June brought the first official day of summer, a time of year that typically sees a trend of fewer business hours and a slow hiring season. 2021 is an exception to this tradition; the legal industry is busy as ever and the e-discovery job market is booming. As we surface the end of a global pandemic, people are throwing themselves into new professional and personal opportunities.
Each month, ACEDS hosts webinars on a variety of e-discovery topics and broader issues related to legal technology. Thought leaders across the industry use this platform to share experiences and ideas. Written by ACEDS’ marketing specialist Kelly Bauer, this series explores the main takeaways and resources from these events. Read highlights from June’s webinars below and register to join us for upcoming events. There’s no shortage of educational content; watch ACEDS webinars live or on-demand.
June 3: Eye on ESI
Jared Coseglia, Founder & CEO, TRU Staffing Partners
Mike Quartararo, President, ACEDS
Maribel Rivera, Senior Director, ACEDS
A new quarterly series by ACEDS, “Eye on ESI” is an engaging conversation about the latest trends in e-discovery and the legal technology industry. This open forum featured three prominent figures in the e-discovery community, who answered questions and shared their insights on this expanding field.
Jared Coseglia discussed the current demand for e-discovery talent and high volume of job openings. In 20 years of professional experience in staffing and e-discovery, Coseglia has never seen the job market reach such peaks. This demand is consistent across the board for law firms, corporations, service providers and all areas of legal work. Companies are reconciling post-pandemic, with strategies and goals for growth that require increased staff and fresh ideas. Coseglia wrote about these trends from June on the ACEDS blog.
The market has moved from employing those put out of work in the last year towards people relocating. Many key players in the legal industry are making lateral moves and seeking new career opportunities. To retain important figures, Maribel Rivera suggests mentorship within a company is a solution. The middle layer of employees can be the most influential in e-discovery and project management. Now is a critical time to keep people engaged, challenged, and interested.
Company culture has suffered in the last year, however work from home has created an opportunity for people to let their guard down. Professional expectations have been lowered and authenticity is valued. Leaders now face the challenge of deciding to continue remote work or return to offices, with no clear answer to make everyone happy.
A lack of diversity was also discussed, highlighting how people of color and women were two groups disproportionately affected in the last year. The end of the pandemic would potentially create more opportunities for women and racial diversity, with company leadership playing a huge role. Coseglia also pointed out a need for legislation on anti-bias in AI hiring practices.
As people look to move positions and grow their career, Mike Quartararo discussed an increased interest towards legal certifications. There is a high need and value in specialized training for a competitive market. Concluding with the panel answering audience questions, this open-ended conversation covered many aspects of e-discovery and beyond.
June 8: TAR on Trial: From Da Silva Moore to Today
Hon. Andrew Peck, US Magistrate Judge SDNY (ret.), Senior Counsel at DLA Piper
Alicia Hawley, Chair of Taft Discovery
David Horrigan, Legal Education Director, Relativity
He’s back on the bench! More than 500 people attended this webinar as The Honorable Andrew Peck officiated this mock hearing on issues of technology-assisted review (TAR) use in litigation. From his notable ruling in Da Silva Moore and other impactful cases, Judge Peck is an influential figure in the field of e-discovery.
A spirited debate between Alicia Hawley and David Horrigan was created from a fictitious fact pattern of characters and scenarios. The hearing revolves around a case with a prominent attorney building his own e-discovery software system for document review. Two main issues were presented: whether a judge’s order was violated by switching to TAR and if the judge erred in denying the plaintiff’s request for an ESI protocol.
Alicia Hawley argued on the side of the defendant, where David Horrigan made the case for the plaintiff. The court order in question called for “a more finite search of the documents,” but made no mention of TAR use. Horrigan’s main argument was the use of TAR was “changing horses midstream” from manual review. If technology-assisted review was going to be used, that should have discussed from the start. Hawley explained TAR systems, such as Relativity’s Active Learning, and how it scores documents on their importance and pushes the useful ones forward. As the order was silent on the issue, Hawley argued that the use of TAR was perfectly allowed.
Judge Peck made it clear that he is a firm believer in the use of TAR, and stated it is often necessary due to the volume of documents. The panel also warned to be cautious of ESI protocols and not get yourself stuck. The mock hearing was followed by a Q&A session where all guests answered questions about their experiences, including Hawley’s work on Livingston v. City of Chicago and Judge Peck’s decisions on Hyles v. City of New York.
June 24: Do More with Outsourcing – How the Industry is Changing
Srinath Mitragotri, Executive VP, Mangalam Information Technologies
Christina Keller, National Sales Director, Mangalam Information Technologies
ACEDS hosted guests from our affiliate partner Mangalam for a webinar that discussed outsourcing benefits in e-discovery. Technological advances have created opportunities for litigation support and increased efficiency of processes. However, clients are more demanding on driving down costs and operational margins. With legal technology innovations, the opportunities created also brings a lot of added work.
Outsourcing is beneficial in an industry, such as law, where situations are unpredictable and changing. When there is an excess of data with limited time to process, outsourcing is a key resource. Mangalam is available for 24/7 assistance, on an hourly or contract basis. The company specializes in legal coding services, such as in-text and keyword coding, but also offers a variety of other review services. The most significant reservation for outsourcing is inconsistency in work quality and lack of communication. With a reputation for high-quality delivery, quick turnaround time, and a 15-minute email response time, Mangalam proves itself as an outsourcing solution for vendors and law firms.
Teams gain custom solutions when outsourcing is used. With higher data volumes than ever, e-discovery professionals should seek trusted outside sources to assist with projects. When time-consuming and tedious tasks are placed in the hands of a trusted partner, the company can focus on the big picture and devote energy where it’s important. Avoid risks by outsourcing from a company with high security and effective communication. Learn more about outsourcing in e-discovery and Mangalam’s services in this webinar, now available on-demand.
June 29: Working Smarter, Not Harder: Advanced AI and Smart Tools for Data-Driven Decision Making
Bobby Malhotra, eDiscovery Counsel, Munger, Tolles, & Olson
Peg Gianuca, eDiscovery Technical Solutions Manager, The Walt Disney Company
Jeff Grobart, Associate Director, Professional Services, H5
Mike Quartararo, President, ACEDS
The current narrative in legal technology has brought exponential growth in data volumes for e-discovery professionals to manage. With no sign of data slowing down, innovations cannot come fast enough. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been rapidly advancing and plays a huge role in the shifting of the industry. This webinar, sponsored by H5, discusses methods and best practices for implementing AI in e-discovery decision-making.
Peg Gianuca stated that the data amount legal professionals are maintaining is driving them towards AI to make workflows more effective. How to strategically deploy these AI tools differs at each company, but always involves time and training. Training is not just for the professionals interacting with this technology – Jeff Grobart talked about the process of training AI to complete tasks.
Most outputs in AI are binary in nature, meaning the model can sort documents and data into two categories. To perform categorization, AI models have to be trained with documents and programming to achieve the desired outcome. Bobby Malhotra suggested that an algorithm should be used to select the documents and curate the training process. This avoids repetition and explores all types of categories possible. The panel discusses the pros and cons to this, as there is some gray area where an algorithm will contradict people’s ideas.
Investing time and money into AI systems allows a company to keep pace with the growing legal technology industry. Gianuca stated that AI can be useful in some aspect of all e-discovery cases. Putting simple decision-making tasks for document review in the hands of AI is not only efficient but necessary in the expanding world of e-discovery. Learn more about implementing AI systems in this webinar, now available on-demand.