Karyn Harty is the Partner at McCann FitzGerald in Dublin who won the predictive coding argument in Irish Bank Resolution v Quinn. I interviewed her recently about that case and about the wider subject of eDiscovery in Ireland.
Taking the latter first, Karyn Harty observes that the Irish discovery rules are closer to those of the US than they are to the UK, with a stricter test being applied for deciding whether a document is discoverable or not.
Discovery, Karyn Harty says, is a common battleground in Ireland, making it more than usually necessary to be transparent about your intentions in anticipation of an attack on your discovery.
It is easier, she says, to have a strong opponent who understands the technology and she is involved in initiatives to raise the level of understanding of lawyers and judges so that more people are capable of dealing with the arguments.
As to predictive coding, Karyn Harty says that her firm has been using analytical tools, including predictive coding, since 2011, mainly for investigations. When it became clear that discovery in the Irish Bank Resolution case was going to involve very significant costs, she suggested the use of predictive coding to the clients who, to their credit, agreed to its use. She met early opposition from her opponents which, she says, became a “flat earth objection” which had to be fully fought.
The court was given all the relevant information about the case itself, along with many studies about the use of this technology, and it had the benefit of expert evidence before concluding that this was an appropriate case for the use of predictive coding on the basis proposed by Karyn Harty.
Wearing my rules hat, I was particularly interested in the point made both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal that the court had power to adapt the rules to the circumstances. This emphasises the importance of presenting articulate arguments to the court based on a sound understanding of the true effect of the rules, not just reciting their section numbers and content.