All too often, decisions on what e-discovery solution to implement are based on flashy sales presentations and vague explanations of how the systems function. Rarely does the end result surface in the decision making process. More often than not, the bells and whistles of the product tip the scales.
While a good user interface and flexibility in creating search criteria help to improve the usability of a product, there are other aspects of the product that are equally important, such as:
It’s all about the end result, not about making the journey in style. Too often, the ultimate process that needs to be completed is not well defined, leading to decisions that don’t work or are so complicated that the new tool never achieves widespread acceptance in the workplace.
Don’t be drawn in by the rhetoric of gurus. So-called authorities all too often focus on the fluff of theory, paying more attention to the means than to the end. There are people out there who talk about e-discovery but aren’t actually working in e-discovery on a day-to-day basis. They will tell you in theory how to do things, but you’ll spend many moons actually figuring out how to do it yourself.
When you need to get from Point A to Point B, consider whether a Chevrolet can do the job as well as a Porsche. Wortzman Nickle can show you the way.
Susan Wortzman was quoted for the article “Keyword searches not good enough for e-discovery, experts say”
Susan Wortzman was quoted during an interview for the article “Keyword searches not good enough for e-discovery, experts say”.
Published by Computerworld in the December 06 2010 issue.
Click to read online
On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, the Canadian Defence Lawyers hosted a well-attended half day conference on the above topic. Susan Nickle spoke on the topic of “Discovery”, covering both the production of electronically stored information and proportionality. The latter topic found its way into almost all of the presentations, and sparked a lot of interest in the room.
The focus on proportionality was due in part to the presence of the Honourable Justice Coulter Osborne (author of the Ontario Civil Justice Reform Report), and the Honourable Justice Colin Campbell (Ontario Superior Court of Justice). Both judges have a profound interest in the concept, especially as it relates to increasing access to justice for litigants.
By the end of the conference, proportionality had been covered from three different angles: 1) as a policy framework for change; 2) as an academic doctrine; and, 3) as a practical construct (how proportionality is playing out in practice).
The presentations yielded some interesting discussion points about proportionality:
• The concept of proportionality has caused a “cultural revolution” in litigation and it is here to stay.
• Proportionality is not synonymous with “efficiency”.
• Time and cost, while important factors to consider, are not more significant than the nature and scope of the litigation, including the importance and complexity of the legal issues at stake.
• Proportionality includes the notion that missing the proverbial “smoking gun” is a chance worth taking.
All presenters agreed that further cultural shifts are required in the legal profession to ensure that trials (of meaningful legal issues) continue to be held and adjudicated. One presenter even advanced proportionality as a “new element of professionalism” for lawyers.