Rhys Dipshan: Technology Made Privilege Logging Unwieldy. Can AI Fix It?

Extract from Rhys Dipshan’s article “Technology Made Privilege Logging Unwieldy. Can AI Fix It?”

Of the many changes former U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck saw during his decades on the bench at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, there is one in particular that is continuing to cause him growing concern.

“When I got on the bench in 1995, the privilege logs in a typical case [were] two to three pages, maybe 50-100 entries,” he said during the Legalweek 2024 Judges Debate keynote in January. “Now the privilege logs are like little novels, and there may be 10,000 or more entries. That is very expensive and is often useless to the other side in figuring out what is or isn’t privileged.”

It’s no coincidence that privilege log volume grew alongside a technological transformation in the industry that saw legal communications move from paper memos and faxes to emails and messaging apps. Now, legal teams are struggling to rein in all the new electronically stored information (ESI)—and privileged content—they create.

But if technology caused this problem, can it help mitigate its impact as well? Can one use AI, for instance, to accurately and quickly flag privileged content, making privilege reviews less manual, expensive and labor-intensive?

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