by Dean Gonsowski,
2th November 2013
Given the sheer volume of information, there’s no denying that big data poses particular challenges for eDiscovery. Writing inCanadian Lawyer, Dera Nevin, managing counsel, e discovery at TD Bank Group, explores these and other implications of big data for eDiscovery. Nevin talks about how how many of the systems used for e-discovery today are unable to handle big data and will likely become obsolete in the not so distant future. Newer technologies such as predictive coding can dramatically speed eDiscovery. Ultimately, as the technology improves, the ability to find the most relevant documents quickly could in fact speed up litigation as a whole.
Much of our existing technological infrastructure simply can’t handle the volume that big data brings with it. However, as Nevin artfully points out, for eDiscovery size matters less than how a company approaches and tackles big data tests. Relying on existing systems that simply can’t cope with big data will likely lead to client dissatisfaction during e discovery. Rather than attempting to make current software into something it is not, Nevin sees big data as ushering in a new era in eDiscovery, one in which flexibility and an openness to new technology will be key ingredients of success.
Nevin states that advances such as predictive coding are only the beginning. In the future, eDiscovery will necessarily depend more and more on high-end analytic and data-mining products, and the job of eDiscovery experts may become less about creating document review tactics and more about verifying the quality of search analytics and guiding the machine learning process.
Better technology for eDiscovery means more efficient document reviews and lower e discovery bills for clients, something that clients will appreciate. Additionally, as Nevin highlights, these improvements will very likely improve litigators’ ability to do their jobs. She writes, “…these innovations may help with case analysis or proactive risk management by helping to identify correlations between disparate case elements and gain earlier intelligence about the probabilistic outcome of cases.”
Pioneering eDiscovery technology, equipped to handle big data, will have implications for the entire legal profession. It will be easier to find relevant documents earlier in the discovery process, which will likely speed the litigation process. But it will also be able to connect the dots between cases in a way in which e discovery has never been able to before. Few lawyers would ever complain about being able to do their jobs faster and more effectively. And that’s why these changes shouldn’t incite panic or fear. In fact, they should be seen as an opportunity.
About the Author:
Dean Gonsowski is the Global Head of Information Governance. A former litigator, General Counsel and Associate General Counsel, Dean Gonsowski has more than 15 years’ experience in litigation, eDiscovery and information governance consulting at companies including Symantec, Clearwell Systems, Daticon, Navigant Consulting, Inc. and Fios, Inc.
In his role at Recommind, Mr. Gonsowski will work closely with key enterprise customers, partners and government agencies to help them to effectively leverage Recommind’s industry leading predictive coding platform. He will also help spearhead strategic customer engagement initiatives to develop executive advisory boards, user groups and implement a comprehensive customer loyalty infrastructure.
He is a member of The Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production (WG1), the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). He has contributed articles to a number of leading industry publications including:Business Week, Corporate Counsel, ILTA Peer to Peer, Inside Counsel and the Legal Tech Newsletter. He has been quoted in a number of leading publications, including the Financial Times, Forbes and MSNBCand has also has been invited to speak at various industry conferences including: The Computer Forensics Show, ILTA, Legal IQ/IQPC eDiscovery Series, LegalTech New York and the Masters Conference.
Mr. Gonsowski has a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law and a BS from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a licensed attorney in both California and Colorado.