eDiscovery

Have you considered the implications of time zones when it comes to your litigation needs?

by: Trent Livingston, Chief Technology Officer

Most of today’s legal technology platforms require that a time zone be selected at the time of ingestion of data. Or, in the case of forensic software, the time stamp is displayed with a time zone offset based upon the device’s time zone setting. However, when conducting a review, the de facto time zone setting for your litigation is often determined ahead of time, often based upon subjective information. This is likely the region in which the primary custodian resides. Once that time zone is selected, everything is adjusted to that time zone. It is “set in stone” so to speak. In some cases, this is fine, but in others, it can complicate things, especially if you want to alter your time zone mid-review.

Let’s start by understanding time zones, which immediately begs the question, “how many time zones are there in the world?” After all, it can’t be that many, right? Well, don’t start up your time machine just yet! To summarize a Quora answer (https://www.quora.com/How-many-timezones-do-we-have-in-the-world) we arrive at the following confusing mess.

Spanning our globe, there are a total of 41 different time zones. Given the number of time zones, “shifting time” (so to speak) can be of the utmost importance when examining evidentiary data.

If everything is set to Eastern Standard Time but does not properly allocate for time zone changes, a software application could arbitrarily alter a time stamp inconsistently, and consistency is what really matters! What happens if two of the parties to a matter are in New York while two of the parties are in Arizona? Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. This could result in a set of timestamps being thrown off by an hour spanning approximately five months of the data set (based upon Daylight Saving Time rules). Communication responses that may have happened within minutes now seemingly occur an hour later (or earlier depending on how to look at it). Forensic records could fall out of sync with other evidentiary data and communications or, worse yet, sworn testimony. The key is to ensure consistency to avoid confusion.

CloudNine’s ESI Analyst (ESIA) normalizes everything to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) upon ingestion, leveraging the original time zone or offset. By doing this, ESIA can display the time zone of the project manager’s choosing (either set at the project level or by the specific user’s account time zone setting). This allows for the time stamp display of any evidence to be changed at any time to the desired time zone across an entire project, allowing for the dynamic view of time stamps. Not only can it be changed during a review, but also set at export. All original metadata is stored, and available during export so that the adjusted time stamp can be leveraged for timelines, while the original time stamp and time zone settings are preserved for evidentiary purposes.

When performing analysis of disparate data sets, this methodology allows users to adjust data to see relative time stamps to a particular party involved in that specific investigation. For example, an investigation may involve multiple parties that are all located in different time zones. Additionally, these users may be traveling to different countries. Adjusting everything to Eastern Time may show text messages arriving and being responded to in the late hours of the day not accounting for the fact that perhaps the user was abroad and was actually responding during normal business hours.

While seemingly innocuous, it can make a big difference in how a jury perceives the action of the party, depending on the nature of the investigation.

As they say… “timing is everything!” especially when it comes to digital evidence in today’s modern era.

Now, where did I leave my keys to my DeLorean?

Learn more about CloudNine ESI Analyst and its ability to deduplicate, search, filter, and adjust time zones across all data types at once here.

BlueStar Accelerates Modern eDiscovery with ESI Analyst – CloudNine Podcasts

It’s a challenge to produce relevant evidence for large cases, especially when they feature non-traditional data types. JSON and PST formats simply don’t do modern data justice. The unwieldy files don’t possess threading or deduplication options. Instead, large amounts of irrelevant data are stretched across a multitude of pages and folders. Finding a team to manually review that data slows production speeds and raises discovery costs. It’s time to stop forcing a square peg into a round hole.

As the CTO and Managing Partner at BlueStar, Jeremy Schaper has seen an uptick of non-traditional data in the last five years. He and his team found CloudNine’s ESI Analyst while searching for an eDiscovery solution to process both traditional and modern data types. Jeremy joined Rick Clark for our CloudNine 360 Innovate Podcast to discuss how BlueStar leveraged ESI Analyst in large cases involving SMS, Slack, and Microsoft Teams data.
Click here to listen to the podcast and learn more.

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

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Modern Data Solution?

Why a Modern Data Review Platform is Critical to eDiscovery

When legal professionals first incorporated electronically stored information (ESI) into their eDiscovery document review process, it opened the door for a variety of digital data types to be used in investigation and litigation. 

It didn’t take long for eDiscovery to begin taking in ESI like emails, documents, spreadsheets, databases, CAD/CAM files, digital images, and websites. These have remained the primary sources of digital discovery data used by legal professionals. 

However, as technology continues to evolve, new modern data types are becoming increasingly vital in litigation. These new modern data types fall under five primary categories, in addition to traditional eDiscovery: 

  1. Communication
  2. Computer/User Activity 
  3. Geo-location tracking (location tracking software)
  4. Financial Transactions
  5. Social Media

These modern data types have their own unique uses and their associated metadata allows you to create a chronological list of events and user activities so you can gain context where it did not exist in traditional discovery. 

Here are just a few examples of how it works:

  • By gathering data on computer activity, you’re able to see when individuals upload documents to Google Drive or download them onto thumb drives. 
  • Geolocation lets you determine where a computer activity took place so you know if they were at home, in the office, or at another location.
  • By using the metadata associated with different communication applications, you can track and document relevant dialogue between two parties as they carry their conversation from one device or application to another. 

With these additional data types, you’re able to tell a complete story through your legal review when combining traditional and modern data, in one unified eDiscovery platform

As more modern data forensic artifacts emerge, CloudNine is doing our part to help your eDiscovery team gain the context and confidence you need to solve your cases. Sign up to receive updates on our offerings here.

Reconstructing Digital Conversations To Unveil The Full Picture

In a modern data eDiscovery solution, you can do things that simply aren’t possible or are too difficult or costly to do in a traditional document review-centric platform. 

In a traditional legal document review platform, communication between two individuals would be collected and stored as individual documents. This means the context of the whole conversation including text before and after the individual messages could lose context in the conversation, leaving a void in the interpretation.

A modern data review platform allows you to collect data from multiple devices and applications including traditional ESI and loose files. By using the metadata associated with the collected data, you can select two individuals and review all communication between them in a chronological timeline. Now you have the context to perform the smartphone forensics and short message discovery you need to follow a conversation that began in Slack but transitioned to text messaging before concluding in WhatsApp.

Cell Phone Discovery: Reviewing Text Messages In a Modern Data Review Platform

Traditional legal review platforms are often inefficient when reviewing text messages. In a traditional platform, text threads are converted to PDF requiring each thread to be reviewed, text-by-text. In this case, five individuals in a group text messaging thread, means you’ll see the same message collected five times. This results in a lot of time and money wasted redacting large parts of the text thread, irrelevant to the topic. 

Smartphone data discovery allows you to filter duplicate messages, and remove 20-30% of the collected data.  With a simple click of a button, modern eDiscovery review allows you to select the text messages you want to advance and remove the irrelevant text from long or group threads.

Another challenge for traditional review platforms is the inability to maintain native formats for data. By relying on screenshots or PDFs, organizations using older platforms can fall victim to doctored images that could affect the course of the litigation. 

For example, in Rossbach v. Montefiore Medical Center, a plaintiff used screenshots of a text message to attempt to prove that her former employer had sexually harassed, then fired her. The message was allegedly sent to her iPhone 5 which cannot run an operating system beyond iOS 10. A forensics investigator examined the screenshot and discovered an emoji present in the image was a version not available until iOS 13 was released.

Modern eDiscovery review platforms capture text message formats (MMS and SMS) in their native format so there’s no risk of fraudulent or altered data in the review.  A unified eDiscovery platform will combine both traditional and modern data without creating documents from modern data sources.

Learn more about how your legal team can hit the eDiscovery bullseye with every data type with CloudNine Review here.

Why Organizations Are Hesitant to Commit to a Modern Data Review Platform

Some organizations are hesitant to adopt a modern data review platform because of their apprehension to change standard operations. They’re unwilling to change their review mentality from document-based to metadata-based or a hybrid of both.  After all, if it’s working, why change it?  

Many organizations are also forced to break-out their review processes among multiple platforms – one for traditional data like emails and Word documents and one for modern data like geolocation, social media and computer activity. 

In addition, there are some objections to native file production:

  • Retrieval of native files after initial document collection would mean additional costs.
  • Redaction is difficult or even impossible with some native file types.
  • Image-based productions are often accepted in court. 
  • Static images are equally useful for analysis and review of native files.
  • Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 does not specifically require native formats.

However, as modern data types become more common and important, organizations are beginning to understand that using a traditional, legacy document solution to review modern data is becoming burdensome, expensive, and slow. 

How a Modern Data Review Platform Simplifies eDiscovery

Simply put, a modern data review platform like CloudNine’s ESI Analyst organizes your data more efficiently by using metadata to sort modern data types by recipients, senders, timestamps, locations, and computer activity. 

The data is then tagged under one of the following data types:

  1. Call logs and voice mails 
  2. Chat applications (WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc.)
  3. Email
  4. Corporate chat applications (Slack, MS Teams, etc.)
  5. Text Messages (SMS, MMS)
  6. Computer activity 
  7. Geolocation
  8.  Social media
  9.  Financial transactions 

In addition, with a built-in foreign language tool, you have access to more than 80 supported languages so nothing gets lost in translation.

While legacy document review solutions are limited to reviewing documents, they miss key data points like geolocation, financial transactions, and other pertinent data that does not fit in a document-centric workflow.  The CloudNine, integrated solution allows you to filter, search, tag, and review all data in one platform.  

Let CloudNine help you integrate a modern data review platform into your eDiscovery processes. We can train your case teams quickly so they’re up and running in 15-20 minutes. To learn more about how our modern data solution can make your eDiscovery processes more efficient, drop us a line

Remote eDiscovery: Uncovering eDiscovery Best Practices From Home

When businesses and governments began shutting down due to the COVID-19 virus, it fast-tracked the slow and cautious transition to remote work begun by legal service providers

LSPs had already begun finding success operating in remote environments, using the cloud for eDiscovery data storage, processing, review, and analytics. 

However, it wasn’t until companies were forced to send their employees home to work that traditional legal departments and law firms began adapting to remote work environments. This led to finally upgrading, optimizing, and strengthening their infrastructure to accommodate this new normal. 

While this transition was a nerve-wracking experience for some, statistics tell us that remote work environments are not only possible but preferred:

  • 71% of companies have a new, positive view of remote work environments. (IDG).
  • 59% of remote U.S. workers would prefer to continue working remotely. (Gallup).
  • 69% of remote U.S. workers reported their productivity levels are the same or higher when working from home. (Citrix).

With a more productive eDiscovery solution, your LSP is set up for success. Learn about four other ways your organization can build value and boost margins in our ebook here.

The Benefits of Remote eDiscovery Tools

As foreign a concept remote working seemed to be, the benefits were obvious from the very beginning. Roadblocks were quickly reconciled, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs associated with eDiscovery

This was expedited by the realization that while personnel were becoming increasingly more dispersed, the eDiscovery data they were working with was becoming more centralized due to the cloud. Secured cloud environments allowed for a more efficient and effective workflow to collect, process, host, review and produce critical data. 

Other benefits of remote eDiscovery tools include:

  1. Lower-touch processes so you have fewer discoverable copies and less movement and enhanced control of data
  2. No geographical workforce restrictions so you can bring in the best people no matter where they live
  3. Easy scalability for near-instant provisioning or decommissioning
  4. Cost-effectiveness that allows you to shift from CapEx to OpEx

How Secure is Remote eDiscovery?

For some traditionalists, as well as others that are simply more cautious by nature, there’s a question of data security that has them hesitant to embrace a remote eDiscovery solution. However, there’s nothing to fear with the right eDiscovery solution.

Simply put, eDiscovery cloud computing provides a secured digital environment that protects the integrity of your data. To ensure this, there are certain security protocols your LSP must follow to guarantee your data security. 

  • Personnel should only use company devices or assets when working remotely
  • Data encryption must be used in transit
  • Multi-factor authentication must be deployed
  • Secured connectivity must be ensured for all employees 

With these protocols in place, your data is secure from all but the most devious and skilled cybercriminals. The only thing you’re missing is the perfect partner to provide a solution that makes sense for you and your clients. 

The CloudNine Remote eDiscovery Solution

Offering speed, security, and simplicity, CloudNine Explore empowers LSPs with a remote eDiscovery solution that allows you to investigate issues, assess risks, confirm compliance and begin early case assessment quickly and easily. 

More importantly, with CloudNine Explore, you’ll maintain the highest quality of data processing by leveraging these benefits:

  • Process as many as 1 million records per hour
  • Deploy CloudNine anywhere through a single workstation deployment
  • Easily scale up or down across multiple secured devices with mobile access
  • Effectively manage remote teams with powerful administrative and user controls
  • Remove bottlenecks by reprioritizing projects and reviewers as needed
  • Use deduplicate, filter, and search functions to reduce your data and hosting fees

Discover what CloudNine Explore can do for your remote eDiscovery team here.

Finding Value in CloudNine Explore’s eDiscovery Tool

CloudNine Explore gives you early visibility into the size and scope of your eDiscovery data so you can determine costs upfront. By insourcing your eDiscovery solution, you can cull data before you send it out, resulting in a significant ROI by:

  • Reducing costs associated with data collection, processing, hosting, and review
  • Mitigating risks by identifying problems easier and quicker
  • Opting to deploy on-premise or in the cloud

While most eDiscovery solutions only work with traditional datalike documents, emails, and spreadsheets, CloudNine now has the ability to work with modern data like:

  • Communication (texts, MMS, etc.)
  • Computer Activity
  • Geolocation
  • Financial Transactions
  • Social Media

To learn more about our modern data solutions, read the announcement on our acquisition of ESI Analyst.

By providing you with the ability to work remotely, scale quickly to take on more clients, or pivot for new types of data, CloudNine Explore allows you the flexibility to explore your options as an LSP so you can decide best practices for your organization and your clients. 

To see firsthand how CloudNine Explore can improve your remote eDiscovery solutions, schedule a free demo today.

 

Document Review in a Remote World

COVID-19 has transformed the document review process. Traditionally, document review was conducted in person by experts at review centers. As COVID-19 rates increased, fears for individual health and safety mandated the transition to remote review. Though remote review became a sudden necessity, it’s not a new concept. The transition began long before the pandemic at a slow but steady pace. More and more organizations transitioned their discovery to the cloud after recognizing the financial and security benefits. Even without the pandemic-induced acceleration, the trend would have accumulated more momentum with time. Nonetheless, organization that were unprepared or on the fence were suddenly faced with new challenges and security demands. No one knows if remote review will be the new “normal.” It’s too soon to judge the permanency of the change. For now, organizations should recognize the benefits of the opportunity and adjust their review procedures accordingly.

The Benefits of Remote Review

  • Through remote operation, document review has become more flexible than ever. Talented experts from various states can provide their expertise. Organizations with remote review are not restrained by geographical limitations when seeking qualified providers. The geographic freedom also eliminates the need to pay for a provider’s travel and lodging.
  • Providers have shown increased morale and productivity due to greater flexibility with their hours and breaks. They are also spared from commute expenses. Through happier employees, organizations can raise the efficiency of their review process.
  • Through remote review, organizations gain cloud scalability. Resources and storage space can be altered to quickly meet changing demands.
  • By reducing the production of discoverable copies, remote review can offer some security advantages. Organizations can also strengthen their  security by using multifactor authentication tools. [1]
  • Remote review minimizes the risks associated with employee movement. The workforce is like a revolving door; new employees constantly join and leave their jobs. Though this cycle is normal, it often leads to the accidental corruption or destruction of valuable data. Since remote review is convenient and flexible, it often improves employee retention. [2]

Tips on Handling Document Review

  • Optimize communication among counsel, reviewers, and clients through collaboration tools and teleconferences.
  • Collaborate with your team to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your security and operation needs. This plan should address topics such as staffing, training, and oversight measures.
  • Before establishing a review plan, ask your providers about the quality of their review space and security measures. [3]
  • Consult with your clients and partners as you draft your remote review policies.
  • Keep your data secure through a VPN, multifactor authentication tool, and/or an access program. [4]

 

[1] David Greetham, “Remote eDiscovery: Pandemic Accommodation or Improvement,” Above The Law, May 29, 2020.

[2] Antonio Rega, “Understanding the E-Discovery Implications of Employee Status Changes,” Today’s General Counsel, April 7, 2014.

[3] Jonathan Hurtarte, “Insight: Covid-19 and E-Discovery Challenges With Remote Document Review,” Bloomberg Law, May 11, 2020.

[4]  SKJ Juris, “Impact of Covid-19 on Remote Document Review,” SKJ Juris, 2020.

How to Maintain eDiscovery Data Integrity

Emails, text messages, legal documents, written letters, faxes, and more: your eDiscovery team sorts, reviews, and analyzes all of these documents and more during the span of a legal case. When handling these confidential documents, it is important to keep these documents safe and secure. 

As a vital part of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), any data collected is done so with the intent to capture it exactly as intended or as it was actively being used. This ensures the searchability and traceability of your data so it can be properly collected, indexed, and documented for use in litigation.

To simplify this for eDiscovery, data integrity means ensuring the legal data you collect is accurate and consistent throughout its lifecycle. Maintaining eDiscovery data integrity is not only vital for the privacy and protection of your clients, but also for the integrity of your legal investigation.

At CloudNine, we take data integrity very seriously. Read on to learn about our recommended best practices for maintaining data integrity during your eDiscovery process or learn how we put those best practices into play with CloudNine Explore here.

Protecting the Quality of Your eDiscovery Data

Data types are constantly evolving. By 2025, the number of IoT devices deployed globally will surpass 25 billion. 

The variety, velocity, and complexity of electronic evidence multiply with each new generation and innovation of data technology. While email, spreadsheets, and documents are still the primary form of data collected, social media, streaming data, and data products continue to rise in prevalence. 

This rise in data types means your vigilance must increase with the introduction of each new technology or update with the average U.S. civil case collecting 130 GBs of data the average U.S. civil case collecting 130 GBs of data

To protect your clients and your firm, know the factors which can affect your eDiscovery data integrity:

  1. Mistakes due to human error: Your eDiscovery data integrity can become jeopardized any time human involvement is required. Data can be input incorrectly, duplicated, or deleted. Protocols, methods, or procedures can be ignored or designed incorrectly.   
  2. Transfer errors: If your eDiscovery data isn’t transferred properly from one database to another or if one is damaged or compromised, your file could become fragmented or corrupted. 
  3. Viruses or malware: Any outside software that can infiltrate your network has the potential to alter, erase or steal critical data.
  4. Compromised hardware: Any time your network experiences a significant failure like a computer or server crash, your hardware can become compromised. This could cause your eDiscovery data to be corrupted or inaccessible.

To ensure the quality of your eDiscovery data, you need to adopt a proven data collection solution that can operate efficiently, securely, and in a forensically sound manner. This means there’s no question concerning the quality of your data or any copies made. It also needs to be able to:

  • Work with modern data types
  • Work with a variety of data types
  • Pull many different fields of data

When you are able to easily and securely perform eDiscovery data collection, your legal team will be able to take on more cases and increase margins for your LSP. Learn more about this in our eBook: 4 Ways Legal Service Providers Can Build Value and Boost Margins.

Best Practices for Ensuring eDiscovery Data Integrity

To ensure eDiscovery data integrity for your clients, implement the following best practices:

  1. Understand Your eDiscovery Solution: Knowing the capabilities and limitations of your data collection software allows you to use it in the most efficient manner possible.
  2. Validate the Data: Confirm the data you collect is correct before you upload it to your server. 
  3. Implement Access Controls: Only necessary personnel should have access to the data so there’s less chance of data being compromised or corrupted.
  4. Maintain an Audit Trail: Any change to the data can have an impact on your litigation, so you need to know who touched what files when they accessed them, and what they did to them. 
  5. Backup Your Data: Regularly scheduled and reliable data backups are essential in the event of data loss. 
  6. Deploy Cybersecurity Measures: From timely software patches to limiting physical access to computers and servers, all known security vulnerabilities should be monitored and secured to prevent outside interference.
  7. Workforce Training: Every member of your team that has access to the data should be trained to follow data integrity guidelines to ensure the reliability of the data.

How CloudNine Explore Helps You Ensure eDiscovery Data Integrity

Data integrity is the foundational element to your eDiscovery processWith CloudNine Explore, you can ensure you get it right through our innovative approach to eDiscovery data collection:

  • Navigate through data to determine risk, scope, and cost up-front
  • Review new data with automated and in-person processes
  • Securely upload, process, and preserve data critical to your investigation or litigation
  • Step-by-step and advanced user workflows
  • Data, domain, file type, and additional filtering
  • Search term testing and reporting
  • File copies are created when exported
  • Provide information as required for legal production or continued investigation

Make your cases defensible and your firm profitable with eDiscovery solutions from CloudNine. With easy-to-deploy solutions that protect your eDiscovery data integrity, CloudNine is flexible and adaptable to meet any eDiscovery needs you have. Schedule a free demo today. 

How Automation Complements the Human Side of eDiscovery Review

If there’s one constant throughout human history, it’s that change is inevitable. In the legal world, some law firms and legal service providers often keep the status quo hoping they won’t be affected by the changes around them. For the rest, they adapt and integrate new eDiscovery technologies to include features like automation to find successful ways to overcome these changes. 

Adopting new technology is never an easy transition and it does come with concerns. But, we’re still not at a place where the software can litigate your case and accurately assign classifications for each document without human input. The need for human reviewers will always have incredible value to your firm but, automating the common challenges of eDiscovery document review will help your team work faster and more effectively. 

Learn how automation and eDiscovery come together to accelerate your legal document review process here.

Differences in Opinions: eDiscovery Solutions

Legal document reviewers are usually specially trained associates who need to analyze complex information quickly and make decisions based on:

  • Relevance
  • Privilege
  • Responsiveness
  • Confidentiality

Unfortunately, there’s often a difference of opinion within these teams which can lead to inaccuracy and inconsistencies in the classification of documents. In fact, in a study released by Autonomy, Inc., experts from seven professional review teams were asked to review a selected set of 28,000 documents. In the end, the experts unanimously agreed on the classification of only 43% of the documents

This means more than half of your documents could potentially be misclassified making your eDiscovery more challenging. 

Removing the Guesswork in Legal Document Review

Legal document reviewers are often presented with a broad overview of the matter along with a binder of protocols and example documents. This training includes little eDiscovery data and a lot of guesswork as to what is being sought after in the documents.

A few days – or sometimes weeks – after the eDiscovery review has begun, a quality control team reviews the progress to identify discrepancies in classification and specific reviewers with low accuracy.  At this point, the reviewing team is retrained with more specific protocols based on the errors uncovered. 

Having more accurate protocols from the onset of your legal document review supports productivity and avoids wasted time and effort.  

With improved efficiency, your legal team is one step closer to optimizing your eDiscovery review process. Learn how to accelerate your eDiscovery even more in our eBook: Optimize eDiscovery Cost Recovery .

Flawed Legal Document Review Protocols

When legal review protocols are established, they’re usually created by subject matter experts, well-versed in the matter. Despite their credentials, the initial review protocols can suffer from two primary flaws:

Flaw 1: Lack of Knowledge: When the expert creates the review protocols, they usually do so before they’ve had a chance to review the documents in context to better account for variations in the review set.

Flaw 2: Lack of Understanding: Once the protocols are written, the reviewers have to fully understand them or efforts to accurately classify documents becomes much more difficult and error-prone. 

Improving eDiscovery Review with Better Protocols and More Accurate Classifications

Errors and inefficiency in document review is often linked to insufficient training.  Review teams will struggle to understand exactly what they’re looking for if protocols are too vague and don’t account for unforeseen variations.  This results in too many discrepancies in your document classification. 

The solution lies in leveraging automation to support human expertise and equip them with sound training of the review protocols and classifications.

Establishing Stronger Protocols for Legal Document Review 

First, select a diverse collection of documents through early sampling so your expert can review an ample variety of documents, concepts and classifications.  As you create the review protocols, allow your review team to interact with these documents for more hands-on experience with the document set. 

Next, ask each reviewer to classify the same small batch of documents so you can provide immediate feedback on their classifications. If they classified a document incorrectly, you now have an opportunity to question their decision-making to determine why they did it and if the protocols were unclear or misleading.

Get More Accurate eDiscovery Classifications

Once training is complete, you can review the results to check the accuracy of each reviewer. This helps you identify individuals on your review team who need additional training. In addition, you can create a threshold accuracy score each reviewer is required to meet before they’re allowed to begin reviewing actual documents from the data set. 

This level of review evaluation helps:

  • Identify poorly performing reviewers
  • Informs your decision-making on review assignments
  • Improves the overall quality of the early stages of the review

All of these lead to more accurate and cost-effective reviews.

Using CloudNine Review Automation to Improve eDiscovery Review

CloudNine Review offers an automated eDiscovery solution that’s fast, affordable, and easy to use. By utilizing the automation in our solution, you’ll be able to improve your training based on your reviewers’ accuracy and speed. This allows you to:

  • Create immediate feedback and critique for your reviewers.
  • Establish a more thorough understanding of classification protocols.
  • Improve review efficiency making it faster and more accurate.

Plus, you’ll be able to improve your initial review protocols by tracking which were misunderstood by your reviewers so you can determine why they were misunderstood and what you can do to make them more understandable. 

It’s time for you to check out CloudNine and see what it can do to improve your document review. Request a free demo and let us show you how CloudNine Review uses automation to improve the human element of your eDiscovery review.