Presentation on eDiscovery for Small Law Firms

On September 25, 2013, Attorney Shannon Brown presented a CLE on eDiscovery technologies available for small law firms and solo law practices at the Berks County Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. The CLE covered the state of the profession relating to emerging eDiscovery technologies with particular focus on eDiscovery options for small law firms. Specific topics included:

  • analysis of the data deluge (Big Data) facing law firms engaged in even commonplace litigation (or alternative dispute resolution);
  • an overview of the challenges that data and ESI (electronically stored information) pose for firms including ethical consequences;
  • an introduction to the major technical options available to addresses high volume ESI such as;
    • keyword searches,
    • predictive coding / predictive analytics / machine learning algorithms,
    • recognizing the limits of any technology-based solutions and problems associated with relying solely on keywords (Go Fish!),
  • problems that law firms face when navigating the plethora of vague acronyms  used by outside (and non-legal) vendors (such as technology assisted review or TAR and computer assisted review or CAR); and
  • a simple demonstration of a new, free, tool available to lawyers and small law firms to perform predictive coding legal analysis from a desktop (Prolorem™ eDi) [note: Shannon Brown owns Prolorem LLC].

The highly engaged audience asked a number of insightful questions and confirmed that ESI and Big Data now are becoming an issue for even small and solo law firms. The active discussion also addressed using the emerging tools for “preventive law”—helping entities to avoid or mitigate problems from data before they arise.