Basketball pointers for litigation management

eDiscovery Tools is an Australian company which makes software for processing e-mail and other electronic documents for litigation and similar purposes. Its main product is eDiscovery Processor, used by law firms, corporate clients, government departments and litigation support bureaux to extract and index full text and metadata from hundreds of file types and to export the results into a format ready for the majority of litigation support platforms, including FTI Ringtail, Concordance and CT Summation.

It caught my eye at LegalTech last year, and stuck in my mind partly for its obvious power, flexibility and user interface, but mainly because of the demonstrator’s reaction when I asked about an audit feature – an obscure point to do with removed attachments. The chap stared into the distance for a moment and said no, that was not covered – but if I were to ask the same question in a month’s time, I would find that it was.

I have since discovered that that this kind of prompt reaction to user points is one of the company’s strengths. One London user told me that the company makes use of the time difference to get things done overnight. It also takes developers to sales meetings which must help to inform both sides.

I kept in touch with Managing Director Jo Sherman over the ensuing year, partly because the software was interesting, but also because Jo acts as adviser to the Federal Court of Australia on discovery matters. We therefore have a common interest in the way the court rules can be used to control the time and expense of discovery.

eDiscovery Tools has now been joined by Seamus Byrne, who became Chief Operating Officer in January. Seamus is a lawyer with extensive forensic technology and electronic discovery experience and is apparently the only practising lawyer in Australia with formal qualifications in both law and forensic data analysis.

Jo and Seamus took a party of us in a motor car the length of a bus to see the New York Knicks narrowly defeated by the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square. Basketball has something in common with litigation in that it builds slowly to a climax with points traded more or less alternately until a crescendo towards the end – something acknowledged by the fact that half the spectators don’t show up for the first half.

Litigation could benefit from the tight management which is exerted by the referee, including the 3 second rule which states that “No offensive player can be in the free-throw lane for longer than 3 seconds at a time” and which equates, very roughly, to the Commercial Court’s new strictures on the length of counsels’ submissions. The conduct of litigation would also be immeasurably improved if the gaps between hearings were filled by a regiment of lightly-clothed pretty girls coming on for a bout of energetic dancing, or by the troupe of gymnasts who did unbelieveably agile things with skipping ropes. One for the next Commercial Court Working Party to consider.

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About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Australian courts, Case Management, Commercial Court, Court Rules, Courts, E-Discovery Suppliers, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, eDiscovery Tools, LegalTech, Litigation Support. Bookmark the permalink.

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