Another year at LegalTech New York.
We are told that during the three days that the doors are open, more than 10,000 people will view the wares of the over 400 exhibitors, attend more than 50 seminars, and network with the other attendees. For Wortzman Nickle, this year is about new technology and networking.
Many vendors are exhibiting new user interfaces to their software to make it appear that reviewing millions of documents will be easier. While limited efficiencies will be realised through these updates, these vendors appear to be missing the boat – the holy grail of e-discovery is not making it easier to review a million documents, its reducing those million documents through automated means so that only a small fraction actually need manual review.
The vendors who are really catching our attention are showing us tools that offer Predictive Coding. Where last year the marketing buzz-word was Early Case Assessment, this year, the cutting edge products in 2011 incorporate Predictive Coding – the ability of a lawyer to teach the computer what a relevant document is by sampling a small set, and then using the computer to apply that knowledge to an entire population of documents automatically. While this technology promises to revolutionize the way electronic discovery is handled, it’s still too early to see its widespread acceptance. In fact, right now, the most common use of this technology is to organize the documents for manual review into bundles of documents with the same topic so that they can be reviewed more efficiently – the million documents are still being reviewed, just slightly faster.