You may think that the new technology coming out of the International Legal Technology Association conference at the Las Vegas Aria, on Aug. 22-26, is a walk in the park after LegalTech New York. That may be true if the park is Yellowstone. There is plenty going on at ILTA 2010 in the e-discovery space, as well as other areas of legal technology. Here are a few items to focus on when the doors open.
There seems to be some question on the estimate of the size of the e-discovery market as reported by George Socha and Tom Gelbmann in the 2010 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey, as observed by Rees Morrison, of Law Department Management, and as rebutted by Gelbmann. By the time Gelbmann and Morrison sort that out, the market will move, most likely in an upward direction.
Craig Carpenter, vice president of marketing at Recommind, has observed record-breaking revenue growth of more than 300 percent in the first half of 2010 vis-a-vis the same period in 2009. Carpenter conceded that some of that growth may be a reflection of the 2009 market, but observed that there are hard drivers for the EDD market, such as complying with regulatory investigations. Carpenter also noted that human-machine interfaces have improved to the point where legal professionals and judges are getting familiar with new technology to trust it, which enables vendors to increase automation and drive down costs.
Legal hold functionality is an area of growth for many e-discovery platforms, e.g., Bridgeway and kCura. Bridgeway first announced its Legal Hold 3.0 at LegalTech New York this year. The product can work with Bridgeway’s eDiscovery suite or stand alone to manage preservation notices, interviews and collections. Recently, Bridgeway improved the dashboard interface to make more features immediately available to hold administrators, improved workflow so collectors can review actual preservation notices distributed to custodians and route notices to managers based on configurable criteria, and added new reports that drill down to specific legal hold requests or open up to a system-wide view of all legal holds.
Earlier this month, kCura launched Method, a workflow and notification system designed to manage legal holds. Method runs on the e-discovery platform Relativity and uses the same intuitive web interface. Method builds notifications from templates and e-mails them to identified stakeholders, generates question sets to interview custodians, tracks and analyzes responses and generates detailed reports, all while keeping a detailed audit trail of activity.
When you check out Method, review Relativity’s progress since LegalTech New York. It has gone through a series of monthly updates that have done more than fix bugs. Version 6.3 brought out pivot tables for reviewers to select filters that view data in a table or graphic format to reveal trends and patterns. You can drill down into the graphic views for further investigation at the click of a mouse. Version 6.5 enabled views of e-mail message conversation threads to analyze messages using Microsoft Outlook’s built-in threading feature. With conversation threads, you can view a message in the context of a thread by any common field in the message, e.g., date, subject, to. The latest version also creates workspace restrictions that block privileged documents from entering production sets. Granular security allows only specific individuals or administrators permission to override the restrictions.
Method is available on premise or in a hosted model. Relativity customers can add Method to their existing review platform. New customers will receive the benefit of a five-seat Relativity license for document review, which comes with the legal hold product.
Digital Reef (Booth 910) announced an Open eDiscovery Software Performance Benchmark, which aims to measure EDD performance based on attributes of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model. Consumers can now make "apples-to-apples comparisons" of e-discovery applications, says industry expert Barry Murphy, founder of eDiscovery Journal. The benchmark, developed with BlueArc, consists of standard tests, off-the-shelf infrastructure and open data sets that bear on EDD performance over the EDRM.
E-discovery tasks have a beginning, a budget for time and resources, and an end -- all the basic ingredients for a project that can benefit from project management software. Legal Sciences Caselawg has had a head start in the EDD industry. But head-starts mean little in this space. Companies like eClaris (Booth 935) and Onit’s project management as a service are close on their heels with new offerings. For example, eClaris includes customizable workflows and features to store, protect and audit access to digital data, as well track physical evidence for trial.
Interlegis (Booth 525) announced Discovery360 Desktop. Together with Discovery360, Desktop aims to report on and cull data relevant to litigation on custodian desktops as soon as it is created.
Recommind released a new version of its concept-based search and categorization platform: CORE v8. The new version of the Context Optimized Relevancy Engine infuses Predictive Analytics into the Accelerate and Decisiv product families. Predictive Analytics offers to identify patterns in data sets with Predictive Analytics and group, prioritize and assess documents before a single search is performed.
FROM THE DESKTOP
ADERANT (Booth 700/702), a legal information management software provider, announced plans to release Expert Matter Planning at ILTA. EMP integrates with ADERANT Expert to manage the full life cycle of alternative fee arrangements. It aims to analyze existing matters and build reusable templates to review work performed on prior matters and ascertain the duration, effort, and expertise required for a new, similar venture. The software is also designed to bring together time and roll-based information to produce fee estimates, along with projected profit and loss statements, so firms can ensure that each new matter meets profitability requirements.
Avanstar, a manufacturer of file viewing and web content management software, released Quick View Standard and Professional editions. The Quick View Standard edition lets you view more than 300 types of files and e-mail attachments in their original format without using the application that created them. The Professional edition includes a view of metadata, Gantt charts and the ability to integrate Quick View into third-party applications such as a native file viewer or EDD review platform.
Biscom (Booth 437) released Biscom Delivery Server version 4.0, a secure file transfer product. The new version of BDS allows you to drag and drop entire folders onto the BDS server for delivery, as well as automatic file compression to speed file transfers.
Business Integrity (Booth 401) says it will launch version 2 of ContractExpress.com at ILTA. The new version will feature customization and allow law firms to brand self-service document creation environments for internal and external clients. Make a note that Business Integrity has also partnered with Ken Adams, author of "A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting," to provide document-assembly templates for business contracts through a subscription-based service driven by ContractExpress.
Client Profiles (Booth 328A), a provider of case management, financial management and CRM software, recently released the latest version of its practice management software, Profiles Legal Suite. Profiles Legal Suite includes case and financial management modules. The new version includes a new graphical user interface that is consistent with Microsoft Outlook 2010 and customizable; a deeper penetration of case management tools into Outlook; the ability to track related matters and define a lead matter, as well as split time transactions across related matters; and embedded SQL reporting services.
Litéra (Booth 416/418), a document lifecycle software provider, has developed Launchpad, a floating toolbar that provides access to applications, including products like Litéra Change-Pro and Litéra LDF, from any desktop context. The Launchpad uses patent-pending context recognition and activation engine to run Litéra tools that compare files, manage PDF documents and clean metadata from Office files, PDF documents, web mail and BlackBerry e-mail -- all without integrating them into other desktop applications like Microsoft Office. The Launchpad starts at $50 per user.
LexisNexis (Booth 400/402), a provider of content-enabled workflow software and legal information services, announced the introduction of LexisNexis Verdict & Settlement Analyzer, an online tool that aims to enhance early case assessment and improve litigation strategy planning, as well as help manage expectations, by providing access to relevant verdict and settlement reports.
Many vendors are now offering their software as a service on the web. This not only includes e-discovery providers, but also document management suppliers. Now Worldox (Booth 723) has announced a cloud-based service, Worldox CompleteCloud, that bundles their document management system with Windows 2008 Server and Exchange Server in a virtual machine environment that provides customers with a virtual desktop running Windows 7, Office 2010 and Worldox GX2.
Sean Doherty is the technology editor at Law.com and a San Francisco-based lawyer.