The ever-increasing volume of discovery and client pressure to control costs highlight the importance of adapting to new technology. The de facto "copy-label-copy" method of handling document production can cost at least $.25 per page. But, for the same figure, a lawyer can have the documents scanned, electronically numbered, OCR'd and put in a database that allows full-text searches.
By Ed Fiducia|February 12, 2004 at 12:00 AM
Thank you for sharing!
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
People sometimes continue to repeat actions that originally made sense, even though circumstances have long since changed.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.
This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.
To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.
LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.
ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.
Discover how to avoid the consequences of ineffective Information Governance including difficulty complying with data privacy regulations, like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and handling e-discovery and other legal matters.
An expert witness can make or break a case. What if you could determine in minutes how many times a potential expert has testified, how many times his or her testimony has been excluded, the verdicts associated with the testimony, and more? This info brief explains how.
With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
Dynamically explore and compare data on law firms, companies, individual lawyers, and industry trends.
Exclusive Depth and Reach.
Legal Compass includes access to our exclusive industry reports, combining the unmatched expertise of our analyst team with ALM’s deep bench of proprietary information to provide insights that can’t be found anywhere else.
Big Pictures and Fine Details
Legal Compass delivers you the full scope of information, from the rankings of the Am Law 200 and NLJ 500 to intricate details and comparisons of firms’ financials, staffing, clients, news and events.
As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters.
Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss.
Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.