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Litigation support software is different, in both good and bad ways, from most of the rest of the software that large law firms run. Most legal software categories are duopolies. For practice management, the choice is Elite or CMS Open; for document management, Hummingbird or iManage; for legal research, Westlaw or LexisNexis; for word processing, Word or a fading WordPerfect. There are many choices in litigation support software, however, and many of the software products offer vastly different ways to organize information about cases. Summation and Concordance are traditional database products that organize documents, while CaseMap organizes facts about a case. LiveNote manages and displays transcripts. And so on. Choice is not always a good thing. Because the market is so fragmented, few of the vendors have the resources to make huge investments in improving their products. Innovation is uncommon. There has not been a breakthrough litigation software development since the introduction of databases and imaging more than 10 years ago. Here at Legal Times affiliate The American Lawyer, we have our own parochial problem with litigation support software. Each year, when we conduct our AmLaw Tech Survey, we ask firm IT directors for the software the firm uses for various tasks. At some firms, the IT directors don’t know all the litigation support products deployed in all their offices. Unlike other software packages, it’s easy for a litigator to run a litigation support package without the help or even the knowledge of the IT staff. Vendors sometimes complain that the answers on the tech survey’s litigation support questions don’t reflect the presence of their software at firms. In a small way, we address that complaint below. As part of our Litigation Department of the Year package, we asked the heads of litigation at The AmLaw 200 three questions about litigation support: What software does the firm use to manage discovery documents and transcripts or to help map out a case? What coding and scanning vendors or litigation support service bureaus does the firm primarily use? And what electronic evidence provider does the firm primarily use? Eighty-five firms responded. As with the AmLaw Tech Survey, we allowed multiple answers. In the tech survey, however, we did not ask the coding and scanning question. How do the results from the two surveys compare? On the electronic evidence question, the results match up closely. The Big Five — Applied Discovery, Daticon, Electronic Evidence Discovery, Fios, and Kroll Ontrack — are bunched together, with market shares of 17 to 31 percent on the tech survey and 20 to 26 percent on the litigation department survey. On the litigation support question, the litigation chiefs were much pickier than the IT directors. They say that their departments use the most popular packages far less than what the IT directors report. This discrepancy was most obvious with a few products: Summation (55 percent of litigation chiefs chose it, versus 82 percent of the IT directors), Sanction (20 percent versus 32 percent), Access (19 percent versus 63 percent), and Trial Director (18 percent versus 40 percent). On the other hand, the litigation chiefs report that their staffs are using more products than the IT directors give them credit for. Packages like DocuLex — 8 percent share — and Virtual Partner — 7 percent — don’t make an appearance on the tech survey. Maybe it’s time for the litigation department heads and IT directors of the world to unite. • Document management and case mapping software chart • Coding vendor and litigation service bureau chart • Electronic evidence provider chart Mark Voorhees is senior technology editor for The American Lawyer, where this article first appeared in the February 2004 issue.

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