Kelly Atherton is Senior Analytics and Review Manager at NightOwl Discovery. I have interviewed her before and was glad to have the chance to do so again at Relativity Fest in Chicago.
As subject, as before, was the growing use of analytics in cutting down the time and cost of discovery reviews. In the year since I last interviewed her, Kelly Atherton has seen the development of default workflows at NightOwl for the use of structured analytics tools such as email threading. It is what clients expect for every case.
Increasingly, Kelly Atherton is making use of the conceptual analytics tools which Relativity provides. She refers specifically to clustering as a tool which lawyers can pick up very quickly when removing junk or hunting for key documents.
Concept searching is usually done early in a case, perhaps by using paragraphs from the formal court documents or from experts’ reports to find documents touching on key subjects.
Clients, especially repeat clients, are increasingly taking for granted that analytical tools will be used.
Like everybody else I spoke to at Relativity Fest, Kelly Atherton found Relativity’s new tools exciting, particularly the active learning tools. One of the effects of using continuous learning is that “review is the training and training as the review”, reducing the start-up time and cost. It also brings down the size of case for which analytics can sensibly be used. It used to be said that conceptual analytics are not worth using below 50,000 documents. Kelly Atherton says that many of NightOwl’s cases, are in the range 15,000 to 20,000 documents and Relativity’s new analytical tools now enable these to be done cost-effectively.