I’ve heard many say that today’s New Legal Model is TAR (technology assisted review) and that this component will, by itself, dramatically reduces legal costs. I think it goes much deeper than just TAR.
Today’s data sets are large, very large in most cases. The goal is to find the documents that matter, quicker, earlier in the process and less expensively. This sets up a process where you know from inception where the data was, whose it was, how it was collected, how it was processed, how it was culled and filtered, and then utilizing TAR, the lawyers can then spend the majority of their time reviewing the important documents. This is a trusted and defensible process which in the end will save money. To simply collect all of the data, process all of the data and then review all of the data via TAR is questionable. The ability to manage and consult along the discovery management road is a very important component that sometimes gets lost in the "TAR only" verbiage. There must be more detail on what has been collected and then presented to the legal team earlier in the process for them to focus and analyze the important custodians, directories, etc earlier so they can make better decisions on what needs to then be processed, culled and filtered before TAR.
Predictability is not only for document review; it is for preparing a defensible process and budget for the client. To be able to create a predictable process and budget for the corporate counsel and business unit manager so they understand the impact a litigation has on their company goes a long way in retaining that client for the future and ensuring that money is well spent. This is not really "new" and it should be the expectation and not the exception.
So, shouldn’t it be said that the "Smarter Legal Model" focus should be:
- Get access to the right data during a focused targeted collection which could reduce the data set size.
- Then, reduce the data set size further by culling and filtering by an expert at a law firm in conjunction with a consultant.
- Thus, reducing the attorney review time when using TAR?
These three points logically then translate into:
- Less lawyer review time using TAR.
- Reduced costs not only for lawyer review, but for the whole process.
All of these factors result in a more defensible, cost-efficient and a more qualitative review (that could be quicker too).