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People sometimes continue to repeat actions that originally made sense, even though circumstances have long since changed. The ever-increasing volume of discovery, along with increased client pressure to control costs, highlight the importance of adapting to new technology. “Copy-label-copy” describes the de facto standard for handling document productions for most litigators and law firms. The original document is copied and then archived; the first copy set is numbered, usually with computer-generated Bates numbers; and then, because the first copy with the number label applied is considered the “control” set, another working copy is made from the first copy set. When all the copying and numbering and filing and archiving are finished, litigators will generally have spent at least $.25 per page of the client’s money. And any time there is another deposition or another factual issue to research, the client will have to pay again for someone to manually review the paper copy sets, make copies, sort the new copies in chronological order and re-file the work set. There is an alternative. For the same $.25, the lawyer could have had the documents scanned, electronically numbered, OCR’d, and placed in a database that permits locating the documents with full-text searches. OCR is an acronym for Optical Character Recognition, a technology that analyzes the digital image of a document and creates a searchable file containing the letters, numbers and punctuation used in the document. With this system, when depositions are scheduled or factual issues have to be researched, lawyers or paralegals can search the database, view responsive documents on the screen and print them on a laser printer — all without ever having to physically touch the archived originals, without having to store three paper copies and without having to worry about losing the working copies of documents. Scanning systems used to require expensive, complicated hardware configurations. However, one vendor, Ipro, is marketing a scanning and OCR system that can work with standard office copiers. These can make a digital copy at the same time as making an automatically-numbered paper copy for lawyers who want to review paper as opposed to working on a monitor. The digital scanning option clearly provides superior retrieval, storage and printing characteristics at the same cost as paper copying, but with no drawbacks. STOP REVIEWING AND CULLING Back in the days when computer storage and processing capabilities were measured in thousands of bits, as opposed to today’s measurements in billions or even trillions of bits, and back when the “data” in databases were all manually entered by people typing on keyboards, the combined cost of coding documents for retrieval and then storing the data was so expensive that lawyers and their clients adopted a “review, cull and code” approach to document productions. That is, lawyers would spend a great deal of time reviewing potentially responsive documents, culling the documents to remove unresponsive documents and then having the final set of selected documents coded so that they could be managed in a database. However, several technological advances have combined to permit a far more productive and effective approach — the capture, review, cull and maybe code approach. In the CRCMC approach, potentially relevant documents are all captured or scanned to create digital images. It is typically far cheaper and faster to scan all the potentially relevant documents than to have attorneys making page-by-page decisions. The scanned images are then OCR’d to create a searchable full text database, and software algorithms are used to auto-extract bibliographic information about the documents. Relevant documents are located by database searches, and linguistic pattern matching software is used to identify other documents that are similar to the identified document — comparable to what humans do, only thousands of times faster and more efficient. This is essentially the approach that is used by lawyers responding to electronic data requests — it’s just that in this case, the lawyers are making electronic versions of the documents so they can do the screening or culling electronically. Advantages to this approach include the following.

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