Alextronic Discovery
Alextronic Discovery
An Electronic Discovery Blog covering News, Articles
and Thoughts for the Legal and Corporate Community Author: Alexander H. Lubarsky, LL.M., Esq. - - Tel. (415) 533-4166 OR 800-375-4222 THIS BLAWG IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE WEB SITES WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.ORG OR WWW.DISCOVERYRESOURCES.COM

Sunday, January 22, 2006

EDD Reflections  

EDD Reflections - By Alextronic Lubarsky - Tel. (626)298-9856

Having been entrenched in the ED biz since 1999 (and 'old fashioned' paper based litigation support since 1994) makes me, if I do say so myself, a pioneer of sorts.

I recall the first time I was exposed to the concept of eDiscovery was in 1997. I had been working at Summation Legal Technologies in San Francisco for many years and was standing in line for the free Thursday lunch... A tradition that I took full advantage of while at Summation and, some may say, stealthily continued after I moved over to Daticon but remained in San Francisco. I am told that I would regularly visit the folks at Summation, coincidentally enough, on Thursdays at noon when I found my stomach particularly empty and wanting.

As I was standing in the do it yourself taco line in early '97, Jim Henderson, the co-founder of Summation and the brains behind "blaze" (the technology that indexes the Summation search engine) was in front of me, tinkering with his new Sony VAIO sub-notebook. I always liked to pick Jim's brains because he was always preocupied with refining soon to become standard technologies that the rest of us hadn't heard of yet. He was and is a true visionary.

"What's new in the industry, Jim?"

"Paper will be less important in the years to come."

"Oh, you mean paper is all going to go to .tiff?", I asked.

"No, I mean the paper will not be in the equation at all."

"Huh?" I was beginning to wonder who spiked the salsa at the taco bar.

"We're seeing a need for the email messages and other data from the computer to be directly brought into the review platform without the traditional print, scan, OCR and code methodology," continued Jim.

I blinked and scratched my head. My thoughts refocused on the selection of beans before me. "I think I'll do refried, this week", I told myself.

I was not quite sure what Jim was talking about. In fact, I could not even envision it really. I felt stupid and went off to chew on my pollo asado and guacamole.

A year later, I was waist deep in e-discovery as the product lead at Daticon for a tool that allowed for 'do it yourself' e-discovery called 'Discovery On Demand', later I would become the e-discovery subject matter expert with Fios and unleash this blawg on the topic. There has not been a day since I spoke to Jim in that taco line that I have not had a conversation about e-discovery in some fashion (with the exception to my yearly trekking excursions to the Bolivian/Peruvian Andes - but it may not belong before those descendants of the Incas whom I pass along the ancient trails are retooling their MD-5 hash codes and debating the admissibility of metadata...)

One thing that has not ceased to amaze me is the costs of e-discovery. I recall people shelling out six grand a gig (after negotiating the vendor's price down from eight grand or so) and waiting a week or two for the processing to complete its course. I remember when a five gig e-discovery job was mammoth. Now, I deal with cases involving terabytes regularly, I see traditional e-discovery shops charging between $800 to $2,000 per gig ("Would you like .tiffs with your index, sir? ... Have I told you about our chef's special - hosting platform with .tiff on demand?"). I am also seeing forensic labs unleashing technology that can query a drive based on date/key word and then mirror the results in a fashion that is ready for direct export into Summation, Concordance and others for just a few hundred per drive... The progress has been dizzying.

Where will things be in a few years from now? I can only begin to guess... I'll have to give a shout out to Jim.

posted by Alexander | 12:59 PM


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