ABA Legal Tech Survey Finds Use of Predictive Coding Still Related to Size of Case

by | Dec 6, 2016

Why Hasnt Predictive Coding Fulfilled its Promise in eDiscovery -

The 2016 Legal Technology Survey Report, published by the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC), documents a common misconception in the legal industry that technology assisted review software tools are only useful in large cases.

“There is a myth in our industry that predictive coding and other smart review tools are only useful and cost-effective in large-scale commercial litigation,” said Steve Ashbacher, vice president of litigation solutions with the LexisNexis software and technology business. “The truth is that new eDiscovery software technologies have emerged that make these review tools practical for a much wider range of cases than ever before.”

The LTRC survey found that roughly 15 percent of respondents have used predictive coding as a technique for reviewing eDiscovery materials, a finding that is lower than other recent industry reports, but likely a reflection of the fact that ABA surveys skew toward smaller law firms. Indeed, the LTRC report notes that the answers in its own survey split widely based on the size of the law firm: just 4 percent of firms with 2-9 attorneys said they’ve used predictive coding, while 35 percent of firms with 100+ attorneys have done so.

When the survey drilled down into explanations for what has prevented respondents from using predictive coding in eDiscovery, the number-one answer given (57 percent) was that the size of their cases didn’t warrant the use of the technology. The second most common reason cited (27 percent) was cost.

Ashbacher pointed out that new software tools – such as Lexis DiscoveryIQ, an eDiscovery enterprise software platform from LexisNexis – are reimagining how and when predictive coding can be used in the eDiscovery workflow.

“Our software design team has made it easier and more intuitive for litigation professionals to use the predictive coding tools in DiscoveryIQ, which enables this powerful technology to be put to work on corporate investigations and litigation matters of various sizes and budgets,” said Ashbacher.

The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) produced the 2016 Legal Technology Survey Report. For more than a decade, the LTRC has surveyed practicing attorneys about their technology choices to create this annual report. The survey is separated into six volumes: Technology Basics & Security; Law Office Technology; Litigation Technology & E-Discovery; Web and Communication Technology; Online Research; and Mobile Lawyers. Each volume features a trend report summarizing the year’s notable results, detailed charts and tables, and highlights from previous years.

The full survey report can be purchased from the ABA for $1,995 and individual volumes cost $350 each. To order a report, please click here.

This post is by Daryn Teague, who provides support to the litigation software product line based in the LexisNexis Raleigh Technology Center.


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