eDiscoveryDaily

The Hybrid eDiscovery Solution: The Best Of Both Worlds

When deciding on the most efficient processes to run eDiscovery in your organization, the options are nearly limitless with hundreds of products and service providers vying for your attention.

Not all document review solutions are the same. Before you commit to your eDiscovery solution, you need to determine whether you would like to perform eDiscovery in-house, outsource it or do a bit of both.

Regardless of which path you take, CloudNine can provide you with a solution that is perfectly right-sized for you, learn more about CloudNine’s review solutions here.

What is eDiscovery Insourcing?

Insourcing is the delegation of a task or operation to a specialized unit within your organization rather than a third party. For legal service providers and large law firms, this includes both the technology used to perform legal data collection and people assigned to collect and review electronic discovery documents.

Insourcing is the traditional method for eDiscovery. Ten years ago, cloud solutions weren’t widely used for eDiscovery due to cost and the fact that most professionals were not aware or comfortable with it yet. Larger law firms invested heavily in developing an in-house infrastructure and software to process and review electronic documents.

Today, the organizations with the infrastructure already in place continue to insource their eDiscovery because it allows them to control both the cost and the data. Typically, these organizations are large law firms.

Benefits of insourcing your eDiscovery:

  • No data hosting or processing fees
  • Complete control over data collection
  • Protection from cybersecurity attacks on external parties

100% control means 100% responsibility. With this responsibility comes the cost of maintaining your eDiscovery environment which includes hiring IT professionals and updating the infrastructure regularly.

If your organization chooses to insource your eDiscovery process, you will need to hire a software company to develop your new software or hosting platform. Of course, you can avoid this if you already have a software engineer on the payroll.

In addition, your new eDiscovery software will need a robust infrastructure to support it. This requires a large investment of capital. If you already have the infrastructure in place, you may have to expand it before you are ready if your organization scales quicker than you’re prepared for.

Lastly, an insourced eDiscovery solution requires trained professionals to make it operational. Not only will you need a team of dedicated attorneys to review the documents, but you’ll need IT staff to maintain the network, software, and hosting platform.

Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of corporate legal insourcing? Check out our blog, Insourcing vs. Outsourcing Your eDiscovery Review Process.

What is eDiscovery Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the transfer of day-to-day operations of a business function or task to an external service provider. For eDiscovery, this means an outside organization is responsible for providing the technology and personnel to collect and review electronic discovery documents.

Because of the high expense associated with maintaining an in-house infrastructure, many legal organizations contract legal service providers or legal technology companies to host and process their eDiscovery documents.

This also means you do not need to keep IT staff or review attorneys on payroll full-time. Instead, your expenses are tied to a few laptops and a reliable connection to the internet.

With less investment in infrastructure, accounting becomes much easier because you’re not looking to make money back on an expensive investment. Your books and budget are simplified, only paying predictable monthly hosting and processing fees.

Other benefits to outsourcing include:

  • Up-to-date software patches to protect you from cybersecurity threats
  • Hosting and processing fees are based strictly on volume
  • Data can be culled to reduce the number of documents processed

Outsourcing means you have to frequently communicate with your legal service provider. The more you outsource, the more management you need to ensure communication is being relayed correctly and different pathways mean the odds of miscommunication increases.

Data transfer time could pose a problem if one party is suffering from a connection issue or if a hard drive has to be physically shipped to the service provider for processing.

Also, you’re dependent on the service provider’s availability. If they have a system outage or are the victim of a natural disaster, you’ll potentially lose access to your data.

A Hybrid eDiscovery Solution

For some organizations, one solution- insourcing or outsourcing- may not be suitable. Different challenges require different solutions and those that find themselves in this position can always consider adopting a hybrid eDiscovery solution.

A hybrid eDiscovery solution finds the best balance between your internal and external resources to perform specific business functions or tasks like eDiscovery collection, processing, and review.

For example, you could use insourcing to cull the data before advancing it to your outsourced processing. Or you could reserve your insourced platform to handle smaller data collections while sending larger data loads to your external service provider.

Tasks to consider for your hybrid approach include:

To determine which solution is best suited to perform each task, you need to consider these challenges for each:

  • ROI – How much will the solution cost and is it cost-effective?
  • Time – How quickly will the solution allow you to perform your eDiscovery tasks?
  • Complexity – How complex is your eDiscovery process and what risks are involved with the solution?

By recognizing your specific needs and comparing them to the benefits and drawbacks of each solution, you can determine which solution – insource, outsource, hybrid – works best for your organization.

Regardless of your decision, CloudNine can help guide you to discovering the right eDiscovery solution for you. We offer an all-in-one processing and hosting solution that you can use on-prem or through our cloud-based eDiscovery platform, giving you the option for insourcing, outsource, or hybrid.

To learn more, request a free demo and see how CloudNine can make your eDiscovery solutions more efficient and affordable.

Don’t Get Spooked by Communication Applications!

Since Halloween is approaching, it’s time to reflect on a scary part of the discovery process: handling communication applications. As a newer form of digital evidence, communication apps can be a legal team’s worst nightmare. Ephemeral messaging apps like Wickr and Signal make conversations disappear like ghosts in the night. Slack and Microsoft Teams have sunk their teeth into the communications of most corporations. Social media apps have entranced us with a spell, prompting our fingers to type a new DM or tweet every other hour. It’s easy to view these applications as monsters in the discovery process. They have revolutionized the world of e-discovery, expanding it to more than just emails and electronic files.  Whether you love them or hate them, communication apps aren’t going anywhere. In fact, their popularity is only rising. Approximately 2.5 billion people use at least one messaging app on their mobile devices. This number is expected to reach 3 billion by the end of next year. [1] Here’s another chilling statistic: in 2020, 41 million application messages were sent every minute. The volume of communication app data is frighteningly large, but its relevance is undeniable. Regardless of case type, (criminal, personal injury, defamation, etc.) litigants should consider its production. Within each channel and group chat lies a plethora of information that could make or break a case. Still afraid? Here’s a list of challenges and solutions for managing communication applications.

Understanding the missing context:

Messages sent on communication applications are often short and sent with little context. Bits and pieces of conversations might be spread out across multiple platforms and group chats. When handling a case, legal teams should identify all relevant communication platforms to connect the missing dots. Litigants should also consider deriving context from atypical sources such as emojis, liked messages, images, and GIFS. [2] These humorous icons and features can reflect the sender’s tone, a difficult thing to gather over text. Remember, images and emojis aren’t supported in all native file types, so it’s important to find an eDiscovery provider that will reconstruct the conversations. [3]

Managing large volumes of data:

Producing and reviewing voluminous data is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. By creating comprehensive retention policies, businesses can proactively determine which data types and channels should be preserved. Within the policies, companies should outline the procedures for labeling, storing, and deleting records. [4] The deletion of unneeded data lowers the risk of massive data accumulation.

Remembering each application’s retention policies:

Applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams will retain all messages unless configured otherwise. Similarly, Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger store data until the account has been deleted. [5] If the account owner deletes or unsends a message, the data will still show on the recipient’s phone. Some of these platforms contain “Recently Deleted” features that make recovery much easier. The policies for collaboration and social media applications are rather straightforward. Ephemeral messaging apps are a bit different; however, the auto-deletion features can be adjusted to the user’s discretion. Auto-deletion settings should be turned off during or in anticipation of litigation.

 

[1] Damjan Jugovic Spajic, “Text, Don’t Call: Messaging Apps Statistics for 2020,” Komando Tech, December 11, 2019.

[2] Erin Tomine, “Chat Messages and eDiscovery: How to Ease the Burden and Get the Full Picture,” Conduent, July 7, 2021.

[3] Matthew Verga, “Discovery from Slack: It’s Complicated,” Xact Data Discovery, June 19, 2020.

[4] Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh, “Electronic Discovery and Data Retention Policies,” Internet Lawyer Blog, May 18, 2020.

[5] “Data Policy,” Instagram Help Center, 2021.

eDiscovery Cost Recovery: A Case-By-Case Assessment

Cost recovery is a critical consideration to the eDiscovery services you provide. Without it, you won’t have an accurate view of your financial status. While today’s turbulent times may put your LSP under more pressure to budget your money more wisely, the truth is you’re always under pressure to make your bottom line and recover eDiscovery costs as quickly as possible. 

As an LSP, you report to clients who need to know they will receive a good ROI when they hire you. On the flip side, when you hire vendors, buy equipment, or lease software, you need to see that quick ROI as well. 

One way to accomplish this is to adopt eDiscovery software solutions that add real value to your business. To do so, you need an eDiscovery solution providing high quality service so you can collect fees from your clients before the solution costs you more than you can charge.

Consider the cost difference a few decades make:  In 1981, the price of a 1GB hard drive was $500K. Today, it’s less than $0.03. 

For eDiscovery data processing, the cost to process 1GB was $2000 just 15 years ago. We process the same data for less than $100. 

By adopting a solution like CloudNine Explore, you can keep your expenses down to offer more value through a cost-effective solution to your clients. This means they’re able to pay you quicker and more dependably so your cost recovery is easy to manage.

The On-Prem vs. Cloud Storage Dilemma 

 While there are many benefits to cloud storage, the cost isn’t as black and white as it once was. Traditionally, if you rented a server versus purchasing one, your initial investment was cheaper. 

Renting a server may be a smart investment if you have no plans to utilize the server long-term. However, as you continue to rent that server, the costs are going to add up, costing you more than if you just purchased the server.  

Renting data storage space from a provider today can be just as expensive as purchasing a new server because providers typically do everything to ensure the server is up-to-date and backed up. While this does make cloud servers a little more robust, you’ll be paying for that service which makes it more expensive from day one. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to securely upload and store relevant data in a single on-prem server. This allows you to have more access and control over your data while lowering your data storage costs. 

Providing Value with eDiscovery System Speed and Accessibility

Speed means everything in eDiscovery. The faster you import the data, the quicker you can move from processing to storage and review. One of the keys to shorter processing time is the use of automation – the greater the automation, the higher the output. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to use automation and leverage multithreading technology so you can use all available processors within the machine to get the most efficiency out of it. 

That’s incredibly useful as oftentimes LSPs utilize unused surplus equipment they have in their inventory to run eDiscovery processing. CloudNine Explore is a great solution in this scenario because it’s flexible and compatible enough to be used on older technology. This reduces the need to buy new equipment. 

Infrastructure Costs and Document Review Services

Infrastructure requirements vary from software to software. Many of the available eDiscovery solutions on the market are complicated and rigid.  And, providers didn’t build their platform with eDiscovery in mind. They built it for other purposes but eventually, they reassigned it to handle eDiscovery. This leaves them with too many restrictive and complicated requirements on their infrastructure. 

The infrastructure supporting CloudNine Explore wasn’t forced to be something it wasn’t. It allows CloudNine Explore to run on anything from simple laptops to state-of-the-art servers. It runs best on a server with some serious horsepower, but it’s still friendly enough to give you the ability to process and cull with less infrastructure investment – whether that’s in the cloud or on your server.  

An eDiscovery software that provides you with the infrastructure flexibility, gets your LSP one step closer to recovering costs quickly.  Learn how to boost margins even more in our eBook here.

Reducing eDiscovery File Size

Many of our competitors offer filtering technology allowing you to reduce your data file size. The only problem is how they’re able to filter your data. Most often, you have to send them the data first, only to cull it down later. Regardless of the smaller file size, you still have to pay to process the entire data file upfront. 

CloudNine Explore allows you to filter and organize the data upfront, culling unnecessary files so you can process only the data you want. This gives you the flexibility and power to control the processing and upfront storage costs. 

Some common filter types include:

  • File type – This lets you focus on specific file types like .doc, .csv, .pdf, .mov or .m4a.
  • Domain – This allows you to search emails to find the ones sent by a specific domain source.
  • Language – This filters documents containing specific languages. Explore currently supports 144 languages including Unicode characters like Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Cyrillic. 

Breaking Down eDiscovery Software Costs

CloudNine Explore has lower software costs for the simple reason that we developed them with a lower price point in mind. Also, we offer loyalty discounts to our clients when they renew their license agreements. We also discount prices when you bundle Explore with other CloudNine solutions like Review.  

While CloudNine is less expensive than a lot of our competition, in the end, it’s all about how you use the solutions. The more efficiently you use the tool, the more value you get out of it and that’s what matters most. 

To see how Explore can help your LSP recover costs quicker and more effectively, schedule a free demo with CloudNine today.

Insourcing Vs. Outsourcing Your eDiscovery Review Process

While eDiscovery may seem a tedious process, it’s critically important to your courtroom success!  A ruling may be made solely on the content found in one corporate executive’s email.   The requisite rests in the confidence of a trusted system to collect and review relevant documents so both sides can build their case. 

However, when it comes to processing the data collection, many organizations differ on the best method for eDiscovery

Whether you decide to insource or outsource your eDiscovery, CloudNine Review is made can assist you in closing cases quickly. 

Discovering The Differences Between Insourcing and Outsourcing eDiscovery

Insourcing is defined as the delegation of operations or tasks within an organization to an internal unit. This refers to both the technology and the people performing the tasks. 

Outsourcing is when you transfer the day-to-day responsibility of those tasks outside your organization to an external service provider. This external service provider provides both the technology and the personnel required to perform the tasks. 

Depending on your organization’s core competencies and business model, insourcing may not be the best choice to handle your eDiscovery tasks. For example, law firms do not focus on providing technology solutions to their clients, so it may be difficult to justify the financial commitment of building an entire infrastructure and hiring a technology team.

However, many organizations may still prefer to insource their eDiscovery. Ten years ago, cloud services were still in their infancy so insourcing was the only real option. While small and mid-sized organizations struggled, larger firms invested in the infrastructure needed to win their cases.

Today, those with the infrastructure still in place choose to contain insourcing because it’s already paid off, which means no additional hosting or processing fees. But for new organizations just getting on their feet, investing in eDiscovery infrastructure may be a costly risk.  Maintaining infrastructure is costly for organizations with internal eDiscovery resources as well.  A cloud-based solution reduces the cost burden for new and established organizations seeking eDiscovery solutions.

How Insourcing and Outsourcing eDiscovery Affects Your ROI

For firms that insource their eDiscovery review, there’s a huge investment of money and time into making an eDiscovery environment a viable solution, such as:

  • Infrastructure Development
  • System Maintenance
  • IT Support Staff
  • Review Attorneys

When you outsource your eDiscovery process, you only pay on a per-project basis.

When you insource your eDiscovery process, you are paying to keep your infrastructure running and up-to-date on the latest technologies, which will require maintenance and labor. With ransomware hackers running rampant, labor shortages from COVID-19, and necessary system upgrades to keep your network from crashing, costs can become erratic and drastically change from month to month. 

Outsourcing makes it easier for your law firm to control costs since you are only concerned with paying for what you need when the cases come along.

The success of your eDiscovery review process lies in your ability to recover costs quickly, learn how to optimize your cost recovery in our eBook, which you can download here.

Are the Benefits of Insourcing Worth the Cost?

When it comes down to it, there’s really only one primary benefit to insourcing your eDiscovery review. It gives you complete and total control over your data processing. You do not have to worry about where your data is being stored or if you can access it on your schedule. It’s on-prem and ready whenever you need it. 

Let’s consider insourcing from a financial standpoint. If you want to develop your own insourced eDiscovery solution, this is what you’re looking at: 

  • The profit margins for hosting and processing fees have eroded significantly in the past 10 years. It used to cost $500 to process a single gigabyte of data. Today, it’s only around $30.
  • You will probably have to develop a custom piece of software or build a new hosting platform, which means you will need to hire at least one developer if you don’t have one on the payroll already. And according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a software developer is around $108,000 a year. This doesn’t include the additional burdens on IT to keep the system up-to-date and secure.
  • Of course, you could hire a software development company to develop new software or hosting platform but that won’t be cheap, either. It’ll be somewhere in the range of $50K and $250K
  • And don’t forget about the legal team you’ll need to assemble to do the actual eDiscovery review. 

Overall, you’re looking at a hefty investment. There may not  be enough financial incentive to justify spending the money to develop your own internal infrastructure. 

An Outsourced eDiscovery Solution That Makes Financial Sense

CloudNine Review offers outsourcing eDiscovery solutions that are fast, easy to use, and, most important, cost-efficient. Simply upload your documents and begin the review process in minutes, earning yourself an impressive ROI with these benefits:

  • Unlimited Users: Unlike other eDiscovery providers, we don’t charge you for every single user you add to the database. It’s a flat fee, allowing you the freedom to add as many users as you need.
  • Flexible Infrastructure: Our network is designed to handle hard-working organizations like yours. Our infrastructure can support a thousand attorneys reviewing the same data collection simultaneously. If you wanted to do that in-house, you’d be investing a lot of time and money to spin up the additional infrastructure to handle it. 
  • No Long-Term Contracts: Just pay for your eDiscovery services at a month-to-month rate. No hidden agendas or commitments. 

There’s also no difference in the quality or legality of documents collected and reviewed, as the processes are the same. The only difference is who did the work – an in-house group or a trusted provider like CloudNine. 

If you’re ready to hand over your internal eDiscovery tasks to a dedicated company that specializes in streamlining your discovery, investigation, and audit processes, reach out to CloudNine and request a free demo today.

The Discoverability of IoT Devices

What are IoT Devices

The Internet has transformed the way we conduct daily chores. Simple objects such as fridges, watches, doorbells, and washing machines can now be connected to secure networks. This technology is quick, efficient, and the perfect replacement for manual tasks. Whenever the user is within range and connected to WiFi, IoT devices can be used to turn on the lights, preheat the oven, and more. But what exactly is the definition of an IoT device? IoT is shorthand for the Internet of Things, a term used to describe physical objects that transmit data through wireless networks. [1] Fortunately for legal teams, IoT devices are effective in the courtroom as well as the home.

IoT Devices in Court

  • Four years ago in Arkansas, data from an Amazon Echo was used to investigate the death of Victor Collins. When Collins was found dead in his hot tub, his friend James Bates was charged with first-degree murder and evidence tampering. The charges were later dismissed due to reasonable doubt amongst the court. Unfortunately, news sources haven’t disclosed what the voice recordings revealed. [2]
  • After Timothy Burke was accused of shooting his brother, the prosecutor requested the admittance of audios from a Ring doorbell. The defendant objected to its admittance, claiming that it violated New York’s wiretapping and eavesdropping law. The objection was overruled. [3]
  • In an aggravated arson and insurance fraud case, Ross Compton’s guilt was proven by his pacemaker. The man claimed that he packed up his belongings and threw them out the window after discovering the fire. Medical examiners concluded that the pacemaker’s heart rate and cardiac rhythm data disproved Compton’s claims. [4]
  • In State of Wisconsin v. Burch, the defendant was accused of killing her boyfriend. However, the charges were dropped after Fitbit data revealed that Burch had only taken 12 steps in the hours before the death. [5]

Key Considerations

  • Legal teams should explain the significance of IoT data to their clients and evaluate any IoT devices that might be useful.
  • During (or in the prospect of) litigation, disable auto-deletion features on IoT devices.
  • Investigate the reliability of the device’s data.
  • Assess the accessibility of IoT data and the cost of its production. [6]

Conclusion

IoT devices are too valuable to be overlooked in litigation. As demonstrated by the aforementioned court cases, IoT data is quite useful in criminal cases. However, its utility doesn’t stop there. IoT data can also play a significant part in personal injury claims, family law, IP litigation, and more. It would be remiss of litigants to ignore IoT devices during the discovery process. Instead, litigants should consider the relevance and proportionality of IoT devices when drafting their ESI protocol.

 

[1] Brian Morrison and Joann Militano, “E-Discovery for IoT Devices: Primer for Representing Individual Clients,” New York Law Journal, February 1, 2021, https://advance.lexis.com/api/document?collection=legalnews&id=urn:contentItem:61X0-8FG1-JBM3-R471-00000-00&context=1516831.

[2] Erik De La Garza, “Charges Dropped in Amazon Echo Murder Case,” Courthouse News Service, November 29, 2017, https://www.courthousenews.com/charges-dropped-in-amazon-echo-murder-case/

[3] Kimberley Haas, “Judge: Audio from Ring doorbell can be used as evidence in Rochester shooting case,” New Hampshire Union Leader, March 5, 2020, https://www.unionleader.com/news/crime/judge-audio-from-ring-doorbell-can-be-used-as-evidence-in-rochester-shooting-case/article_ee1ddcd1-b193-5ec9-ad9b-08c22fbcdc2f.html

[4] Debra Cassens Weiss, “Data on Man’s Pacemaker Led to His Arrest on Arson Charges,” ABA Journal, February 16, 2017, https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/data_on_mans_pacemaker_led_to_his_arrest_on_arson_charges

[5] Greg Goth. “Can Wearables Testify Against Their Owners?” IEEE Spectrum, Sept. 27, 2021, https://spectrum.ieee.org/wearable-data-court

[6] Briar Morrison and Joann Militano, “E-Discovery for IoT Devices: Primer for Representing Individual Clients.”

Improve Data Processing Efficiency, One File At A Time

One of the keys to success for any great legal service provider (LSP) is to reduce as many inefficiencies from your operations as possible. 

While there are several areas where you can make marked improvements, data processing can provide you with a great ROI so you can be more efficient and offer improved service levels to your clients. 

Common Inefficiency Challenges for Your LSP’s Data Processing

When it comes down to it, any eDiscovery process that takes unnecessary time or adds costs hurts your LSP. A few of the more common inefficiencies that affect your business include:

  • Overly-expensive data storage costs
  • Slow handoff time between steps in the eDiscovery process
  • Workflows that include too many unnecessary steps

However, one major inefficiency that doesn’t get mentioned enough is the thoroughness or depth of your data processing solution. 

Some data processing software has been found to miss as much as 3% of the files provided. We are not talking about junk embedded files but Word, PowerPoint, PDFs, Excel, etc. When you think of it as only 3 out of 100, it doesn’t seem that detrimental. However, when you consider that your LSP may have to process more than a million files, you’re now missing tens of thousands of documents.

The reason this happens is data processing software doesn’t go deep enough when extracting and indexing files. 

For example, you may have an email with a PowerPoint presentation attached. Your software will most likely pull both of these with no issues. The problem comes when you have a document embedded in that PowerPoint presentation. That last document isn’t extracted which means it’s not indexed or searchable. 

With a data processing software that does not provide your LSP with the value you need, your clients take note. Learn how you can grow your organization sustainably without sacrificing quality in our eBook: 4 Ways Legal Service Providers Can Built Value & Boost Margins.

How Data Processing Inefficiencies Impact Your LSP 

Data processing inefficiencies can lead to some major challenges to your LSP operations. They slow down your workflows, tie up key personnel that could be focusing their energies elsewhere and cost you money. 

Additionally, if your data processing solution doesn’t go deep enough and extract 100% of the files you’ve received through your eDiscovery services, you’re opening your LSP up to three primary risks:

  • Missing critical data that could either help or hinder your clients’ litigation
  • Neglecting to share requested data resulting in sanctions 
  • Inadvertently sharing privileged information with unauthorized parties

Any of these scenarios can negatively affect how you run your business while potentially damaging your reputation and your relationship with your clients. 

How to Make Your LSP Data Processing More Efficient

One of the easier ways to make your data processing more efficient is to simply streamline your workflow processes by following best practices:

  • Establish your settings/tagging procedures upfront
  • Make sure you have enough data storage and human resources for your machine/workflow
  • Allow for compound document extraction
  • Allow for language analysis
  • Get automated OCRs
  • Establish family relationships between the data 

In CloudNine Explore, you can create workflow processes that perform all of these tasks during the initial upload so the data is extracted, indexed, and prepared for the next step faster and with more automation. 

You just set up the tasks you want to perform and create the case. Automation handles the rest. This cuts out an unnecessary and irrelevant manual intervention that slows down the process and ties you to slow and cumbersome tasks. 

Plus, you can rest assured that CloudNine Explore will be thorough, so you don’t miss out on any important or critical documents. Then you can convert everything to text or OCR, index it all for search and cull the data so you have a more streamlined data collection. 

You shouldn’t be constrained by your data processing software. With CloudNine Explore, you can build unique workflows that leverage the automation so you can have full control over your workflow, using the software in new, inventive ways. This allows you to save time and money to explore new, revenue-generating ventures like offering improved levels of services. 

Discover what CloudNine Explore can do for your LSP, learn more about our eDiscovery engine here.

Using Data Processing to Offer Better LSP Service Levels

While your LSP may have launched offering a simple eDiscovery solution like data processing, there’s an opportunity to grow your business by offering additional services to your clients. 

Some LSPs perform data processing but outsource their document review services to 3rd parties. By doing so, you quickly lose control of the data and give away revenue that you can easily keep in-house. By controlling the data processing and review, you control the project, the timeline, and the costs. 

Ready or not, it’s time to up your offering and make your data processing more efficient. Discover how CloudNine offers the best eDiscovery software to help you save time and increase your revenue; schedule a free demo today.

 

The Risks and Benefits of Ephemeral Messages

What are Ephemeral Messages?

In the corporate world, Gmail, Microsoft Teams, and Slack are the most common forms of communication. Though these platforms are traditional and efficient, they create privacy and storage challenges. Ephemeral messages counteract these issues by disappearing shortly after the recipient has read the message. [1]

Platforms with disappearing messages:

  • Snapchat
  • Signal
  • Wickr
  • Cover Me
  • Confide
  • Telegram
  • Hash
  • WhatsApp
  • DingTalk

Court Cases Involving Ephemeral Messaging

  • Waymo, LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc.: In this trade secrets case, Uber’s usage of Wickr and Telegram became a discovery headache. The judge granted both parties the opportunity to argue for or against the relevance of the messages. Thus, the case’s focus shifted from trade secrets to unrecoverable conversations. [2]
  • WeRide Corp v. Huang: After the defendant was accused of intellectual property theft, they took several measures to destroy communication evidence. One of those measures included communicating through DingTalk after the preliminary injunction. Since the messages were destroyed and post-injunction, terminating sanctions were issued. [3]
  • Herzig v. Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc.: In this age discrimination case, the plaintiffs started using Signal after receiving preservation orders. The judge noted that the plaintiffs manually configured the deletion settings; thus, the case was dismissed for intentional spoliation. [4]

Weighing the Risks and Benefits

Through automated deletion, ephemeral messaging apps eliminate issues concerning data volume. Smaller amounts of data provide greater security from data leaks and reductions in storage costs. Despite these benefits, ephemeral messages are a risky form of communication because they increase the likelihood of spoliation. [5] Spoliation sanctions can range from monetary payments to case dismissal. [6]

Best Practices for Preservation

  • Automated deletion settings should be shut off as soon as a complaint is filed.
  • Create comprehensive policies on managing ephemeral messages. These policies should outline legitimate reasons for the app’s usage, retention information, and destruction guidelines.
  • Train employees on ephemeral messaging etiquette in the workplace.
  • Monitor and document company usage of ephemeral messaging apps. [7]

[1] Dennis Kiker, “Now you see it, now you don’t: Ephemeral messaging may lead to sanctions,” DLA Piper, June 8, 2020, https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2020/06/now-you-see-it-now-you-dont-ephemeral-messaging-may-lead-to-sanctions/

[2] Robert M. Wilkins, “Client Litigation Risks When Using Ephemeral Messaging Apps,” Jones Foster, March 5, 2020, https://jonesfoster.com/our-perspective/pbcba-messaging-app-article

[3] Philip Favro, “INSIGHT: California Case Offers Warnings on Ephemeral Messaging,” Bloomberg Law, June 1, 2020, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/esg/insight-california-case-offers-warnings-on-ephemeral-messaging

[4] Scott Sakiyama, “This Message Will Self-Destruct in 5 Seconds,” Corporate Compliance Insights, March 26, 2020, https://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/self-destruct-ephemeral-messaging/

[5] Rebecca Cronin, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Ephemeral Messaging,” JD Supra, May 18, 2021, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-lawyer-s-guide-to-ephemeral-messaging-4360652/

[6] Michael W. Mitchell and Edward Roche, “Lessons Learned: Destroying Relevant Evidence Can Be Catastrophic in Litigation,” Smith Anderson, https://www.smithlaw.com/resources-publications-1673

[7] Thomas J. Kelly, “The Rise of Ephemeral Messaging Apps in the Business Word,” National Law Review, April 23, 2019, https://www.natlawreview.com/article/rise-ephemeral-messaging-apps-business-world

Five Features to Look for in an eDiscovery Review Solution

When considering which legal document review platform to implement, there are many features and functions to take into consideration, in addition to key stakeholders’ opinions. Commonly, the biggest challenges encountered during eDiscovery review include unpredictable pricing and poor training support.

As the cost of document review can range from $10,000 to upwards of $1 million in annual fees, it’s critical to select an experienced vendor with demonstrated strengths in performance abilities including:

  1. Speed
  2. Real-Time Tracking
  3. Support & Training
  4. Flexibility
  5. Return on Investment

Before you choose your next eDiscovery review solution, consider five advantages of CloudNine Review to help your law firm operate more efficiently.

Ready to see our five prerequisites for an efficient eDiscovery review process in action? Book a CloudNine Review demo today.

Legal Document Review Made Possible with Expedited Processing

The faster your eDiscovery solution, the quicker you’ll understand the case.   Knowing the facts before the other side can have a huge benefit, especially on your initial discovery call or at a deposition. In addition, eDiscovery speed can help you:

  • Reduce your spending
  • File faster 
  • Settle sooner

CloudNine Review provides the type of speed to change an entire case strategy by shortening the path to critical case data. 

As a self-service, on-demand application, CloudNine Review let’s you start your project any time, any where. With remote document review, you can even use your smartphone or tablet, with a simple, easy-to-use interface.  The result enables you to accelerate your timeline, review documents on the fly, and control basic or complex productions. 

Real-Time Tracking Is Pivotal For eDiscovery Firms

By determining the number of documents you process every hour, you can project your potential spend for the case and staff up or down, depending on your specific needs at the time. You can also establish a timeline and the confidence to hit important critical dates. Real-time tracking is a critical function of the review process allowing you to track progress and manage your budget accurately throughout.

By tracking changes in real-time, CloudNine Review displays updates as they occur so everyone sees the change immediately. If you’re worried about users overriding each other, don’t be. With full auditing on both the document level and system level, you’ll know who made the last changes and if it’s part of a pattern. 

And, with visibility to track individual users, you’ll gain insights to how your team is using Review.  For example, if a specific user is tagging documents incorrectly, you can turn the data into a coaching moment so your team knows what they’re looking for and how to process it. 

Support & Training: Providing eDiscovery Teams the Support They Need

We know how frustrating it can be to operate a software solution without support or training.   For this reason, CloudNine Review offers both Self-Service and Self-Service Plus to our clients.

With our Self-Service model, you have access to a service resource to lend aid if you are stuck.

The Self-Service Plus model allows you to leverage our entire services team and the hands-on support to load, review and prepare your data for production. 

CloudNine also provides both live and on-demand training which includes video tutorials. With the live training, you have access to both user and admin training courses. With a concentrated course outline, our average user training usually lasts 30-60 minutes so you’ll be able to get started on your first case in no time. For users with previous experience in review applications, you may not even need to go through our full training before you’re able to get to work. 

With your eDiscovery team trained and ready, you are one step closer to optimizing your eDiscovery cost recovery. Discover how you can create a more profitable review process in our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery.

Flexibility With A Cloud-Based eDiscovery Software — Built With Your Team In Mind

CloudNine offers a uniquely flexible solution to help you take advantage of both cloud-based processing and on-prem storage. This flexibility is helpful when litigation is paused or delayed.  And, since costs to store data in the cloud can get expensive for both your firm and clients, you can move your data to on-prem storage thereby removing the potential for high hosting fees charged by other cloud-based eDiscovery software solutions. 

Reviewing large datasets can be tough when you don’t have an easy way to break them down. Custom batching can help you break large datasets into smaller and more manageable batches you can then assign to your team. This helps you get through the documents faster and prevents documents from being reviewed by multiple users. 

Advanced reporting also helps you be more efficient by tracking user progress including monitoring the average documents reviewed per hour. If the average is 75 with only one person reviewing 250 documents an hour, this indicates an area for improvement.  A quick investigation might reveal their dataset included an excessive amount of logo files or they may not fully comprehend their task and need more specific instructions. 

eDiscovery Review Software Providing the ROI You Need

It’s important to remember no matter what you do, your law firm is still a business and it needs to be run in an efficient and effective manner.

CloudNine offers an all-inclusive subscription with everything you need for a successful eDiscovery review.

  • Data Processing
  • Data Filtering
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Review Sets
  • Customer Batching
  • Data Storage
  • Technical Support
  • Certified Training

However, we recognize there are times your caseload might not fit into our traditional model. That’s why we offer a flexible pricing model to help when you have longer-duration cases with heavier upfront work. To determine which pricing model works best for you, there are three things we consider:

  • The expected level of filtering
  • Duration of the case
  • Number of documents expected for review

While some cases require a review of every single document, others only pull documents filtered through a very specific targeted term. Knowing which helps us guide you to the right pricing plan. 

When choosing the eDiscovery review solution that best suits your needs, remember that CloudNine Review always delivers speedy processing, real-time tracking, support, training, flexibility, and return on investment. 

If you’re ready to see how it can help you, request a free demo today.

Problems and Solutions for Slack Discovery

The Discoverability of Slack

As people turned to remote work in 2020, collaboration apps became a prevalent form of communication. Slack was so popular that some considered it to be the “new email.” Though some legal teams refute its discoverability, the FRCP intentionally established a broad definition of ESI to accommodate new data types. From corporate files to humorous GIFS and standard channel messages, Slack is a medium for large quantities of information. Thus, the application fits the requirements for discoverable digital evidence.[1] Accessing and producing that information, however, can present several challenges.

Production Problems

  1. Hundreds of Slack messages are sent every day.

Medium and large-scale corporations with active Slack users easily send over 100,000 Slack messages per month. Additionally, Slack generates a new file per day for each channel. Examinations of big data are slow and expensive. By proactively identifying specific channels to preserve, litigants can reduce production costs and time.[2]

  1. Slack is only one of many hosts for decentralized communications.

Nowadays, a single conversation can span multiple platforms. For example, if an employee asks their boss a question through email, they may hold a Zoom meeting to discuss it. After the Zoom meeting, they might use Slack to address any follow-up questions. Since the conversation was spread out, the snippet captured on Slack will lack the full context.

  1. Deciphering Slack exports can be difficult.

Slack messages are exported through JSON files, a format that’s a bit hard to understand. Additionally, the files don’t visually display media such as emojis and GIFS. In response to this problem, legal teams may opt to use screenshots as an alternative production method. However, the application only allows users to view and sort through the most recent 10,000 messages.[3]

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Educate your employees or legal team about Slack’s retention policies.
  • If possible, consider upgrading to Slack’s premium version so that there is no message history limit.
  • Find an eDiscovery solution that will export Slack data in a thorough and understandable format.
  • Avoid preserving unneeded data by identifying which channels are more important than others.[4]

 

[1] Peter Callaghan, “Is Slack Content Discoverable? Yes It (Definitely) Is,” Pagefreezer, https://blog.pagefreezer.com/slack-content-is-discoverable

[2] Matthew Verga, “Discovery from Slack: It’s Complicated,” Xact Data Discovery, June 19, 2020, https://xactdatadiscovery.com/articles/discovery-from-slack-its-complicated/

[3] James Murphy, “The Shark in the Wave: Revealing the Lurking Danger of Slack Data,” Corporate Compliance Insights, June 17, 2019, https://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/the-shark-in-the-wave-revealing-the-lurking-danger-of-slack-data/

[4] James Murphy, “The Shark in the Wave: Revealing the Lurking Danger of Slack Data.”

Data Processing: The Key To Expanding Your LSP’s Bottom Line

Ask any legal service provider (LSP) about how they can increase their revenue and you’ll undoubtedly get a variety of answers, such as:

  • Go paperless
  • Use different fee structures
  • Fire non paying clients
  • Automate labor intensive tasks

While opportunities vary depending on a variety of factors, one consistent challenge you might come across is setting aside the time to explore any new possibilities. Freeing up time will allow your LSP to grow in new and unexpected ways and give your organization the flexibility to adapt to unforeseen demands.

All you have to do is find ways to increase your productivity and the easiest way to do this is through new technology. In fact, many law firms are already headed in this direction:

  • 53% of law firms think technology will boost their revenue by allowing them to offer better services.
  • 65% of law firms increased their technology investments in 2019.
  • 25% of tech budgets were allocated to ‘innovative technologies.’

Where’s the best place to start?  Simple. You need to streamline your data processing workflows.

 

Common Data Processing Challenges You Might Encounter

Not all data processing tools are designed equally. There are some that present their own unique challenges that could hinder your ability to meet your true potential.

In order to streamline and free up your LSP’s time, keep the following in mind when looking at potential data processing tools:

  • Can you edit and add newly discovered fields?
    • Having the flexibility to edit and add newly discovered fields will prevent your team from having to review data over and over again.
  • Should every piece of data be pushed to the review platform?
    • If every piece of data is pushed to the eDiscovery review platform, your LSP may have to pay higher hosting fees.
  • Is the data stored in a public cloud-based environment?
    • Storing data in the public cloud could cause your organization to lose control of the data and hosting costs.
  • Can you filter out data with a true NIST list?
    • This provides your organization insight into another level of data that doesn’t need to be reviewed, and sometimes, can be used to inflate your case.

Some companies charge $15 per GB per month to host your data in a public cloud environment. That doesn’t give you much room to work with when offering the best deal with your clients.

The alternative? Hosting your data in the private cloud allows you to have more control over hosting costs, which allows you to boost your bottom line. Having a data management tool in place will grant your LSP the data control and security you need.  For even more ways to build value with CloudNine, download our eBook: 4 Ways Legal Service Providers Can Build Value and Boost Margins.

The Perks of Being an Efficient Data Processing Tool

Storing your raw data on-prem or in a private cloud lets you control your hosting costs, often dropping the cost down to less than $1 per GB per month. This allows you to reasonably mark up your hosting costs, boosting your bottom line while still providing good value for your clients.

Determining the efficiency of a data processing tool comes down to two factors:

  1. How you’re using the eDiscovery tool
  2. Your data size

The more data you have, the longer it will take to process. Setting up your data processing engine to perform top-level culls removes duplicative or irrelevant data before your even begin. This cuts down on the amount of data pushed further down the line within the workflow.

An efficient data processing tool allows for more automation, allowing you to work on other tasks and optimizing your employee’s time on the clock.

A truly efficient tool allows you to set alerts that let you or the next person in the workflow know when processing is complete. This means you don’t have to have anyone sitting there, watching and waiting for the system to complete its task.

 

How CloudNine Explore Can Save You Time and Money

In many cases, CloudNine Explore saves you approximately 30% of your costs associated with the interaction between your data and your team. If you are asking how that is possible, we break down 4 money-saving tips in our latest eBook.

Through our data culling functionality that removes duplicate data points, we reduce the amount of data you send to review.

Plus, other platforms make a copy of your data as you expand it, creating duplicative and irrelevant data that you have to pay to store. In CloudNine Explore, your data is only expanded after it’s culled and filtered, removing irrelevant data along the way. It’s only then that your data is copied and exported to your review platform.

By reducing this initial data size, you save hosting costs and time further down the workflow process.

  • Analyze your data quicker
  • Process your data more efficiently
  • Speed up decision-making processes

If you’re ready to utilize eDiscovery law software to improve your data process efficiencies so you have more time and money to explore new, alternative revenue streams, let CloudNine help you. Sign up for our free demo today.