Colleague Karl Schieneman wrote an interesting guest post for Forbes last week entitled Legal Hydra? Top Ten Tips to Become More Proficient with Machine-Assisted Review. As he says himself, "The somewhat controversial point of this article is that lawyers are time and time again standing in the way of technology, preventing them from making real progress in the field of electronic discovery."
I don't disagree. Lawyers are uncomfortable with this new machine-assisted review which they generally don't understand very well, if at all. They prefer to do things the way they've always done them. They speak a different language than their experts and their IT departments and the two cannot seem to communicate effectively. Very often, the in-house folks are told to simply follow orders.
It is absolutely true that some lawyers try to keep experts away from cases in the mistaken belief that they are saving money. If you get a good expert, that expert will always be focused on saving time and money while doing the best possible job.
Karl is the President and owner of Review Less, a consulting and document review company which specializes in machine-assisted review workflows, so it is logical that he is preaching the machine-assisted review gospel. I hasten to add that I do not say that in a snippy way, but one always needs to consider the source.
The source notwithstanding, Karl has penned a very thoughtful article and I largely agree with the points he makes. My caveats would be that machine-assisted review is still in its infancy, the old GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) rule still applies and that the cost of machine-assisted review is currently prohibitive for small to mid-size cases.
Still, I do agree with Karl that 2012 will be a breakout year fro the use of machine-assisted review, particularly in large cases. Thanks for a fascinating read Karl.
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