Image: James Oda
Whether you are at LegalTech New York or elsewhere, ask vendors and service providers "What can you do for me?" Whether you are looking for improved technical support, trying to satisfy a business need, aiming to cut costs, or looking for innovative answers to remain competitive, vendors and service providers are at LegalTech looking for business. So don't hesitate to tell them your needs. They listen and innovate.
Vendors are designing new tools to map data across an organization to comply with e-discovery. They are making e-discovery tools easy to use and mobile with improved visual analytics to enhance early case assessment and enable a more cost-effective and complete document review. For example:
1. Fios unveiled a new Software as a Service, Fios On Request. FOR aims to give customers a cost-effective, Web-based service to process, analyze and review electronically stored information associated with small litigation, internal investigations or early case assessments. The Web-based tool that was demonstrated to me in booth #320 was elegant, intuitive and seemed to put the power of Prevail in a SaaS model. Over the last year, Fios also enhanced Prevail with conceptual search and completed the integration of iCONECTnXT review and case management platform.
Most of us think of data mapping as simply a map of what data resides where in the organization. Toward that end, we all think of the meet-and-confer requirements of FRCP Rule 26(f), where we're supposed to know that information. Exterro also designed Genome to facilitate the implementation of litigation holds.
But before you look to satisfy an immediate litigation need, Exterro's data mapping product aims at what lies beneath the immediate need. That is, software that allows you to manage the risk of storing ESI for governance, compliance and regulatory needs.
Once you have a data map in hand and keep it up to date, the map will allow you to select the appropriate security controls for information systems from security frameworks like ISO/IEC 27001 and FISMA.
3. Prior to LegalTech, Exterro also came out with a mobile version of Fusion for smartphones like the BlackBerry and iPhone: FusionGo. FusionGo brings Exterro's workflow management to hand-held devices to implement legal holds and facilitate e-discovery tasks wherever you can obtain an Internet connection. See demonstrations of both Fusion Genome and FusionGo at booth No. 1711.
4. Kroll Ontrack announced an update to Ontrack Inview (version 5.6) and a new module: Ontrack Inview Early Case Assessment. These products come with an Enhanced Analytical Visualization feature that aims to further drive down the costs of discovery by giving users more control over review at the early stages of litigation as well as postproduction. This new feature gives users the ability to analyze and interact with potentially relevant data by visually displaying who is communicating with whom, when and what subjects they were discussing. By identifying communication patterns and themes early in review, Kroll Ontrack hopes that document review teams will be more productive and accurate in making responsiveness and privilege decisions.
Trial preparation is not an easy task. But Kroll Ontrack, in close consultation with TrialGraphix (purchased by Kroll Ontrack in September 2007), unleashed Transcript Manager, the first module of its Web-based trial preparation services: Ontrack Prepview. The trial preparation services aim to organize case information in a central location to prepare for trial. The Transcript Manager appears to live up to its name in the demonstration I viewed in the Aqua Room at LegalTech. It lets users load, classify, review and annotate deposition transcripts and synchronize them with their attendant video files. You can search through the transcript, find relevant Q&As and pinpoint the dialogue in a video. For anyone who has slogged through an entire video deposition, it is a must see.
5. Nexidia (booth No. 2221), a provider of audio search and review software and services, upgraded its Audio Discovery OnDemand service. This Web-based service provides fast access to audio files for discovery and review without investing in additional computing resources and software licenses. It includes Forensic Search, which added a tagging feature similar to document review platforms and the ability to conduct nested searches of audio files phonetics.
For customers in multilingual litigation, Nexidia's Audio Finder can now automatically identify up to 35 languages. It can also enhance audio search strategies by optimizing pronunciation from sampling search results. Using a simple radio button approach, users can listen to samples and mark them relevant or irrelevant and modify their search strategy. The search syntax formulated in Audio Finder can also be applied to the Forensic Search tool.
Audio search and review tools are certainly important in the financial and retail sector where the telephone is used to conduct business transactions. And it will grow in importance as more organizations use VoIP and unified messaging products that store voicemail with e-mail.
I seem to have more elbow room on the exhibit floor this year. But from my observations and conversations, attendees know the value of technology to grow their legal practice and vendors know the value of what their customers bring to their technology. It all comes together at LegalTech.
This article first appeared in Law.com's Legal Technology Blog.