Roland von Borstel is Director, Discovery Solutions, at Ricoh in Canada. I spoke to him at Relativity Fest in Chicago and asked him about the take-up of discovery analytics in Canada.
Roland von Borstel said that Canada is embracing analytics. Analytics is helping to deal with increasing volumes, making sense out of documents, and putting them into context with other documents. The clients really like it.
As everywhere else, it took a while for acceptance to grow. Lawyer clients were afraid of losing control or that the computer would replace them. In fact, the technology made it easier for them to do repetitive tasks. Humans were still required to decide what to do with the results.
Roland von Borstel says that the more sophisticated the tools, the easier it is to misunderstand their operation and purpose. This was a brake on the extension of technology-assisted review. The first iterations of TAR provided a mathematical solution for testing your work and, as Roland von Borstel observes, lawyers on the whole are not mathematicians. The newer Continuous Active Learning technology, as provided by Relativity among others, jumped over this problem.
It allows reviewers to continue to work as they used to do without having to think about the underlying mathematics.
This has value beyond litigation discovery. Roland von Borstel said that Relativity is a document management platform with coding abilities for a wide range of potential uses and it is this, as well as traditional eDiscovery, which is proving attractive to clients.