Interview: David Lapresi of Phillips Lytle on the need for lawyers to adopt technology

David Lapresi is eDiscovery and Litigation Support Manager at Phillips Lytle. I interviewed him at Legaltech in New York at the suggestion of OpenText and asked him if he was optimistic about lawyers’ use of technology like OpenText’s Axcelerate.

David Lapresi said that he is now optimistic where it was a struggle twenty years ago to persuade lawyers to use technology. More lawyers know that they must embrace it, he said. Volumes are now so high that traditional methods of document review cannot be competitive.

Increasingly, the adoption of technology by lawyers is a result of express client pressure when clients threaten to take their business elsewhere if the lawyers are not seen to be adopting technology.

David Lapresi said that clients question big budgets and will ask why the numbers are so high. His own habit is to show clients the difference between using technology and not using it, expressed both in terms of time and cost. It is, effectively, a straightforward piece of mathematics – doing it this way will cost this much while doing it that way will cost that much. He shows clients the difference between using Axcelerate’s predictive models and undertaking a review in a linear way.

I suggested that lawyers do not really like being shown there are cheaper ways of doing the work. David Lapresi said that this is not just a matter of reducing costs. Lawyers are coming to realise that they can add value to their work in a better way than merely doing the job cheaply. It is that added value that they should bill for, not for setting up large teams of lawyers to do the work.


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
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