”

Kady notes the increased use and cross use of data among key groups. What was needed was a, “more of a centralized approach to managing, handling, using [and] disposing of the company's data.”

Privacy laws, the need for GDPR compliance and data subject access requests, as well as “having your house in order” for data breach response are factors bringing this about notes Richard. “There is a lot of a lot more focus on the left side of EDRM to say, hey, you know, if we get this in order, it's going to save downstream costs of eDiscovery,” and helps out with the privacy compliance and cybersecurity response.”

The Increasing Acceptance of AI

“I can tell you, I had one project where the use of AI cut that project by two thirds. And, I think that AI is just part of our future and it's not about should we be using it? It's about when we should be using it.” ~Toletti

Richard concurs and notes that like Rochelle, Seyfarth has used AI mainly for privilege, but also for data classification (inside Relativity™) and in forensic investigations with to categorize chat and other things. Prior to using AI for privilege reviews Lutkus tested the Text IQ Priv software in parallel with a human review. The results:

“It is here to stay. we actually have done blind tests of AI with Text IQ, priv versus human reviewers and the AI outperforms them. It missed less privileged calls and it actually found things that the humans didn't find.” ~Lutkus

Richard notes that review for privilege “is ripe for disruption.” Typically performed by law firm associates (not contract reviewers) and is very labor intensive (read expensive).

The webinar offers many more insights that benefit from the vast depth of experience of these three industry experts that should not be missed.

You will find the full discussion here and The Inevitable 2020 Series lineup here.

You can learn more about AI use in eDiscovery here