About the Webinar
As an eDiscovery expert, you know that your job is challenging, time-intensive – and incredibly rewarding.
Join your eDiscovery colleagues and IPRO for this legal investigation rendezvous, and learn how software made for experts like you can take your job to the next level.
Seeing red flags in your current workflow? Our team of experts will be on hand to answer your questions about how to reduce data volumes, risk, time, and cost.
What was discussed
During this one-hour webinar, the following was covered:
- The exciting opportunities and challenges that come with working in eDiscovery and Litigation Support.
- How IPRO LIVE EDA can help streamline your discovery process, making it more efficient and accurate.
- Advanced features of IPRO LIVE EDA, like powerful search and review capabilities, advanced analytics, and data management and security features.
Jeffrey Wolff, CEDS serves as Director of Corporate Solutions at IPRO. He is responsible for product direction and marketing strategy for IPRO’s corporate solutions market. Mr. Wolff brought with him over 25 years of experience in information systems and enterprise software solutions before joining IPRO in 2015. He has been involved in solution architecture, design, and implementation for major projects within the Department of Defense and Fortune 1000 corporations. Jeffrey is an active project trustee and member of the EDRM Globally Advisory Council.
Director of Corporate Solutions
CEO, Chief Legal Technologist
Mary Mack is the CEO and Chief Legal Technologist for EDRM. Mary was the co-editor of the Thomson Reuters West Treatise, eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel for 10 years and the co-author of A Process of Illumination: the Practical Guide to Electronic Discovery. She holds the CISSP among her certifications.
Jeffrey Wolff: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the IPRO Webinar “Love What You Do.” My name is Jeffrey Wolff, Director of Corporate Solutions here at IPRO, and with me today I am very happy to have CEO and Chief Legal Technologist, Mary Mack of the EDRM. Mary, welcome, thank you for joining.
Mary Mack: Thanks, Jeffrey, I love being here.
Jeffrey Wolff: So excited to to work with you today on this presentation. This is a this is a bit of an unusual webinar that we’re gonna offer for our attendees today around loving what you do as a tie into Valentine’s day yesterday. So just before we get started a few housekeeping logistics. We are on Zoom Webinar platform. We’d like to make this as interactive as possible for our attendees. So we would ask you to please use the chat function. Go ahead and put in the city and state you’re calling in from, and also I want to highlight the Q/A platform. So you are able to ask questions here. We encourage you to ask questions. This will be interactive. We will have a live poll during the conversation today. But we ask you to to submit questions. Submit your comments that into chat questions into Q/A. And we do have the upvote feature turned on today, so attendees will be able to upvote other people’s questions. Use that when you’re really excited to hear that question answered. The recording for today’s presentation, as well as the Powerpoint Presentation deck will be provided to the attendees after the after the event. And with that we have our agenda on screen. So we’ve really broken this down into a few areas we’re gonna spend some time talking about. What do you love about you. Discovery about legal operations. We’ve pulled a variety of audiences. We asked some industry experts. EDRM did a flash poll. IPRO did a survey out to a number of our mailing list participants. Then we’ll also talk about what breaks your heart? What are the real challenges in the eDiscovery industry, and where do we have to work on going forward? We’re gonna take a a sneak peek at a report that is coming out in 2 weeks, I believe. March 1st, IPRO will be releasing its State of Corporate Legal Industry Report that it worked on with ACEDS that is very exciting. So I have a few graphics from that that I’ll share with the group, and we’ll talk about how those fit into our loves and challenges and the eDiscovery industry. And then we’ll talk a little bit about what I can do to help you fall in love deeper with what you’re doing in eDiscovery today. So with that, Why, don’t we jump right in here, Mary? Why, don’t you talk a little bit about the flash poll that the EDRM launched about loving what you do in eDiscovery.
Mary Mack: We love our LinkedIn. Kaylee Walstead is an absolute master at that medium and flash polls are something that we’ve had some wonderful success with. So you can see this was you know very quick. We put it out yesterday. And what do you love most about eDiscovery? And then, you know, you can share in the comments, which is nice. So we’ve got some good good things there. But you’ll see the top things. The first one is the community who’s now part of the IPRO family. So he and I go back some some time, going back and forth. But the community is not something that you find everywhere, in every vertical in every, you know, professional organization and some 40% are loving the community. And what do you think about that, Jeffrey?
Jeffrey Wolff: No, I absolutely agree with that I that was actually my response to the flash poll as well.
Mary Mack: Me, too.
Jeffrey Wolff: You know I’ve only been in eDiscovery for about a decade now, which it seems short compared to a lot of my peers. Some have 20-30 years experience in the industry, and I came from more the information technology side. But I can tell you that the community in the eDiscovery world is vastly different than it is in any other that I’ve encountered it’s more close knit. Everyone really does know each other. If you go to any of the live in-person conferences in the eDiscovery world, whether you’re on the in-house council side, or on the law firm side, there really is a sense of of a pure camaraderie and knowledge sharing which is great. It’s a really nice thing about the industry. I actually also echo, echo the second one, which is, it’s ever changing like that is, and we’ll talk a bit more about that that has both positives and negatives, I think, in many ways. In fact, a couple of quotes I pulled some of these I asked a couple of people for kind of direct quotes about what they love about you, eDiscovery and a couple of these were also comments on LinkedIn posts, and I thought these were fascinating. Actually, so you can see, you know, Mike Quartararo, from a sense, actually responded about the community right in line. But you can see here there is this evolution, Andy Peterson at the bottom, her quote. It talks about the evolution of the constantly changing nature of the eDiscovery world is both something she loves and something that breaks her heart, because it is both the strength and need this in the eDiscovery world, but also a challenge for us, because things are ever changing and I had to put Kelly’s comment here. There was just, I’m sure she’s listening. This is also a pet peeve of mine. I never see any other area where we can’t even agree on a nomenclature we’ve had. You know, we’ve had lots of fantastic work on different projects. I know EDRM works on lots of different projects within the space processing specifications, the group specifications. Why can’t we have a a project, Mary, about finalizing the standard for how to say you discovered how to spell eDiscovery.
Mary Mack: Oh, there’s a good answer to that one different. That’s because when we choose our projects, you know they come up organically and so we’d need to have 2 people basically one with the E dash one with the plain old “eD” bring us this project. Bring it out to the community, so all are welcome to come and talk about it. And I think this is one of our almost, like, religious issues that people have very, very strong feelings on this. And so from our perspective, we’d be like, okay, a lot of this.
Jeffrey Wolff: For not a lot of move forward, so we probably wouldn’t do that project or coin flip. I frankly don’t care at this point. It’s just it’s really funny. Actually, I saw someone comment on this, not to go down the rabbit hole. But you know E dash discovery that you know, if you put that through some of the processing engines and you discover a word you might wind up with 2 different phrases. There you can find it with just “discovery” and “E.” But, anyway, so these are some some fun quotes. IPRO also did a a poll and we put out some, you know, very specific reasons. You can see them the on the left. These were things we wanted to poll the community on. About. What do they love about the eDiscovery world? And you can see what’s there by a fairly large margin, I mean discovering the smoking gun is the thing people love the most according to this. What are your thoughts about that, Mary, what do you think there?
Mary Mack: I think that’s absolutely spot on we all have that sense of wanting to get to the thing that wins the case, or green lights the deal, or whatever it is. And I think a lot of our conversation when we get together is almost like hypotheticals, because we all want to tell each other how we found the smoking gun without giving away the merits of the case, or anything. You know anything like that for sale in details that they couldn’t share in the first place, right? So it’s exactly.
Jeffrey Wolff: It’s a form of public puzzle solving really where you can’t talk about the puzzle.
Mary Mack: I like that exactly. But but I do think we have that healthy, healthy curiosity and persistence, and you know, looking through things that people wouldn’t normally look through. But then I think also that green line up there about never having a dull moment.
Jeffrey Wolff: That’s one of the things it’s like.
Mary Mack: You never look at your watch because you’re bored. You look at your watch because you’re on deadline and something important has to happen at a particular time. You know what’s particularly interesting whenever we look at our graphs we always go for the longer lines, right? But I actually want to draw our attention to the one that received 0 responses, and that is Cross Department collaboration. But nobody apparently loves Cross Department collaboration.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yeah, this is something we talk about a fair amount actually, because I advise in my position. I advise a lot of corporate councils, right? So I work primarily with corporations about their legal operations, and how they are going to work with outside council. And but more importantly, how they’re going to work with other teams within their organization. So, the biggest challenge that they typically relate back to me is collaboration with I.T. And and it’s interesting that this would come up, you know, in the 0 category for things that people love so legal professionals don’t seem to love collaborating with other departments, or at least that’s what this would imply to me. What do you think about that?
Mary Mack: I think our ability to collaborate you yourself and many of the people who are on this particular webinar have a unique ability to speak in 2 languages: speaking the legal language, speak in the I.T. language. Maybe there’s like a language that sort of comes together. But the cultures are different. I mean, the basic foundation is different. So it, Jeffrey, you know it’s binary and not binary in that way. You know if you’re asking an I.T. person a question they’re going to answer you yes or no. You ask the same question to an attorney or a legal person, they’re going to look at you, and they’re going to say shades of gray. Well, if it’s this, then it’s this, this and that. Enough of if it’s this, then this and this that can make an I.T. person’s head explode because they have that limited time.
Jeffrey Wolff: That’s kind of brilliant. Actually, I never really thought about it that way. But you’re absolutely right. The I.T. deals in finance, right? And it is either yes or no or black or white and I think that comes into the fray a lot when legal, you know. For example, we’ll talk collections for a second searching in collections right so legal reaches out to I.T. and says, hey, we need these custodians, and we need these searches. Run and give us all the data, because that’s a common workflow and I.T. interprets it very black and white. This is exactly what they asked for. I’m not gonna go beyond that, and they provide that back, and then, when I.T. was like, I actually don’t know it’s not exactly what I meant. I meant I want this search run, and for these custodians, and it’s very back and forth very iterative. And I don’t think everyone loves that.
Mary Mack: It’s like getting to understanding of somebody’s job or somebody’s salary comes a different way anyway. Usually, when legal is asking I.T. to do something unless they’re in a more mature IG. And litigation readiness, posture. That request is going to go to I.T., and it will not be funded. Who’s going to pay for it? It basically comes out of the time allocation of the salaries and on the backs of the I.T. professionals they may not be staffed to accommodate. So one of the things of the hallmarks of serial litigants and organizations that have done this before is that they actually staff in I.T. They might second people, or there are people on, you know, within legal ops that could handle some of the administrative portions of what you’re asking the actual I.T. people to do.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yep. Yeah. And we, you know, and we try to focus on that. We just got a comment to that in Q/A. The collaboration with others was also the lowest rated in the flash poll. Oh, man, and we can! And this was pretty eye opening, because I honestly did not expect inconsistent processes to be the number. What are your thoughts there, Mary?
Mary Mack: It makes sense to me that may or may not be consistent, and you know you’re striving especially you know those you know, the especially the people that have gone to to what do you call that? 6, Sigma? 6, Sigma you know, or or like Allah, Phil Verdello will do something like a standard operating procedure. And you know, actually document everything that’s going on, and documents, exceptions and things of that nature. Once you go out of your organization, you have to collaborate, say, with your let’s say you near the corporation. You’ve got to collaborate with your law firm. Your law firm’s got processes.
Jeffrey Wolff: Your service providers.
Mary Mack: Oh, yeah, yeah, co-counsel, local council, everybody’s got different processes. And then yeah. So if we have all sorts of load files and structures that we hold our data in and the interrupt I mean the closest that we have to interrupt at this point is like a
Jeffrey Wolff: I like like a Concordance export file, or something like that by an industry standard from you know, 15 years ago that hasn’t really changed.
Mary Mack: Right and so trying to trying to dis, just trying to move data from one organization to another, based on what has happened before and what’s gonna happen after the data gets imported. I mean, I can see why that would break people. You know it’s like number one doesn’t load number two.
Jeffrey Wolff: You have the right amount of things right? And they said right? So think about it for a second right, an internal investigation, you you! You! You often don’t have a production. because it’s about finding out what you needed to find out but a regulatory response. You absolutely have a production. And oh, by the way, no 2 productions are going to be the same, because if you have different regulatory agencies, they each have their own productions back.
Mary Mack: Now there’s an area where there could be some, some consistency to be, but they’re not staffed either to do their collaboration to to get to a get to a standard govern as like a standard U.S. Government export.
Jeffrey Wolff: You know every single one is different: SEC, FCC. But that’s just one. That’s just one example. It just literally came up yesterday for me. So I mean it makes sense. Why, people voted this way. It’s just unfortunate given if you think about the fact that eDiscovery is a structured industry. It’s a structured industry built around unstructured content, terrible. But I think things have come down so much that the perception is, you know, if you start up here, and all of a sudden the costs are down here. It doesn’t feel as bad, even though it’s a big amount. It’s still a big amount. We’re going to talk about that a little later. In the presentation we’re going to talk about cost, because I think that’s important. Let’s take a look at the survey that I did, and you don’t often see equality across the reasons like this. It is fairly even.
Mary Mack: With the exception of evidence of per site. Mary, I know that was your suggestion.
Jeffrey Wolff: So nobody nobody is upset about evidence.
Mary Mack: But yeah, I know that this was this was pretty pretty. This is not surprising. There. There were no surprising results here, right? So you know, really a high volume of of a discovery activity in particular, and that staffing is not keeping up with the demand. So I am seeing.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yes, it is. Yes, it is
Mary Mack: Yeah.
Mary Mack: Those of us in the eDiscovery community have made. Often times we’re on the phone during dinner and holidays, and you know the ability to turn off and to refresh and renew. Is it?
Jeffrey Wolff: It’s not built into all the cultures where someone might not, you know. 5 years ago someone might not have picked up the phone for an issue. They certainly get a Teams or Slack you like now. It’s too easy to do that like I can. Teams or Slack at any time of day, and you know I don’t necessarily assume that someone at 9 o’clock at night, or 7 or 6 o’clock in the morning is going to respond, but I can put it there so that when they first look at their computer they do. And so it does push the boundaries of that work/life balance a lot.
Mary Mack: Yeah. And I think we don’t have it that. Okay, I’m gonna be working at, you know, 9 or 10 o’clock at night. I’m going to send a message to my colleagues, and I’m going to have it send it the first AM. You know that delayed send thing.
Jeffrey Wolff: I’m: not good about using schedules, and I should. I should probably use that more. Yeah, same, I’ve experimented with it a little bit, and I think it’s a great idea. But the, you know, the other part of that is, people can simply so put on. Do not serve like. Turn off your notifications for a little while. I think, in terms of, in in terms of avoiding a burnout, would be maintaining some sort of work like balance, you know. That’s fine for people to send you a request at 9 or 10 o’clock at night, but you don’t have to have your notifications turned on if you can.
Mary Mack: I think that’s a leadership issue that people have. They have to have cover to be able to ignore messages in the night from partners or something like that. I mean it’s just not gonna happen.
Jeffrey Wolff: Lack of technology adoption by those cling to the status quo. This is not unusual. We hear this all the time. Many law firms still don’t get it. I’m not sure what it is, but I guess that’s probably true, and I didn’t understand the last one, but I had to throw it in there because it was controversial. Not everyone cares about the truth. So it’s not always necessarily, maybe, about fact finding it’s going through the motions in some respects.
Mary Mack: Well, I think you know there are, I think, attorneys that are really well grounded in their, you know, in their ethics all want to get to the truth. However, the many will use whatever they can to benefit their client, and if they don’t want to look and it’s certainly not fun to work with, you know, so I can understand why it would. It would be very, very uncomfortable for people that you know that have an ethic. Yeah, yeah.
Jeffrey Wolff: You know with that, let’s take a poll of our attendees. Yeah, you should now see a poll window. Please go ahead and vote, and we will close the poll in about 30s. Host and panelists cannot vote, did not know that. Here come the votes in real time. Oh, I like watching the bars change.
Mary Mack: Oh, lucky you, Jeffrey waiting for forensic images to build.
Jeffrey Wolff: Oh, that was a bad way to unfortunately, not to the level that data has exponentially increased. But we’ll touch on that all right. So let’s go ahead and share our results. Oh, look at that! Never dull moment always new problem to solve. Follow closely behind by discovering the smoking gun. So not entirely different than our the the pre-serve the for your attendee results pretty consistent. Oh, some people actually voted for Cross Department Community collaboration this time. That’s good that we They they saw how sad you were, Jeffrey. I was pretty sad about that. Yeah, I’ll be honest with you. Fantastic, all right. Well, let’s stop sharing that, and we’ll move on. Let’s take a look at this next slide. So this is a graph a result from that survey that I was talking about. That is the 2023 corporate legal operations research study that I did in conjunction with. They said it was done back in December, 22, and it is launching first of March. I believe there’s probably a link in the chat, or will be a link in the chat to if you’re interested in a copy of the report. But I just have a few graphs that I thought were relevant to the topic today that we would share and talk about. This was done. This is a survey across corporate legal profession. So if your law firm attendees, I apologize that they weren’t part of the survey. But the insights together here is probably very useful for you. I personally, as a technologist, love the fact that with a wide margin greater use of technology came up as a key priority for 2,023. So what people love about you? Discovery is, of course, technology. legal tech. What are you, Mary? What are your thoughts on some of the other things. Besides, if you put legal tech aside from the moment. what are your thoughts on some of the other results here?
Mary Mack: Well, I see the collaboration between the legal team and other business departments. I see that is it. You know that it’s something that’s breaking people’s heart, but it’s a key priority. So there, that is of interest to me as well as the I think the 3, after the greatest use of technology or decreasing outside.
Jeffrey Wolff: You know, as we see corporate legal operations maturing in that department too if you look at it, a lot of the larger corporations. Now, a true legal operations team where you have, you know, information governance specialists. You have the eDiscovery specialist, forensic specialists, very different set of skills that are being gathered together under that. And so I think they’re looking to invest in people with those skills, or at least educating the people that they have.
Mary Mack: About that which is, that’s great. That’s what we need and one of the things that I think is interesting with legal ops that some of the teams are actually looking at. EDiscovery is an area of improvement that you can say, here’s what we spent in 20. Let’s say 2022 with these improvements, and these are the improvements we want to make in 2023. And this is the impact on the budget that we see, because when you take some of the let’s say the billings from eDiscovery that are not for things that really move you forward, and I’ll give you an example. The Duke. Id project that will be going public this week is to help organizations not have to reprocess data when they’re bringing it into a new platform. So cross-platform that I won’t go into all the details, but one of our global advisory council leaders said if he had that, it would have saved him $400,000 in one week on one case which is so, anyway, when you can do that $400,000 to other technology to upskilling.
Jeffrey Wolff: You know. And I think that’s why you know it doesn’t say, “decreasing budget.” Cutting costs, yes, but improving budgeting, I think, means more strategically budgeting, right? So you might have the same budget. But you might reallocate some of that outside council spend internally to upskilling your own staff to take some of both the burden off of that. So not everything goes outside. We’re not as much goes outside.
Mary Mack: Exactly. Exactly, and budgeting is a communication tool and. strangely enough, it’s a cross departmental collaboration and communication tool. This is how you express where your efforts are going and what their impact is. And that is, you know what it is what matters.
Mary Mack: Here we go. Yeah, so that’s an area for legal too.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yeah, that we, when we get better at that, everything else is better it’s true. It’s hard, and you know this is it? I hear the same thing over and over. Whenever I talk to team legal teams, you know we don’t even ask them to talk about their budget. We ask them to talk about their case volume, their case in the best of conditions, because you don’t necessarily know what your leg litigation, regulatory or internal investigation workload is gonna look like year to year to year. You can guess, based on past performance. But that’s not necessarily an indicator.
Mary Mack: Well, yeah, and if you have several cases with one firm depending on how they feed their bills in. Can you allocate to the right case, or you know, to the right matter to the right custodian? And there’s all sorts of. There’s all sorts of accelerators when you when you can do things that way. For example, your your insurance coverage is better, or your your reimbursement is better. Your bill back to department is better.
Jeffrey Wolff: So yeah, I do like that. I was tempted to to bring up the con. The question about billing arrangements between in-house and outside council, but I think that would be a webinar of its own. We could probably spend an hour just talking about different billing structures, and how that’s evolving over time. But let’s take a look at what some of the challenges are. So this goes into the break in your hard care category, right? Not surprising. Biggest challenges on the legal operations department in 2023 budgeting followed closely by efficiency productivity staffing. Talk technology. I was surprised that some of the more technical things were not rated higher like the cycle time of litigation. Missed Deadlines the cost of litigation, you know, in a perturbation basis. But yeah, very clear results here focuses on how we address our budget, how we address our internal efficiencies, how we staff, what tech stack we use! What do you get from this, Mary? I get the budget.
Mary Mack: The budget thing. Oh, you just read the headlines, and there’s been, like, almost a reflexive thing where there have been layouts that would legal and eDiscovery usually lag in that cycle, you know not. You know the tech like the big tech companies that have, you know, chopped and things. But we’re mature enough in our eDiscovery practice as a community as a vertical, that other organizations are coming in to take a piece of someone else’s pie. So so we’re, you know, we’re all with the laws for the law firms or the service providers. Now we have ALSPs that we’ve got things moving into the corporation with legal apps. That’s a change and you know they’re compelling arguments to be made to CFOs to offload that off the you know, off the P and L. So I can see where the budget would be a worry and getting more facility with budget language. I think that’ll help people.
Jeffrey Wolff: I think it would be interesting to compare these results, but we were able to do the same survey to other departments like compliance, like privacy.
Mary Mack: Well, I do security, too, while you’re doing it. Yeah, yeah, I think. Yeah there are areas just like eDiscovery where money just poured in. Whatever you needed you could have, and that’s not the case anymore.
Jeffrey Wolff: That’s not the case for legal. It is the case for cyber I mean the information security, whatever they ask for, they can have at this point, because that seems to be the biggest, the bigger issue. But it’s interesting to see that legal teams, you know it’s this kind of directly contrasted to you comment earlier about costs. We’re only created as high as you thought they would be. But people are clearly still concerned about the budget.
Mary Mack: Exactly.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yep. So what trends? And you know it was interesting. When I read this, I said, “Okay, well, what trends do you agree with the most?” Well, the trends that are agreed with the most are negative trends. So this definitely falls into the challenge or breaks your heart category more difficult to meet deadlines with increasingly more complex data, and not by a small margin, either.
Mary Mack: Well, Jeffrey, the first time you see a piece of complex data, where is it? It’s in your exception report.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yeah, you know, when we talk about, and I feel like in the industry we throw this phrase around all the time increasingly more complex data. So, I had to put this slide here. I just had to, because it is beyond the point of comprehension. Now, right, so this, if you look at the trend here, this is a fairly current slide from IDC: Global data sphere. They say we’re going to be in 2 years – 2 years, mind you – we’re going to be at 181 zetabytes of data having been produced. A zetabyte, in case you don’t know what a zeta is, and I had to double check because I’m perfectly familiar with everything up to exabyte, a zeta byte we’re beyond that. We’re beyond exabyte. Zetabytes, the next level up, the next 0 or to the next power. You know most of the discovery matters we deal with are in G. We do have the occasional cases that go into the terabytes, and I have individual customers that absolutely have petabytes of data. So it is fascinating to see, you know, not just anecdotally, an explosion of data. But there, there it’s the numbers were there. What are your thoughts about that? Where does it end in terms of being able to keep up with the amount of data being produced that is potentially relevant in the case?
Mary Mack: Well, I think if you asked me that question, when we were down in the bit, in the nibble, and the byte area of your pyramid here, we would have said, “Okay, we’re in the paper days,” and like the early days where it was meg pricing, if you were. We couldn’t even comprehend being able to process a terabyte, you know, in a reasonable amount of time. And now it’s like we’re eating terabytes for, you know, for lunch.
Jeffrey Wolff: Absolute time.
Mary Mack: Yeah. And so you like the indexing methods needed to change, to accommodate the volumes. You know that certainly the equipment and the GPUs with the CPUs, you know, for hardware to be able to get through all that. But then there’s the challenge of being able to access it in, you know, and have snappiness because everybody is used to like Google or..
Jeffrey Wolff: Right, Google or Bing, or whatever you, you know. If you I mean most, I suspect, most of our audience members, like most of the companies I speak to are Microsoft customers, right? So, case in point, what is the single biggest data type that we deal with in eDiscovery? Email. If you just want to search email across 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 people in an organization for keywords and date ranges. You’re talking about hours for a search, perhaps overnight to get search results back, and that’s, you know, often not viable when you’re on a deadline and email is not even the, you know, the most pervasive tech the per m of communication technology anymore. I know most of my communication has moved off of email, I do. And but most of IPRO is a Teams company, but I did a webinar last year, and I had researched how many different communication channels the average corporation uses. It’s 3.1. We, the average company, has 3.1 different communication platforms that they endorse. But yeah, 3.1. So we use Slack and Teams, and of course, email and most come most of work. My work product happens there. It’s collaborative. It’s real-time. Emails are not good for that anymore. So we’re we’re sort of a little bit off topic. But it makes sense, because this is what’s leading to that explosion of data. And then sometimes conversations. I walk out the door because I have to run one of my kids somewhere, and I continue working. So now I’m working on a device. So now I’m using another platform to do that. I’m not in front of my computer anymore. So, from a relevant data analysis standpoint whatever processes we have in place to find relevant data from my content as a corporate customer has to be able to span all those, and how has to do it well? And I’m not sure we’re there yet. I don’t know what your thoughts are on that, but I don’t think we’re there yet like this. This was another fun statistic from the report my team over collect data regularly. Only 16% disagree with the statement because that’s our standard. You know, despite the fact that we’ve been at this for a long time. The standard is we’re going to collect everything, or we’re going to collect. We’re going to over collect, because we really don’t want to miss anything.
Mary Mack: We don’t want to miss anything, and we don’t want to inconvenience custodians, especially the ones at the top of the org chart, coming back again and again so like, collect it all right? But that, I think, is an artifact of Rule 37 in the United States, where you could get sanctions for basically doing your discovery wrong, and leaving things out. And those sanctions were softened, and in some cases eliminated wholesale. So now we can say over collection. You know the risk. The risk calculus is different now.
Jeffrey Wolff: Well, that’s a good point. But there are different data points now to over collection, right? Because over collection means a couple of things. It means a work and expense to collect that data, but also it means to lift and ship that data somewhere else. So there’s a cyber risk there that has to be taken to account exactly it increases the attack surface.
Mary Mack: It increases the risk of disclosure of that data, you know, in a way that you wouldn’t want to see, and is highly embarrassing that kind of thing. Yeah.
Jeffrey Wolff: Well, and not to sound like a commercial, but you know it’s such a great segue. I couldn’t resist. No, so that really is one of the things that I think is amazing about IPRO, and then really differentiates us. Is this piece right here I wrote. You can see that from the slide here, and I’m not going to talk about 98 0f what’s on the screen because it’s we have a lot of a lot of solutions in the industry standing information, governance all the way into the discovery, legal operations, and even trial prep and presentation. But what really differentiates us as a company is this ability to let people search data in place. So one of the biggest issues we and we talked about and is is constantly talking about is over collection, lifting and shipping data, increasing the attack footprint of an organization. So you know, if the paradigm is oh, well, instead of collecting all that data up and then bringing it, bringing it into a new discovery platform if we were able to search it in place where it lives and only collect the relevant data and move that to my legal service provider, or to my outside council, or to do my review in-house, if I choose to do that that’s a massive change. it’s a sea change in terms of time, and it’s the change in terms of expense. And and I think that’s a differentiate right. I spent years at ZyLAB honestly talking to corporate customers, and one of the biggest challenges they had was they? They really loved the idea of bringing the discovery in house. But there. One of the big issues associated with that was the ability to find data just finding their own data and collecting it in a reasonable fashion. So they’re not loading terabytes into a case when they really only need 10 gigs of data right? Because ultimately we will find out is what 10% of the data is relevant that’s collected on average. which is an insane amount of extra, an extra effort and risk. Yeah. And then just let that other 90% go down the conveyor belt of your. you know. Let it fall off because it’s not required to be there. That’s, you know, not to push the EDRM there, but I think we should have it should be pushed. You know proper information Governance is is critical to an organization’s maturity in legal operations. If you don’t have proper retention and destruction policies by content type that are published, and no. And now and all the employees are know about them and you’re saving data that you shouldn’t you’re creating risk for the organization, but you also making it harder to do your own discovery work going forward right? I’ve I’ve talked about this a lot, and you know. But I showed this scenario to a couple of people recently, and they’re like, okay? Well, it didn’t really make sense until you put numbers associated to it. So I put numbers to it. I’m going to put numbers to it. This is a really simple scenario: Breach of Contract. So we have 10 custodians, 20 years of data. On average, everybody all of our attendees will probably up completely understand this really simple to set up data sources. Just we’re just dealing with Microsoft here. So we’re starting with about 200 gigs of data, 600,000 records. Right? So this in a traditional discovery workflow. We go to I.T. and say. Go ahead. Excuse me, you know 10 PSTs. 20 gigs each. I’m going to provide them to my vendor, or I’m going to hand them to the outside council to start my review, you know, after we agree to search terms and they’re going to start their work and that looks like this. So we have traditional funnel down the right of the left side and the kind of the revised workflow down the right side. So we’re gonna collect up the data. We’re gonna process the data. We’re gonna review the small amount of data, and we’re gonna eventually produce the smoking gun. We’re gonna find the relevant stuff that we have to give to the other side. Now, if you flip that a little bit, because what the left side workflow does is find the information insights at the bottom of the inverted pyramid, Right? The small amount of data at the bottom represents what we needed to produce in the first place. If you were to search the M365 environment and find the insights. First keywords. date, filtering, artificial intelligence, conversational analysis. And then you only collect up that much data, and then you review it. The rest of the workflow is the same and then you produce it. You’re gonna produce the same amount of data at the end. But you’re gonna do it by producing (moving) a lot less data around, right? So here’s our 200 gigs on the left side – same 200 gigs on the right side. But we’re now not collecting it. We’re just going to review in place. We’re going to search and review in place. We’re we’re going to process in the traditional method. We’re going to process the entire data set that we’ve identified. But over here we found that only about 10% of that data is probably relevant. So that’s what’s going to go through to collection and processing. It’s 20 gigs, not 200 gigs. 60,000 documents, not 600,000 documents. We’re gonna review about 55 gigs, because obviously there’s the duplication going on. We’re gonna be miss that data. And we’re gonna prioritize review on the traditional method over here, though most of the data we found is relevant. There is still some noise or some deduce there, but we get down to a smaller review set with a big difference between 165,000 documents, and 46,000 documents. And review costs big, big difference and then at the end you should produce the same amount, because you should have the same amount of relevant documents for both workflows which you do, you still find 33,000 documents were relevant. Even more enlightening when you add the money to it, right? These are the actions. These are based on actual real world costs: $5,000 to do collection of 200 gigs upfront, $3,000 if you compare it with, you know, having in place indexing and search software. $24,000 to produce, to process that data. $5,000 to produce this to process this data. Here’s the big number: $220,000 to review 165,000 documents versus $20,000 to review the 46,000, because it’s not exactly the same. It’s not exactly linear. They’re still fixed costs associated with review, right? And in the end you’re still gonna spend the same amount of money to produce those documents. But if you add it up, you’ve got a quarter of a million dollars over here with a traditional workflow and $28,000 over here with the revised workflow, and that’s taking into account the cost of the software on top. So. and if you I mean that’s just one case. If you multiply that out by 10 cases in a year, that’s a massive difference in your budgeting, right? You could reduce your legal spend, but you could also reallocate the money to other things as we talked about. It’s also a massive difference in time, like there’s just a massive amount of time spent on collecting, processing and reviewing the documents that weren’t responsive in the first place. We estimate that to be about 71%. Actually, let me put this back up and ask for your thoughts there.
Mary Mack: No, I think that’s right. The way that indexing has pushed left they can be turned into a nice spreadsheet for tracking improvements, as organizations move forward, and you’ll know when you’re having an impact, because it is a you know it is a you know. You gotta take it from somewhere and give it to somewhere else. And the thing that’s in between is what’s costing the money.
Jeffrey Wolff: Yeah, and I don’t know that a lot of organizations I mean, obviously, organizations track the cost of their cases internally. I’m sure they do, right? I don’t know that they track it to this level of detail. But this is a fascinating way to look at the new discovery case. Because why? How does that really break down? So you know, we actually went. We went and got real world numbers to do this. I found this this slide to be interesting as well. So you know there are benefits. If we have law firm participants on the call, you know there are benefits on both sides of the house to technology like this. It is, you know, in place searches take something that the law firms can use within their organization as well, I have a case study. I’ll show in a second about data dumps. Law firms are constantly getting data dumps from clients and having to go through. That is, is a challenge. So just pointing at an in place searching tool at the data dome. So let it. Law firms can really take a role here in helping corporations not move data around that doesn’t need to be moved around which leads that data risk that we talked about earlier. But ultimately it just leads to better litigation strategy, you know, if you know what’s there earlier in the process well before waiting to process and review it, you can make a better decision faster in the case. Yeah, this was the case that I was talking about. So this is this is a this is a a parsons bail that you had a case where they just wanted to look at a bunch of PSTs and they just, instead of just dumping those PSTs into their system, they looked at the data set first through Live EDA. They just had to index it and run some searches against it and they were able to pull out 25,000 documents that were relevant from the original half a million. So if they’d taken a half million documents, they could’ve just ported right into. They were into their review platform. Whatever it was that would have to spent full. They would spend a lot of time and money to do that they’re able to save an enormous amount of money and time just by pointing it in place, searching to audit. And there are dozens of case things we’ve had like this. I’m not gonna present the product in case any one of the calls wanting to product, or I’m talking about is called Live EDA: Live Early Data Assessment. If you’re interested in it, if you’d like to know more about it we’d love to, you know, put something in the chat, or put something in the question, answering panel or reach out to us. We’ll be happy to contact you about it. But you know, in the 2 min version of it all it really does is, you know, in the simplest form is connect to your data sources whether those are 365 on-premise file shares if it doesn’t have you and doesn’t have to be my Mac Microsoft data, it could be Box, Sharefile, Egnyte, Slack, and it creates its own index of those data sources. So when you start a case, you can say, okay, well, here are my 10 custodians. Everyone in the company has already been indexed, and they are indexed in real time by the software, and all you have to do is say, hey, I want to look at these 10 custodians. So you select your 10 custodians. You select the data sources that are relevant, and you start searching. You can do keyword searches. You can do pattern matching. You can do date ranges, but you can then preview the results right in the interface. In real time the results come back in seconds, not hours because you’re not using Microsoft index for using our own index. And so you can see the documents. You can see their attachments. What I personally love is the conversation feature. So if I search Teams or Slack for keywords, I get back a search hit, but that’s just the individual message of the poster and if I click conversation I can see the conversation context around that message because it’s not shortly at one post the person made in Slack. It’s the entire conversation that they’re having. Could that be German to your matter. Then you just click, promote you. You promote whatever you need, and it collects it from the original content source either into an IPRO discovery solution or exports it into any of the other discovery providers out there. So really just a much better approach. It also puts the power in the hands of legal professionals, which I think is important, because you don’t have to go to I.T. to make it do to do a search request. Now you legal professionals, any time of day, can log in, do their own searching and export what they need. They don’t have to bother I.T. So I.T. departments frankly love this like I’ve yet to see, an I.T. department go, “No, we don’t want to give up that we look. We love doing searches for legal.”
Mary Mack: Well, I, Jeffrey, when you showed this to Kaylee and me, both of us had some “Wow! Moments.” I know from my perspective, I mean, I think I called it an old fashioned name, and that is Federated Search that that’s like the Holy Grail that everybody wanted to be able to work to search their organization without turning the lights down, you know, because it it takes so much computing power. Very nicely done.
Jeffrey Wolff: It’s a great product, and like when I started to say earlier, it was when you were at ZyLAB, I wish we had something like Live EDA to share with our customers. So I’m thrilled that I’m now at IPRO because we do have it. And it works in concert to ZyLAB One – actually it’s being integrated now directly in design. So this slide has a build in it. Get rid of that. We are the top of the hour. So this one went by way too quickly. I want to just point out that the State of Corporate Legal Industry Report, like I said, will be available. The link is in the chat. There’s also a link to the landing page here in the deck, which you’ll get a copy of. There’s also another one, I think, which our law firm attendees would find really useful. It talks a little bit about early data assessment, and how that can be used by your firm to see this year. I want to thank you, Mary. Mary, really appreciate you joining us here today. This has been great. We need to do this more often.
Mary Mack: I love being on a platform with you, Jeffrey. It is always a treat, and thank you so much.
Jeffrey Wolff: Thank you. To all of our attendees, really appreciate you spending an hour with us, and enjoy the rest of your day.