Epiq Systems was one of the first to incorporate technology-assisted review tools into eDiscovery software when it put Equivio’s predictive coding technology into its own DocuMatrix application.
Epiq’s range has expanded considerably since then, and it now offers a range of tools – not just DocuMatrix and its processing tool eDataMatrix but also a dashboard called Epiq Portal and Epiq Analytics. You can find a description of Epiq’s approach in a page on its website called The Intelligent Approach to Document Review.
Martin Bonney has been with Epiq since it started in London and is now Director, International Consulting Services there.
He has written an article called Essential Tool in the Age of Big Data which is the clearest explanation you are likely to find of the use of technology-assisted review in the search and analysis of large data volumes.
In the article he explains that the purpose of technology-assisted review is to minimise data to be reviewed. A case expert reviews a sample of documents and makes a decision as to whether they are relevant or not relevant. The software learns from these decisions and ranks the documents by their relevance ranking. That ranking is provisional.
There are obvious advantages in this ranking – who would reject an approach which offered the document ranked by relevance rather than in (say) date order?. As Martin Bonney makes clear, this is not the only benefit; one that should appeal, particularly in the UK where budgets are required for most cases, is the metrics which are provided early in the exercise which enable judgements to be made about strategy, tactics and approach.
Martin Bonney also addresses what seems to be the primary fear of lawyers – that technology like this will replace them. What TAR does, he says, is inject “augmented intelligence into the legal process”; input and training is required from a human expert before the software can begin and, whilst such tools offer comprehensive tools for checking the result, they depend on human review at the end of the process.
It is important to realise that these checking tools can be run over the documents marked as non-relevant as well is over the relevant ones, enabling the lawyers to satisfy themselves (and thence opponents and the court) that the reject pile does not include documents which ought to have been disclosed.
I got my first sight of this technology at a demonstration given by Epiq years ago. You may care to arrange the same. The contact details are at the foot of Martin Bonney’s article.