Originally posted on April 15, 2013
Last week Barry Murphy and I recorded an ESIBytes podcast on the rationale behind the eDiscoveryJournal and Review Less predictive coding boot camp national “tour” beginning in Washington, DC on April 17th, with a special guest Judge Nora Barry Fischer a Federal District Court Judge from the W.D. of Pennsylvania who is one of the Judges assisting with the judicial roundtable portion of the predictive coding boot camp.
Judge Fischer kicked off the podcast by reiterating the need for more e-discovery education by sharing some recent observations from the e-Discovery Special Master program from the W.D. of PA. This showed that eDiscovery is occurring more frequently in cases and highlighted the need for lawyer education in the field. This problem is especially acute when we talk about newer technologies such as predictive coding which requires some understanding of statistics to be able to understand the validation of all predictive coding tools.
Unlike most CLE programs I speak at, I have spent about eight weeks working on materials for these boot camps, to craft a program which “opens the kimono” on over 14 different predictive coding tools we have looked at and synthesizes the common aspects behind the tools. It also draws on my experiences in Global Aerospace and other predictive coding cases I am working on, as well as lessons learned from some of the other large cases that have hit the press. But we are trying to go much deeper into statistics and terminology than most CLE’s go.
A critical observation of mine from consulting in large cases involving both producing ESI using predictive coding and receiving a production with predictive coding is participants need to understand the differences between tools as opposed to just knowing the tool they want to use. It is difficult to meet and confer effectively with predictive coding when both sides are speaking different languages, but think they are speaking the same language. This problem usually manifests itself later in the project after a protocol is in place.
Another observation is that transparency is extremely important. Holding onto the rules and traditions of past document review standards which says that we do not need to show training sets, really misses the general proposition of Rule 1 of balancing speed, cost and results. It also misses the psychology of the side who is putting their trust in a black box that they need to see something more than pure output at the end to get comfortable.
This is more about common sense than anything else. Especially when the number of documents that are shared often number a few thousand, less non-responsive documents than are typically turned over in any large production. This is because of poor precision among teams of reviewers who get tired and miscode documents. It is an exciting space with lots of room to grow. We intend to offer a good view of the field, share some new survey statistics on national usage, and bring in local judges and facilitators who are using these tools to add to a town hall type feel and hopefully do it in an entertaining way.
My apologies to ESIBytes listeners that my free podcast shows have slowed in frequency. This is a short term aberration. While ESIBytes has always been a free resource for eDiscovery education, there is a small fee of $150 for the eDiscoveryJournal Boot Camps. The fact is the time commitment of designing the materials and expenses associated with travelling to cities; designing document review tests for the audience; and securing space with Internet access require some modest amounts of revenue. On the flip side, I am speaking at predictive coding events within the next 30 days which cost $750 to $2000 not including transportation costs. Given the need for more lawyers who are conversant with predictive coding, we felt it was important to take this program into communities and make it affordable to keep the costs manageable and to “seed” the development of more lawyers who can work with these tools. It is also cheaper to pay for our small team to travel than to require all attendees to pay to travel to come and see us speak.
Lastly, we are scheduled to do this program in Washington, DC on April 17th; Chicago on April 24th; Pittsburgh on May 6th; Boston on May 14th. Please sign up to support our initiative. Space is limited at each venue. And also feel free to reach out to us if you are interested in seeing this training boot camp come to your city. Hope to see you all in your home town sometime in 2013.