January 27, 2022

Time for TAR? 4 things to consider before you invest

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glowing bulb-Article-201401251848By Ian Lopez, From Legaltech News

Technology assisted review (TAR) is relatively new to legal, and as such not every firm has jumped onboard to utilize its benefits. Also known as “predictive coding,” TAR allows legal professionals to identify and tag documents and focus on small data sets. This is done via text classification software that helps find responsive documents, and many experts say it provides more accurate analysis with less effort in the e-discovery process. In the battle to save time, costs and efforts, there are some considerations that all law firms can make when weighing whether it’s time to start investing in TAR.

1.  The effects it can have on litigation.

There’s no understating what TAR can do for your litigation proceedings. As John William Speros, attorney at Speros & Associates, recently wrote Legaltech News: “Predictive coding and TAR technology help ameliorate a problem that denigrates civil litigation: extortion by discovery when discovery costs ‘force settlements for reasons and on terms that related more to the costs of discovery than to the merits of the case.’”

Speros also noted how some courts have great confidence in TAR. As an example, he listed the Da Silva Moore opinion and order’s quote of a law review article: “Technology-assisted review can (and does) yield more accurate results than exhaustive manual review, with much lower effort.”

2. Vendor variety and what it means to your firm.

Like any emerging technology, there are still obstacles that need to be overcome when it comes to TAR. For vendors, this means a variety of prices that don’t always match up with what’s being offered.

In determining what software is right for your firm, it’s essential to ensure that a vendor’s offering can meet your specific needs. This may sound obvious, but consider the many shapes and forms TAR providers come in. For example, as LTN noted last month, some companies will say they offer a predictive coding tool, though in reality they are reselling the tools of another vendor, which means that your firm may be paying a high price with minimal flexibility. Second, many vendors tout TAR experts as part of their arsenal, though this expertise is at times overstated, which can result in a messy predictive coding project.

3. The money you stand to save.

Aside from having the potential to provide more accurate review, TAR also means a review process that involves less people and less time.

“TAR’s strengths are about accuracy, speed, consistency, and reducing the need for additional human reviewers,” David Carns, vice president of @Legal Discovery, told LTN in a recent conversation. “In addition to culling massive document collections, TAR can be used in non-traditional ways during the e-discovery workflow process: analyzing received productions, deposition preparation, streamlining review processes and validating productions.”

He added, “TAR can be invaluable to clients and attorneys as an effective way to save undue burden, time and cost. TAR enables practitioners to eliminate unresponsive documents quickly, target documents for privilege or other legal issues, and generally augment an existing ECA strategy.”

4. The different methods and technologies available.

Despite the benefits that can be realized in every use of it, TAR is not a silver bullet. When it comes to TAR, there are different methods, among them continuous active learning (CAL), simple active learning (SAL) and simple passive learning (SPL). Writing for LTN, Rob Lekowski, vice president of sales and marketing at DSi, noted that the variance doesn’t mean that one is better than another, though notes it can be difficult to keep these variances straight.

“I prefer to lump them into two categories: CAL, which constantly revises the most likely relevant documents based on every piece of input from reviewers, versus the others,” Lekowski explained. “The others (SAL and SPL) can be very effective as any technology that can help you reduce the amount of non-responsive information you have to look at is positive, however CAL is likely to be the most effective.”

In terms of effectiveness, however, many ascribe to the school of TAR 2.0, i.e. CAL, as it has been found to be more effective at locating relevant documents than its predecessor software. With CAL, documents are ranked every time a document is coded, simplifying the accommodation of rolling collections. Furthermore, users can adjust ranking abilities for numerous individual issues and thus target specific document sets. This, Lekowski explained, allows CAL technology to be “incredibly elastic and incredibly scalable.”

Then there’s SAL and SPL, which fall under the TAR 1.0 umbrella. Unlike CAL, which continuously ranks during the coding of responsive documents, TAR 1.0 “typically involves a seed set of responsive material that is identified and then run against the document universe for a ranking,” which users must do “once or periodically,” Lekowski wrote. He added that some systems in this category “work well for responsive/non-responsive document calls,” but that when it comes to the coding of multiple issues, the struggle.

For more on this story go to: http://www.legaltechnews.com/id=1202747758938/Time-for-TAR-4-Things-to-Consider-Before-You-Invest#ixzz3yNVzRmBM

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