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The dramatic increase in electronic information during the past decade, combined with the decline of legal budgets and the rise in hourly rates, have prompted lawyers, clients and information-retrieval experts to look for alternatives to the traditional linear method of document review in civil litigation. The allure of an all-technology answer to the problem of managing large volumes of documents is understandable, given society’s infatuation with electronics. Computer chips enable smartphones to find nearby restaurants, so it seems reasonable to assume that a computer should be able to do something as simple as identify a relevant document in a group of emails.

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