By Beth Fritts
Imagine you’re a lawyer working for a global pharmaceutical corporation that just launched a new drug to the market. Not long after, a government agency launches an investigation to determine whether your company engaged in false and deceptive marketing to drive sales. You need to gather evidence to defend your company – quickly. Not an easy feat, but much more achievable with the newest breed of legal analytics.
With the analytics technology that has dominated the market in the past decade or so, you and your fellow attorneys may spend weeks, or even months, hunched over computer monitors for 12 hours a day reviewing millions of documents, from e-mails and social media messages to PowerPoint presentations. This process known as electronic discovery (eDiscovery) is costly and time-consuming, involving armies of attorneys classifying the type of information documents contain, such as relevant, attorney-client confidential or trade secret.
While these analytics can help you sift through masses of information on a case-by-case basis, letting you know which documents may be relevant for your investigation, they don’t assess information that has already been classified. In other words, you’ll have to begin the eDiscovery process each time a new case comes forward, rather than repurposing the extensive work you already performed in coding and classifying many of the documents.
Xerox is helping legal teams move past this highly inefficient practice with the Analytics Hub, a new service by Xerox Legal Business Services. By assessing billions of classification codes, the Analytics Hub not only identifies which documents are relevant for new cases but also predicts which documents have the potential of becoming a legal liability in the future.
This new capability in analytics can help you expedite gathering evidence for the investigation and protect your brand. Here are three examples of how they achieve this:
- Eliminate repeat reviews. The common practice of repeating reviews on documents can lead to attorneys making inconsistent coding decisions. What one attorney classifies as relevant for one case, another might classify as not relevant for another case. By flagging documents that have inconsistent coding, you would no longer have to repeat reviews of the same documents to ensure you don’t miss a document that is relevant for the investigation but was deemed irrelevant for another case. This simplifies preparing a more accurate, targeted set of documents that can serve in your company’s defense.
- Automate the classification of documents. Due to their ability to look at the characteristics of previously classified documents, the new breed of analytics can automatically classify documents. This will not only help you get to the relevant information much faster than before but also drastically reduce repetitive, manual work.
- Identify risks in data. You don’t have to be under regulatory scrutiny or working on gathering evidence to take advantage of the latest analytics capabilities. Instead, you can use analytics to detect data that shows signs of risk or other trends. This previously unattainable insight helps your company address problems and challenges before they result in legal repercussion. For example, if your company is planning the launch of another pharmaceutical drug, employees are likely sharing information about it to make the project a reality. E-mails shared externally that over promise the benefits of the new drug but are not supported by drug trial results could lead to another investigation for false and deceptive practices in the future. Analytics can now serve as an “early warning system” by flagging documents that indicate risky behavior or language, allowing your company to redirect employees about the information they share before it’s too late.
As the volume of data and the places where it is stored continues proliferating, corporations and their legal counsel will increasingly turn to analytics to gain efficiency and detect risk. In addition to increasing productivity and reducing costs, analytics help legal teams re-deploy talent to higher value roles and processes to prepare better for their cases and achieve the best results.
Helping lawyers do what they do best — protect the corporate brand — has never been more promising.