Software as a Service (SaaS)

JSON is not a document, it is data… and lots of it!

By:  Trent Livingston

Modern eDiscovery deals with much more than just documents. In 2020, people created 1.7 MB of data every second, and most of that data was likely stored in a database. Now, newer applications like Facebook, Twitter, Slack are storing copious amounts of data ranging from tweets, wall posts, and chats.

Many of these artifacts are stored with complementary data that can include file links, reactions (such as “likes”), and even geolocation information. Accessing this modern data in order to leverage it for a discovery request often requires some sort of archive process from the originating application, and that is when JSON enters the picture.

JSON stands for “JavaScript Object Notation”, but that doesn’t mean you need to know how to write JavaScript (or any code for that matter)!  If you’ve ever dealt with discovery surrounding any of the aforementioned applications, you’ve likely come across a few JSON files. In a nutshell, think of JSON as a relational spreadsheet where one column of data in one tab of your spreadsheet is defined by another column of data in another tab in another spreadsheet.

For example, you might have a column called “Address” in a spreadsheet and that column contains a series of numeric “id” values that reference another tab in that same spreadsheet. In this secondary tab, each address is broken down into values for that address that may include things like “country”, “zip”, or “street”.  All those values that have the same “id” belong to the “address” reference in the previous tab. Simply put, this is structured data. JSON data is no different. However, JSON can contain a multitude of data structures varying from simple to complex.

The problem with JSON is while there are multiple JSON viewers and formatters online, they do not understand the defined data structures within.  Each platform defines these data structures differently, and while the vehicle may be the same, the defined structure is usually different from application to application (as well as the application’s version).  Therefore, the data within the JSON often comes out in an unexpected format when using a generic formatting tool, and the relationships between the data are often lost or jumbled. (By the way, you should never use any online “free” tool to format potentially confidential or privileged information).

Therefore, it is important to work with someone who understands JSON as an eDiscovery data source.  A single JSON file just a few megabytes in size may represent hundreds, if not thousands of messages, contain numerous links to files, as well as key data relevant to your investigation or litigation. Contained within a JSON file could be any number of nested data formats, including:

  • Strings: a sequence of zero or more Unicode characters, which could include emojis in a Unicode format, usernames, or an actual text message.
  • Numbers: a numeric value that can represent a date, intrinsic value, id, or potentially a true/false value represented as “1” or “0”.
  • Objects: a series or collection of one or more data points represented as named value pairs that create meaning as a whole, such as longitude, latitude, elevation, rate of speed, and direction that make up the components of a device’s location.
  • Arrays: a collection of values or elements of the same type that can be individually referenced by using an index to a unique identifier, such as the choices of a color of a car on a website or a set of canned response values listed in a software chat application.

The thing to remember is the JSON file is actually one big “object”, which is the parent to all of the named value pairs beneath it.  Within this object, you can have more objects that contain numbers, strings, arrays, and yet even more objects. Confused yet?

Not to worry! It is understandable that all this JSON data can quickly become a source of frustration!  The question that remains is, “How do I make sense of all of this structured data and present it for review in a reasonably usable format?” 

Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure you do not overlook JSON as part of your electronic discovery protocol
  2. Leverage an experienced team to help you understand the JSON output
    • Document the source application whenever possible (some JSON include access keys that can expire or be terminated at any time, such as Slack)
    • Preserve the JSON file as you would any other evidentiary data source
    • Document the chain of custody for the JSON file (originating application and version of that application, who conducted the export, as well as any access keys that may be transitory or temporary and their date of expiration)
    • Treat each JSON file and associated content as a potential source of PII, confidential, and/or privileged information given the breadth of data that each may contain
  3. Work with a team and a product that can parse, ingest, and subsequently present JSON data in a usable format for review and production

While there is not an off-the-shelf solution for every JSON file in existence, CloudNine ESI Analyst is a platform designed for the multitude of data types that can be extracted from just about any JSON file out there. Many of which can be easily mapped to a data type construct within our SaaS application that allows for presentation, review, and production in a reasonably usable format.

Contact us today for a demonstration and further detail!

Three Use Cases to Navigate Modern Data in eDiscovery

In litigation, knowing the full picture is the only way to effectively represent your clients. The only problem is most of the story is often stored on electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, or tablets.

While eDiscovery can be dated back to 1981 and the first substantial use of email in litigation (Governors of United State Postal Service v. United States Postal Rate Commission), integrating newer, modern data types like text messages, computer activity, and financial data, has been a bit more challenging. These challenges relate back to how eDiscovery has historically worked and why modern data sources don’t fit nicely into that process. 

When eDiscovery was introduced with email and electronic documents as the primary source of information, simple messages and documents were sufficient to tell the story in a linear document review workflow. But, with sophisticated technology like Slack, chat applications and smartphone messaging where communications occur in real time, the conversion to documents for review hinders a proper evidence analysis.

Making sense of all that data only works when it is presented in the way it was originally communicated. The old documentation process simply doesn’t provide the insight you need to leverage modern data in litigation.

Case Study 1: Tackling Disparate Modern Data from Multiple Sources

No matter how small or large your case is, reviewing modern data can be challenging. Between smartphones, laptops, social media apps, and other connected devices, there’s a plethora of data to sift through to find the evidence you need to support your case. This process becomes even more complicated when the data is presented through the lens of traditional eDiscovery meaning, in traditional document format. What once worked for simple electronic communications no longer tells the whole story within complex, real-time and editable messaging technologies like WhatsApp, Slack and social media.

So what happens when you have to produce data from hundreds of international sources, and need it to tell the story of what actually happened? Let’s look at a case study of a construction company who had to do exactly that.

The Problem:

One of the largest construction companies in the world required the collection of modern data from 300 international sources. While the sheer number of sources was a challenge in itself, the real difficulty was working with disparate data from so many different sources.

Each business unit within the company used different technology so data had to be collected from a vast number of sources – local desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and backup servers.

Plus, because so many BYOD devices were used, legal, data privacy, IT, and risk & compliance departments had to be consulted throughout the collection and review process to ensure no U.S. or international privacy laws were broken.

The Solution:

Ultimately, our client needed to understand who said or did what, and when. Basic documents with communications from readily available sources wouldn’t be enough, because they couldn’t easily identify the critical timeline of events or the intentions of each party. In the end, CloudNine ESI’s actor normalization function was the key to finding the evidence needed.

The Results:

By matching specific individuals to different aliases and phone numbers, attorneys were able to identify a handful of photos shared from the vast amount of data collected that proved the construction company was at fault. These photos were presented to the court in the form of inline bubble messaging that was easy to read and view.  To learn more about this use case, click here.

Case Study 2: Overcoming the Personal Device eDiscovery Challenge

There’s an expected, inherent trust between a company and its employees which means employees typically won’t do work that’s a conflict of interest with their current employer. Unfortunately, that trust is sometimes broken by actors that take advantage of their position.

The Problem:

When a heavy equipment manager became the target of a moonlighting case that cost his company money, attorneys were discouraged when they couldn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing. There were no documents, emails, or invoices to be found through traditional eDiscovery.

The Solution:

Fortunately, the key to the case was the manager’s smartphone.

By gaining access to his phone, attorneys were able to secure tens of thousands of text messages directly related to the case. This helped them discover how he operated his illegal side hustle. They also learned he was sharing confidential, copyrighted, and proprietary information through photos sent via text message.

The Results:

Through CloudNine ESI Analyst, attorneys were able to create conversation threads which were easy to review and produce. These threads not only helped them identify other involved parties, but let them produce messages, including embedded images, videos, GIFs, and emojis.

Without the ability to review and analyze the bad actor’s smartphone data, the case likely would not have gone forward.  

To learn more about this use case, click here.

Case Study 3: Protecting Company Data with Modern eDiscovery

The average American holds 12 jobs in their lifetime so it’s safe to say you will lose employees from time to time. Whether purposeful or accidental, the odds are good their personal devices will contain confidential or proprietary information when they walk through the door for the final time.

So what if you could examine their devices and remove all sensitive material before they left?

The Problem:

An employee spent six months working from home on a personal laptop before announcing his resignation to work for a competitor. If the employee was allowed to leave without a device review, he’d likely be leaving with documents that would benefit both him and his new employer.

Whether he would ever used those documents or not, chances are he’d find himself in the middle of a long, expensive trade secrets case which would also impact his new employer.

The Solution:

The representatives of the employee’s current company needed a way to access his personal laptop and identify any confidential or proprietary documents to be destroyed before he went to work for their competitor. They sought out a solution to easily identify these risks to protect their company, the employee and the employee’s future company.

The Results:

With CloudNine ESI Analyst, company representatives were able to access his personal laptop, create a chain of custody and review the data found on it. This allowed them to find confidential and proprietary data and remove it before the employee left for his new position, protecting all parties involved.

By doing this in advance, you preserve the data and protect it without relying on your employees to remember if they have sensitive information on their devices or not.

To learn more about this use case, click here

CloudNine ESI Analyst – A Modern eDiscovery Solution for Modern Data Review

While most law firms, corporations, and LSPs are challenged to review modern data through traditional eDiscovery tools, they struggle to pull the true value out of the data. Each text and corporate chat message are recreated as stand-alone documents, leaving you to piece them all together like a giant legal jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces and others that simply don’t fit the storyline.

With a robust and flexible modern eDiscovery tool like CloudNine ESI Analyst, you have access to alternative data to help you put the puzzle together through linear storytelling that creates a digital trail of evidence, including some of these popular sources:

  • Text messages (SMS and MMS)
  • Call logs
  • Voicemails
  • Messenger applications (Slack, Teams, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.)
  • Computer activity
  • Financial transactions
  • Geolocation

Modernize your investigations and litigation by effectively managing the data in a single platform instead of wasting time managing a menagerie of documents in siloed systems.

Every case is unique and requires you to find the facts and context to tell the complete story. Contact CloudNine and learn how we can help you leverage all the data to get to the truth of the matter. Contact us to learn more.

Modern Data Discussions by Leading Experts at The Master’s Conference in DC

Last week, CloudNine Senior Director Rick Clark, VP Rob Lekowski and industry thought leaders convened in Washington, DC for The Master’s Conference first in-person event since early 2020. The two-day event tackled the latest challenges in eDiscovery, cybersecurity, and information governance. Managing modern data was the most popular recurrent topic with four distinct panels on the subject.

Smartphones, collaboration apps, and social media platforms all store a plethora of relevant information and is where today’s most important evidence resides. By avoiding or mismanaging this evidence, lawyers miss out on critical insights. So, how should legal teams incorporate modern data into investigations? Rick Clark addressed this question and more during the panel titled “Telling The Full Story: Leveraging the Data Between the Documents” with panelists Dave Rogers, Kroll; Kevin Albert, PAE; and Sonya Judkins, T-Mobile.

Here are three key takeaways from the panel discussion:

Modern data types can no longer be ignored – Emails and traditional documents are always going to be a part of discovery and investigations, but key data has moved away from these platforms. Conversations in Slack, MS Teams, device chat applications and text messages are additional communications needed to follow the conversation. Nowadays, modern data expands above communications into geolocation, social media posts, user activities and offer the largest insights. Recent case decisions have proven that judges are open to admitting modern data so long as the evidence is relevant and properly authenticated.

 Data shouldn’t be treated like documents – One reason why legal teams avoid modern data is linear document review. Imaging and exporting modern data leads to issues like missing metadata, families, threads, and file types. This method also requires legal teams to review evidence without any threading, deduplication, or link-analysis tools. Instead, large volumes of data are analyzed document by document. Linear document review is tedious, inefficient, and time-consuming but most important is legal teams who use linear document review also run the risk of overlooking important details. By opting for link analysis, litigants can connect various data points together to find relevant information faster.

“There just isn’t a good solution out there” – NOT TRUE – Four panels at the Master’s Conference discussed the challenges of modern data, but only Rick Clark’s panel offered a solution. CloudNine ESI Analyst is the only software that renders modern data in a near-native state. The platform uniquely offers users the ability to ingest and investigate multiple data sources within a single platform. Attendees of the CloudNine breakout session were given a full demonstration of ESI Analyst’s capabilities. Through timelines and 24-hour threads, ESI Analyst enables native analysis of communications, transactions, and computer activities.

Missed the Washington, DC event? Join us May 18th, 2022 for the next Master’s Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Click here to learn more about how CloudNine ESI Analyst can help you manage your modern data.

The Challenges of Modern Discovery – CloudNine Webinar

In the past, attorneys relied on printed pages and forensic imaging to produce and review traditional documents. Neither method is capable of telling the whole story. By treating data as documents, legal teams are unable to draw context from metadata, families, and threads. Static documents also don’t permit the deduplication or isolation of messages at the individual level. These shortcomings lead to slowed review speeds, excessive redactions, and the loss of relevant information.

Since then, the eDiscovery landscape has broadened to encompass modern data types such as text, geolocation, and social media data. When exported by other eDiscovery providers, the data is displayed in unwieldy spreadsheets and JSON files. Lawyers who opt to export modern data face many of the same challenges as they would with traditional discovery measures. As an alternative, a lawyer may try to produce modern ESI in the form of screenshots. Screenshots are mistakenly viewed as an easier production form because they offer clear images of conversations and provide details such as contact names and messaging times. However, several judges have rejected their admission in court due to authenticity concerns. Nowadays, it’s very easy to fabricate text conversations.

As the amount of modern ESI grows, developing an efficient and defensible discovery process becomes paramount. Rob Lekowski and Rick Clark from the CloudNine team joined Kevin Thompson from the Chicago Bar Association to discuss how CloudNine ESI Analyst uniquely tackles the pitfalls of modern discovery. Rob and Rick also provided insight into common questions such as:

  • How should legal teams deal with deleted documents?
  • What are the estimated costs and duration times for small, medium, and big cases?
  • Can you still collect evidence with CloudNine ESI Analyst if you don’t have access to the physical device?
  • How should an attorney negotiate keyword searches with opposing counsel?

To learn how to process and review modern data types in a single platform, watch the webinar here.

CloudNine’s LegalWeek 2022 Recap

Last week, the CloudNine team visited New York City to provide virtual and in-person demos during LegalWeek 2022. Rick Clark, Robert Lekowski, Clint Lehew, and Jess Moore were able to share the capabilities of CloudNine ESI Analyst with over 50 attendees.

As the industry’s only near-native investigative platform, CloudNine ESI Analyst simplifies the discovery of mobile, chat, social, and geolocation data from collection to production. Through our platform, users can filter, search, and tag items at the individual level. Messages can also be viewed through our 24-hour thread feature which increases review speeds by permitting the numbering, tagging, and production of individual messages while displaying the full context of a conversation. The key difference between ESI Analyst and traditional review is our way of processing modern data. Traditional review turns all data into documents without providing sufficient means for filtering and searching conversations. Each message or thread must be reviewed page by page. By rendering messages and media inline, ESI Analyst allows legal teams to piece evidence together at a faster rate.

During LegalWeek, the CloudNine team was able to speak to our clients directly and learn how our platform changed their tactics on approaching data and case strategies. Clients like Phil Hodgkins raved about the user-based pricing and clarity that ESI Analyst offers in telling the whole story. While conducting an internal investigation, Phil’s team found that ESI Analyst saved time and yielded better insights than two traditional review platforms. Since then, Phil has encouraged lawyers to stop cramming mobile data into document-based spaces.

“If [our clients] start talking about mobile data [and getting] into the nuts and bolts of a laptop or any device, we immediately start talking about your tool. It allows you to gain insights much more quickly than putting the data into a typical review space” – Phil Hodgkins, Director of Data Insights and Forensics at Kroll. To learn more about Phil’s experiences with ESI Analyst, click here.

Missed out on CloudNine’s LegalWeek demos? Book a demo today to learn how our software simplifies and accelerates modern data discovery.

Discover the Power of ESI Analyst During LegalWeek 2022

The past two days have been a blast for the CloudNine team. From now until Friday, March 11, CloudNine is offering in-person and virtual demos while we visit New York during LegalWeek 2022. We would love to see you there as we reconnect with long-time clients and welcome new faces. The CloudNine team is also eager for the opportunity to showcase our latest eDiscovery innovation, ESI Analyst.

Modern discovery is more than documents, it’s about telling the story. Nowadays, emails and Microsoft Office files aren’t enough to piece a narrative together. Large amounts of information can be obtained from financial transactions, geolocation data, social media activity, text messaging, and more. Through customer feedback and client experiences, we recognized how taxing modern data types could be without the right tools. As an emerging solution for modern investigations, ESI Analyst uniquely offers users the ability to ingest and investigate multiple data sources within a single platform. CloudNine’s recent acquisition of ESI Analyst allows us to provide our customers with an in-depth solution for collecting, processing, and reviewing modern data.

Ready to learn more about our latest updates and solutions? There’s still time to schedule a demo. Virtually or in-person, our team is excited to provide demonstrations on the latest integration between CloudNine Review and ESI Analyst. Meetings will also feature updates on CloudNine Review’s other integrations with LAW, Concordance, and Explore via CloudNine’s Discovery Portal. Click here to book a demo before the end of LegalWeek. Or click on the banner below to request a virtual demo later this month.

Managing the Unpredictability of eDiscovery Costs

Client fees are the lifeblood of the legal industry which means unpredictability isn’t congruent to the financial stability of a successful law firm. This means your eDiscovery document review solution can be as much of a liability as it is an asset when striving to remain profitable.

As every case differs in the volume and type of data collected, processed, and reviewed, the costs associated with it can be unpredictable. Without a balanced and consistent cost structure, the result can lead to an undesirable profit loss.

When eDiscovery was first utilized in the late 1990s, it was only in special cases involving email correspondence. Today, the American Bar Association (ABA) estimates that eDiscovery accounts for more than 80% of costs.  That translates roughly to $42 billion a year, with 70% of costs directly associated with document review.

Today’s eDiscovery has evolved further to include device data derived from multiple sources which can quickly inflate expenses and severely impact your operating budget.

At CloudNine , we are dedicated to guiding you towards eDiscovery cost recovery through our streamlined and optimized data solutions; read on for more of our tips to getting to the truth and your revenue goals more efficiently.

Get to The Truth Faster: The Biggest Challenges to Profitable eDiscovery

Controlling eDiscovery costs and charging your clients appropriately comes with certain challenges.

eDiscovery Insourcing vs Outsourcing: The profitability between these two options isn’t always black and white. There are a variety of factors when considering if outsourcing eDiscovery is the right choice for you, including:

  • What pricing models do vendors offer?
  • Are there additional fees?
  • How do hosting costs change over time?
  • Does the vendor own their technology or do they lease it?
  • What’s the full extent of capabilities the vendor has to offer?

By understanding the hidden costs of outsourcing, you can determine if it will allow you to balance cost and functionality effectively.

Delays in Court Proceedings: According to an article in the Washington Post, district attorneys are facing some of the longest case backlogs in living memory due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These delays mean more costs for longer hosting and storage times for important eDiscovery data, especially when being billed by the gigabyte.

Unpredictable Timing: The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a person accused of a crime the right to a speedy trial. That means by federal law, a criminal case must proceed to trial within 70 days of indictment. However, felony trials can sometimes linger for well over a year.  The unpredictability of time between indictment and trial means costs can run higher than expected.

Managing Multiple Vendors and/or Systems: With many vendors specializing in different features and functions, it’s difficult to find a one-stop shop for all your eDiscovery solution needs. To compensate, you’ll need to engage with different vendors resulting in more contracts, more fees, and more time wasted learning how to operate the different systems.

By using a single solution to collect and assemble multiple modern data types, you can better retain the relevant context and timeline to tell the whole story. Putting together all the pieces of the puzzle becomes simpler, faster, and more strategic.

Making eDiscovery Costs More Predictable: A consistent cost recovery model can help predict and recuperate many eDiscovery expenses, but you’ll want to evaluate the pros and cons to identify the model best suited for your firm.

Examples of common cost recovery models include:

Billable Hours: The majority of law firms traditionally charge clients the billable hours they spend performing processing and project management. This model results in the least amount of pushback from clients as they’re paying strictly for the attorneys’ time. However, this can become less profitable if your law firm is forced to host its eDiscovery data long-term due to delays in court proceedings.

Billable Hours + Hosting Fees: To compensate for increased expenses, your law firm can add hosting fees to billing statements in addition to billable hours. However, clients often push back as they may not view hosting fees as actual legal work. These fees, usually charged per gigabyte, can help you recoup eDiscovery costs, but only if the client is willing to pay.

Third-Party Vendor Style: Another option for cost recovery is to invoice your clients with line items similar to how a third-party eDiscovery vendor would operate. You can include billing for individual items such as:

  • The number of gigabytes processed
  • The volume of data hosted
  • Any analytics applied to the data
  • Any licensing fees for software used

While some clients may be familiar with this model based on their experience with eDiscovery vendors, others may balk at these types of expenses. Learn more about how to optimize your eDiscovery cost recovery by downloading our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery: 6 Steps to Make Your Review Process More Profitable.

Streamline with CloudNine. Optimize eDiscovery in Minutes.

As a proven leader in eDiscovery, CloudNine has provided innovative data collection and review solutions for hundreds of law firms and legal service providers since 2002.

Regardless of the type of cost recovery model you choose, CloudNine’s eDiscovery platform delivers a complete and flexible suite of solutions at a predictable and affordable price. Some of the benefits include:

  • SaaS Hosting for All Data – CloudNine’s SaaS offering allows analysis and review of all modern data types to include email, text messages, corporate chat applications, and geolocation.
  • Data and Storage Control – Right-size your data by culling it upfront to reduce your storage needs and control your costs.
  • User-Friendly Solutions – Every CloudNine solution is easy to use and operates on a self-service basis including smartphone collection data.
  • Dedicated Support – Our services teams are always available if you need additional support.
  • Flexible Storage – Optimize your spending whether you choose our all-in storage option or choose to pay for storage as needed.
  • Low Overall Pricing – Get predictability and affordability without compromise and leverage the features you need without paying for the ones you don’t.

Improve and optimize your eDiscovery by simplifying and streamlining the process. You’ll make it easier on your clients and more profitable for your firm.  Reach out and book a demo to  learn how CloudNine can make your eDiscovery most cost-efficient.

Generate More Revenue For Your Law Firm with Modern eDiscovery

One of the biggest challenges for any business is discovering new revenue streams once your growth reaches its zenith. For most law firms, this creates a welcome opportunity to offer new and better solutions while bringing more revenue into the organization.

As technology evolves, so does the diversity of new data types.  By expanding your firm’s ability effectively and accurately collect and analyze emerging data types, you create new opportunities to meet the changing needs of your clients.

Hit the eDiscovery Bullseye: The Latest Trends in Data Types

Electronically stored information (ESI) evolves every time new software is created. Whether it’s an updated version of current data or an entirely new data type, ESI is constantly changing.

To operate successfully, your law firm needs the ability to effectively process these modern data types. Consider the following statistics from two popular messaging applications – Microsoft Teams and Slack:

  • Teams has 145 million daily active users
  • Teams is used by more than 500,000 organizations as their default messaging platform
  • Slack has 10 million daily active users
  • Slack is used by 43% of Fortune 100 businesses

The sheer volume of modern data users creates an unmatched treasure trove of data vital to your client’s litigation. Other popular communication platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, GoToMeeting, and WhatsApp also contribute to the unparalleled growth of modern data types.

However, only recently have legal professionals begun to see the benefits of reviewing these data types since their reliance on traditional data types was easy and typically, sufficient.

Everyone in the legal profession can benefit from the ability to collect and analyze messages and metadata from communication platforms.  However, law firms and forensics companies in particular now understand the true value of other modern data like computer activity, geolocation, and financial transactions because it’s critically important to the success of their investigations.

Read a case study to learn how CloudNine is helped reconstruct conversations across multiple file types.

Why Modern Data Doesn’t Work Well with Traditional eDiscovery Platforms

Traditional data is typically straightforward in the form of Word documents, spreadsheets, and emails converted into PDF. The biggest issue with collecting and analyzing modern metadata on a traditional eDiscovery platform is compatibility.

Modern data transmitted by web clients and web servers is usually found within JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) files. JSON files are the preferred format for almost every public web service available today, including Teams and Slack.

HTML is another popular file type used by websites and social media applications like Facebook and Twitter to create individual pages.

JSON and HTML cause problems with traditional eDiscovery because traditional platforms cannot extract the content and metadata and organize it into an easy-to-review format. The result is usually very difficult to read, let alone review for eDiscovery.

Another challenge is simply the cost. In Zubulake v USB Warburg, the courts found the defendants were required to provide all relevant data files related to the case at their own expense. If your client is a large corporation, this could mean a large volume of devices to be collected for eDiscovery, which will naturally raise costs.

Tip the Scales of Justice with a Modern eDiscovery Platform

As applications like Teams and Slack make modern data more common, it has become more acceptable to be used in litigation. In the past, attorneys would argue to have modern data dismissed, and more often than not, the judge would allow it. Today’s judges have a better understanding of the value of emerging data so they require it for eDiscovery.

Modern eDiscovery platforms can collect a variety of modern data and accurately prepare it for review. Data types under this umbrella include:

  • Communication from messaging applications
  • File sharing applications
  • Metadata from video conferences
  • Mobile messaging including text, SMS, and MMS
  • Computer activity including the movement and alteration of files
  • GeoLocation
  • Social media posts
  • Financial transactions

In addition, by leveraging a modern data review platform, you can collect communication across multiple applications and devices. Based on the metadata, you can create pristine communication threads that flow from one platform to another, giving you a more complete picture and the context to understand how people were behaving and why. That simply isn’t possible in a traditional eDiscovery platform.

Stay up to date on how CloudNine is revolutionizing eDiscovery by signing up for our regular eDiscovery updates and best practices.

How Law Firms Use Modern eDiscovery to Offer Better Solutions

When you have the ability to review modern data, you can manage your case more effectively and efficiently by consolidating the workflows of multiple processes using a single SaaS platform.

  • Early Case Assessment. With CloudNine’s people and platforms, you are enabled to collect, cull, process and organize large amounts of modern data, to provide the needed insight to your case investigations to predict costs more accurately.
  • Unified Review Workflows. A simplified and consolidated workflow allows you to process, sort, review, tag, and produce traditional and modern data quickly and accurately.
  • Higher Level of Data Organization. By leveraging the metadata and conversation content, you can analyze and review all data types easier and more efficiently. This “Data NOT Documents” approach allows you to quickly narrow in on key conversations faster than traditional document review.
  • Context to Understand the Whole Story. Following digital conversations across multiple platforms along with computer activity, geolocation, social media and financial transactions, you create a more complete narrative to add the context needed to understand the whole story.

With these benefits, you can now demonstrate maximum efficiency and offer unparalleled service to your clients.

Your clients are looking to you to provide the best legal advice and management of their data, regardless of data types, modern or traditional.

By offering a solution giving them equal access to both traditional and modern data types with CloudNine eDiscovery solutions. Request a free demo and let us show you how CloudNine can help you generate more revenue while better preparing your clients for litigation.

Emerge From Data Chaos With eDiscovery Built For Today’s Data

Did you know in 2020 alone, the average person created 1.7 MB of data every second? (source).  Now consider this in the context of your latest eDiscovery case:  from cell phone forensics to computer user activity, the amount of digital documents to review is massive.  For example, here’s a glimpse of the daily counts of electronically stored information (ESI) including traditional and modern data types:

  • 4 billion emails (source)
  • 7 billion text messages (source)
  • 100 billion WhatsApp messages (source)
  • 4 billion Snapchat photo messages (source)

And, this doesn’t even include other traditional data types like documents or spreadsheets. Nor does it count modern data types like computer user activity, geolocation tracking, corporate chat applications, financial transactions, or social media posts.  While eDiscovery review platforms are designed to process traditional data types, you need a better, more efficient way to analyze the sheer volume of digital discovery types.

To provide a comprehensive view of all data types, CloudNine has introduced a modern data review experience to enable the analysis of existing and emerging data types, from a single eDiscovery solution platform.

Synergize eDiscovery of Today’s Data with CloudNine

Current eDiscovery review platforms were developed to support traditional data types like emails, Word documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint as evidence in litigation. The problem is they rarely provide the context needed to tell the whole story because they miss potentially relevant data found on mobile devices and corporate chat applications like Microsoft Teams or Slack. 

Without this nuanced data, you don’t have the ability to show behaviors, actions, or communication across different platforms, making it more challenging to prove your case as it’s very difficult to show context if you’re working exclusively with traditional file types.

Using Cellebrite UFED, a digital tool for extracting data from mobile devices, we can quickly collect cell phone data and inject it directly into the document review platform.

In addition, CloudNine’s modern data review platform can create timelines to organize relevant data in a linear outline to tell a story from beginning to end. Combining this with the ability to track digital conversations across multiple platforms, you’ll have better insight into:

  • How subjects were behaving
  • What they were doing
  • Where they were going
  • Who and when they were communicating with

CloudNine’s modern data solution expands your ability to understand the whole story in ways your competition can’t. The ability to collect and review this type of data allows you to better understand the facts surrounding your litigation, applying context so you’re able to tell the whole story.

Our solution for today’s data is suitable for both large and small data sets. It’s robust enough to handle the largest cases with extremely large data sets while remaining nimble to give attorneys the ability to view data quickly and easily on much smaller cases.

Regardless of the case or file types your team is reviewing, your eDiscovery team can get to the truth much faster.

Take the Rediscovery Out of Your eDiscovery: CloudNine’s ESI Analyst is the Perfect Complement to Enhance CloudNine Review

While CloudNine Review brings a fast, secure and easy-to-use platform to load and export data quickly and efficiently, the addition of a modern data solution adds a new layer of context and complexity to your litigation.

Now, when you receive your data, you can upload all the data sources into our modern data platform, perform eDiscovery and then import your modern and traditional data directly to CloudNine Review for a simplified and streamlined review.

Most legal firms and LSPs are forced to shoehorn modern data into traditional legal document review platforms. This can lead to confusion about the importance of what role specific text messages play in the story.

However, by letting you review every type of data more accurately, you get a more efficient solution that addresses both traditional and modern data, providing more insight and clarity into the factors behind the litigation.

A perfect example of this is the ability to analyze financial data and computer user activity. While collecting and reviewing financial data means you can track transactions and payments easier, tracking computer activity through registry files or event logs lets you see actions taking place on a digital level.

For example, if an employee copies a confidential document onto a thumb drive and walks out the door with it, you’ll be able to see that action in the data records.

As an organization, we are committed to evolving in the same way eDiscovery evolves. Stay up-to-date on the latest CloudNine updates by signing up to receive our latest eDiscovery news delivered to your inbox.

Don’t Fall Prey To Ingestion Congestion: The Ease of Integration and Deployment with CloudNine

Simple Deployment:  While the technical aspects of integrating CloudNine’s modern eDiscovery review platform is incredibly easy, the important thing to know is how simple it is to deploy the solution for your staff. Training for your administrators to operate the platform can be completed in an hour while training your review team for a specific case takes as little as 15-30 minutes.

Searching and Batching: By creating a series of searches based on specific keywords or phrases, you can pull data batches to assign to your team so they can review and add custom tags for relevant data. This is a valuable tool for anyone using this modern data eDiscovery solution, whether you have the resources to employ a litigation-support team or if you’re a smaller office with only one or two attorneys.

Superior Support:  If there’s any questions or problems, support is just a phone call away. If you don’t know how to use a particular feature or tool, we can schedule a quick online training session and walk you through the process. Plus, there are over a hundred resource articles in our library to help you learn how to better use CloudNine’s solution.

By offering solutions that empower you to collect, review and analyze both traditional and modern data types, you can streamline your eDiscovery process and capture information that tells the whole story through different platforms.

To complement your existing eDiscovery solution and combine both traditional and modern data types into a more complete narrative, contact CloudNine to find out how we can seamlessly fold our self-service, SaaS application designed for all data types into your eDiscovery process.

Ready, Set, Recover: Attain eDiscovery Cost Recovery with CloudNine

There’s a simple truth to running any business, including legal service providers and law firms: Profitability means you need to make more money than you spend. While this seems like an easy concept to follow, there are hidden or unexpected costs which can jeopardize your ability and financial performance. 

One of the biggest culprits behind your firms’ rising operating costs is legal data collection and review. As data sizes and timelines become more unpredictable so does the price of eDiscovery services. 

eDiscovery costs are on the rise for three main reasons:

  1. Exponential growth in data: As our communications have become more sophisticated, so has eDiscovery. Previously, cases including paper files now include financial transactions, geolocation, slack messages and more. This has led to an ever-expanding amount of data associated with new cases.
  2. Complex technology: Many eDiscovery solutions operate more like IT systems, requiring servers, networks, desktops, applications, etc. This requires firms who insource their eDiscovery to maintain a team of IT professionals to manage any updates that may arrive. 
  3. Complex infrastructure:  The fear of missing critical deadlines has driven system architects to prepare for extreme one-off situations versus everyday matters resulting in overbuilt and overcomplicated review solutions. 

The Most Common Cost Recovery Models

Despite the unpredictable cost of eDiscovery, nearly 82% (1) of LSPs and law firms continue to pass these costs along to their clients even though they typically recover only 77% of the costs (2).

The most common cost recovery models are:

  1. Billable hours for time spent performing eDiscovery services:  This typically results in minimal pushback from the clients since they’re accustomed to paying by the hour. 
  2. Billable hours + hosting:  Usually charged per GB, hosting fees allow you to recoup more of your eDiscovery costs but are not always accepted by clients as actual legal work. 
  3. Third-party style:  Charging fees like a vendor allow you to recoup costs for specific line items like GBs processed and hosted, analytics, and licensing fees. 

Surprisingly, 13% of LSPs and firms simply absorb the cost of eDiscovery rather than bill their clients (3).   The most common reasons for this are:

  • They practice in an ultra-competitive market
  • They honor previous agreements
  • They take on non-billable projects

To recoup more of your eDiscovery investment, read on to learn the steps you can take to optimize your cost recovery efforts or download our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery: 6 Steps to Make Your Review Process More Profitable for a more expansive look into cost recovery. 

1.  Quantify Your Current Cost Recovery Challenges

Identifying all the costs associated with your eDiscovery lets you know where, how, and when you’re losing money. A few of the factors you should assess include:

  • Total annual eDiscovery and document review costs
  • Total revenue from eDiscovery
  • Cost comparison of running eDiscovery document review solutions in-house versus outsourcing. 

2.  Re-examine the Cost of eDiscovery Insourcing versus the Benefits of Outsourcing

While larger law firms can afford complex eDiscovery technology, smaller LSPs and firms need to balance cost and functionality to optimize cost recovery. They need to consider things like:

  • What pricing model makes the most sense?
  • What technology is more economical to own versus lease?
  • What features and functionality do you need to provide your users?

3.  Right-Size Your eDiscovery Data

With data volumes increasing exponentially, you need to be smart about what data you’re hosting in the cloud. By culling your data on-premise, you can reduce your hosting costs before you move it to the cloud. 

4.  Be Strategic About Your Storage

Not every client needs a lot of data storage. Adopt a solution that allows you to adapt your storage strategy on a case-by-case basis so you’re not stuck offering a single standard storage model to clients that may need smaller options.

5.  Choose Self-Service, Easy-to-Use Tools

Your cost recovery is much easier when your internal staff can perform eDiscovery during billable hours. By adopting a solution that’s simple and easy to run, you reduce the need for additional external services.

6.  Standardize Through One Primary Vendor

The more eDiscovery vendors you engage with, the more complex things get – more contracts, more fees, more systems to learn. Look for a single self-model with lost costs, flexible storage plans, and easy-to-use tools to optimize your cost recovery.

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to improve your eDiscovery cost recovery, it’s time to go a little deeper to understand the benefits of an eDiscovery solution that’s perfectly suited to help you earn more than you spend. Click here to request a demo of CloudNine Review and learn how to make your review process more profitable. 

 

Sources

(1), (2), (3):  2019 eDiscovery Billing Survey