In the light of Judge Peck’s Da Silva Moore Opinion approving the use of predictive coding in US Federal civil proceedings, I recently interviewed James Moeskops of Millnet about the use of this technology in English courts. The result is a podcast which you can find here.
Anecdotally, the use of such software is increasing in the UK – I say “anecdotally” because such things rarely become the subject of published judgments in the UK, and my information is the aggregate of feedback from providers who, like Millnet, have the software and the skill to provide it.
One of the two cases covered in my article Two predictive coding case studies emphasise time and cost savings involved a UK matter in which Millnet and Eversheds used Equivio’s Relevance product, and I thought it worth following this up now that we have a US opinion on the subject.
The brief recording begins with a short introduction from me describing in simple terms what predictive coding is. I then ask James Moeskops the sort of questions which might be asked by a would-be user – when would Millnet suggest the use of predictive coding, and what questions would James ask to get a feel for the case? I also ask James to describe the process which Millnet would go through, in conjunction with the lawyers, to apply predictive coding technology to the data.
I conclude by asking James where he sees predictive coding going over the next 12 months, specifically in the UK.
A short podcast like this is a painless way of acquiring information sufficient to whet your appetite for more. No one pretends that predictive coding is an easy technology to understand or that it is right for every case. Lawyers will quickly grasp four points, however:
- This technology puts them at the front end of the process where it has maximum effect in reducing the cost, the time and the drudgery of big document reviews.
- The consequent cost reductions make their firm competitive vis à vis their rivals.
- Completion of the Practice Direction 31B Electronic Documents Questionnaire in the context of a Case Management Conference requires knowledge of the likely scale of the disclosure exercise and an assessment of the tools and techniques to be used to reduce that exercise; one ought at least to know what the options are.
- In the coming world of costs management, lawyers will increasingly find themselves required both to identify and to justify proposed expenditure.
This podcast will give you a place to start.
Not everything which happens in US courts holds value for the rest of us. Judge Peck’s Opinion, however addresses universal issues of proportionality, transparency and cooperation, as well as the use of technology to reduce the task, and it will be persuasive here.