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Predictive Coding - a revolution postponed

As I've noted on my blog before, while predictive coding, or Technology Assisted Review, is being widely touted in the electronic discovery world, there is a lot of evidence indicating that firms and clients are not rushing to adopt this review software which has been available for a few years now. (see the August 20 post about Judge Conti's observations on the slow adoption of predictive coding she sees in cases before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania).

There is plenty of other evidence also showing that predictive coding is not spreading like wildfire. Weikum Dunn, a public relations firm specializing in technology, conducted a survey this past April, which is available here: "A Big Picture Look at Ediscovery Service Providers" notes that, "About 65% of respondents reported that while they offer Technology Assisted Review (TAR) their clients aren’t using it.". Weikum Dunn believes that this is due to the fact that clients did not see their discovery costs cut by as much as they anticipated. See this chart from the report:

On a webinar that I participated in yesterday that was hosted by Exterro, a survey of the audience also indicated that only a very small percentage of people are using predictive coding for most matters. The presentation, entitled, "Searching Through Large Volumes of Data", can be downloaded here. In a snap survey omitted from the copy of the presentation Exterro posted afterwards, only 8% of respondents indicated that they were using TAR for most matters, 21% chose some matters, 27% said a few matters, and 44% were not using TAR for any matters at all.

Geoffrey Vance, a partner at Perkins Cole, wrote this Legal Tech article in June where he remarked upon how at two live presentations he attended on TAR, an inquiry into how many had utilized the technology came up with no raised hands except for his own. Vance observed that several different programs are available, e-discovery vendors have specialists who know how to use it, judges understand it and have issued decisions approving its use, and clients have technical specialists that recognize its value. He concludes that most of the blame for the failure to make use of TAR rests with law firm attorneys who don't understand its value.

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