The recently-released 2012 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report is always full of fascinating tidbits. Volume III, which focuses on Litigation and Courtroom Technology, is particularly interesting to those in e-discovery. Probably the stat which made e-discovery vendors chortle happily is the one that says that 23% of the attorneys surveyed had used predictive coding technology (up from 15% in 2011, a 53% rise).
That's the good news. The bad news (not altogether bad) is that so few people seem to agree on what constitutes predictive coding. Many vendors sell what they call predictive coding while other vendors dispute that their products are truly predictive coding. I leave them to engage in the usual fisticuffs.
As long as you take the stat with a grain of salt, it is clear that we are marching solidly in the direction of predictive coding technology, with case after case affirming that it is appropriate to use. Notably, only 5% of sole practitioners and 6% of firms with less than 10 attorneys indicated that they had used this technology (and this group may be the most likely to be confused about the definition of predictive coding technology).
44% of large firm attorneys indicated that they had used predictive coding. Clearly, big cases are well served by this technology. Keyword searching is still alive and well in smaller cases and, in my judgment, likely to remain so unless the cost of predictive coding technology dips significantly.
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