According to Johannes Stiehler, CEO of ayfie Group, in a July 7, 2020, announcement, “This is a great time for us to join the Merkur Market. While COVID-19 is obviously not over, we are definitely seeing business pick up in all areas. Our knowledge discovery product ayfie Locator was recently licensed to several large Norwegian law firms, while our eDiscovery tool ayfie Inspector is gaining traction in the US. As courts get back to work after the lock-down there, we are seeing revenue increase due to a rising number of transactions.”
The basic idea behind topic modeling, according to eDiscovery expert and author Herbert Roitblat, is that documents consist of words that are derived from some mixture of topics. The goal of eDiscovery, argues the author, is to get the information contained in a collection of documents, not to get the documents themselves. The documents are just a means to reach the information.
Published annually for the last six year’s, Ari Kaplan Advisors’ annual E-Discovery Unfiltered Survey is an informative report that provides actionable intelligence and insight for defensible decisions by legal, business, and information technology professionals on eDiscovery pricing patterns and preferences, projected investments, the impact of the cloud, outsourcing and remote review shifts, vendor selection criteria, and the need for international eDiscovery.
Based on the aggregate results of nineteen past eDiscovery Business Confidence Surveys, the following findings and charted overviews of responses to survey questions may be helpful for understanding the collective mindset of many industry experts regarding their confidence in the business of eDiscovery between early 2016 and today.
In the summer of 2020, 56% of respondents viewed budgetary constraints as potentially having the greatest business impact on their business in the next six months. This percentage is the highest of all concerns represented in the survey and also is the highest rating for any business performance concern since the inception of the survey. This is also the eleventh time in nineteen surveys that the issue of budgetary constraints has been the top concern or tied for the top concern by survey respondents.
Given the relatively small number of Second Request opportunities when compared to the traditional opportunities for eDiscovery in support of audits, investigations, and litigation, claims of expertise and experience in this unique type of discovery may be difficult to assess without the context of the actual numbers of Second Requests made annually by the FTC and DOJ. Many providers may assert experience in conducting the tasks required in Second Requests. However, a significantly fewer number of providers may actually have experience in conducting those tasks as part of an actual Second Request case or matter.
From business confidence and operational metrics to data protection and privacy updates, the July 2020 edition of the Five Great Reads on eDiscovery newsletter provides a selection of recent research, reports, and articles to update and inform legal, business, and information technology professionals in the eDiscovery ecosystem.
The recently released 42nd Annual Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Report shares a 10-year summary of HSR transactions reported, second requests issued, and early terminations granted by the agencies, as well as a detailed statistical profile of transactions reported during fiscal year 2019. Enacted by Congress in 1976, the HSR Act gives the federal government the opportunity to investigate and challenge mergers that are likely to harm consumers before injury occurs. The Commission vote to issue the report was 4-0-1.
In the summer of 2020, 91 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey participants chose to answer at least one of the optional business operational metric survey questions in the quarterly survey. 20.9% of survey respondents reported Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) as increasing in the summer of 2020. This is an incremental increase from the 19.3% reporting DSO as increasing in the spring of 2020 and is the highest percentage of respondents reporting DSO as increasing since the introduction of business operational metric questions to the eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey in the winter of 2019.
From a macro perspective, connecting the dots in eDiscovery is to simply draw logical inferences from connecting items of information to reveal something previously hidden or unknown. The provided non-comprehensive graphical depiction may be helpful in considering and connecting the dots during planning, forecasting, and sharing activities regarding the discipline of eDiscovery.