With the ever-increasing amount of electronically stored information (ESI) being created today, artificial intelligence (AI) software has emerged to solve some of the more common document review challenges during eDiscovery. Whether trying to control escalating costs of document review or fighting tight timelines, case managers are increasingly turning to AI to support the review process.
As beneficial as this has been, limiting the use of AI to document review maintains a reactive rather than proactive approach to ESI management. Using technology tools during early case assessment (ECA) allows legal teams to take the initiative with their case data and anticipate issues rather than trying to fix them once they’ve already appeared. It also allows focused review teams on a carefully culled data set, thereby offering significant cost savings downstream.
What Does Early Case Assessment Do?
The objective of ECA is to examine the risks and costs associated with a case in order to determine an overall strategy. As case teams sift through ESI, they look for patterns and indicators about which information should be preserved, culled, or analyzed further. How an ECA is conducted can play a vital role in determining the trajectory and eventual outcome of a case.
However, in order for ECA to have the most impact, its insights into case data need to be captured as efficiently as possible. This isn’t easy with the wide variety of both structured and unstructured data to review, such as emails, texts, documents, CCTV footage, and video conference calls, to name a few. Trends indicate that data creation will grow exponentially as time goes on, leaving increasing amounts of ESI to review during ECA and the rest of eDiscovery.
How AI Software Can Help
Case teams utilizing ECA software benefit from more precise ESI reviews at faster speeds than previously possible. These tools allow case teams to analyze and make connections between different pieces of evidence at the same time as ESI is gathered. Running this analysis before collection can help determine the scope of a legal matter and determine the smartest course of action, such as whether or not to settle.
Other capabilities include:
- Searching by keyword and image classification
- Pattern identification to formulate arguments
- The ability to redact information from files
- Cross-referencing analytics with case outcomes
AI applies data mining techniques to ESI as well as custodian identities and relationships, then uses this information to run new searches and detect relevant ESI. These algorithms allow documents to be efficiently categorized using less time and expense than manual review.
Is AI Right for Your Case?
Using AI software during ECA can help remove some of the most significant concerns of the document review process. Although the new technology can seem daunting at first, eDiscovery experts are familiar with these tools and how they can be of use to individual cases. Case teams can utilize this software to streamline results, gather nuanced insights earlier, and consistently deliver improved case outcomes. In addition, they can offer significant savings by reducing the data volume sent for review.