Xerox Litigation Services: The quest for an eDiscovery provider, metadata and more

The Xerox Litigation Services blog, Xerox eDiscovery Talk, continues to provide thoughtful and useful posts aimed at those in corporate and law firms who face eDiscovery challenges. The blog complements a wide range of  eDiscovery / eDisclosure tools and services offered by Xerox Litigation Services and Lateral Data which, for many companies and law firms, offer the answer to the problem raised in the article to which my heading refers.

The article is called Quest for an eDiscovery Provider and is written by Dean Kuhlmann, VP Business Development at Lateral Data, a Xerox company. The article’s seven brisk points will help to focus attention on the things which matter.

What matters to one company or law firm may not matter so much to another. Even within an organisation, needs vary according to the case, the available resources and skills, and a range of other factors which complicate the decision-making process. Before you look at the specific functionality of any one product or type of product, there are broad questions to be answered about where the data sits and who is to do the work. You might want complete ownership and control of the process, with software on your own premises and run by your own people. At the opposite extreme, you might want to delegate the whole task, including hosting, technical input and so on to somebody else, allowing you to retain the control that goes with responsibility but delegating the rest. In between those extremes lies a middle course, where a provider hosts the data but the client or its lawyers deal with the tasks from data collection and ingestion through to review and production. A spike in activity may mean that the answer which was right for the last case
you took on is not practical or economically viable for the case which has just come in.

Xerox itself in fact provides all these options. Traditionally, its model was to host the applications (principally its review tool OmniX and its analytic application CategoriX) and to provide full-service consultancy to its clients. More recently, it has acquired Lateral Data, whose Viewpoint application is designed to sit behind the user’s firewall and be used
by the in-house technical and legal staff. What Xerox XLS has achieved is to make it easy to choose from this wide range of options on a case-by-case basis, including the ability to move case data to whichever of its platforms is appropriate for the current case and workload.

When Xerox acquired Lateral Data, it made much of its intention to keep the company as a free-standing entity within the Xerox umbrella, pursuing the goal of interoperability whilst retaining Lateral Data’s distinct place in the market. It has made good this promise and if you go to the Lateral Data website, you will find that it has its own branding with a discreet reference to “a Xerox company” after its name. Xerox seems to have achieved the best compromise in this respect.

Law Technology News carries an article about Lateral Data’s “Backpack” service which provides Viewpoint on an appliance which can be taken to the data for collection, processing, early case assessment, analytics, review and technology assisted review, production and case administration – everything that one might need for managing eDiscovery /  eDisclosure in a case.

One obvious example where this kind of facility might be needed is where data cannot be moved from its location, perhaps because it includes personally identifiable information or data which is particularly confidential. The Backpack service rounds out the flexible range of options which Xerox and Lateral Data offer between them. You can see them all at ILTA next week.

Before I leave the subject of Xerox, I would point you to another recent article on the Xerox XLS blog. It is called Seeing Metadata Through a Different Prism and is written by Rachael Teisch of Xerox XLS. The subject of metadata has come up recently in a different context, with the US government seeking to mollify the potential targets of its data collection (which in practice means everybody) by saying that they collect “only” metadata. Rachael Tiesch’s post emphasises that metadata can hold a substantial quantity of useful information, and can be the “little acorns” from which mighty oaks may grow – a neat way of putting it, and as relevant to those analysing data for civil litigation as it is for government agencies whose task is snooping on citizens or whatever the driving motive is for state investigations.

There are other articles of similar quality on the Xerox blog making this a useful resource well worth repeat visits quite apart from the comprehensive range of eDiscovery tools which Xerox and Lateral Data offer under one umbrella.

About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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