Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Data Analytics Steal the Show at DC Technology in the Law Symposium

I was delighted to serve as a panelist at the Technology in the Law Symposium, held earlier this month by the DC Bar Association and McDermott Will & Emery, LLP.  Three panels spoke on the use of predictive technologies and analytics and their use in the courtroom, for eDiscovery and well beyond.  Panelists ranged from outside counsel litigators, to DOJ government attorneys, to service providers and consultants, with Hon. Judge John Facciola presenting the keynote.  The lively, and at times contentious event featured three broad topics:  What the Courts are Saying About Predictive Coding, Predictive Coding Pessimists v. Optimists, and the Use of Data Analytics in Other Areas.

“There’s no greater compliance training than grand jury subpoena.” John Kocoras, Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery

While much of the early discussion around Predictive Coding was, well, somewhat predictable by now, (Key messages:  PC is good, it is proven for doc review, courts are onboard, don’t be reckless with it), the panelists and audience really became animated about the uses of predictive analytics beyond simple relevance review.  Panelists John Kocoras (MWE), Kristian Werling (MWE), Sandra Serkes (Valora) and Kurt Michel (Content Analyst) described scenarios where predictive technologies were being used in multiple corporate settings to assess M&A documents, contracts or financial statements and seek out areas of corporate compliance exposure.  At one point, moderator Jason R. Baron (Drinker Biddle) jokingly asked the panel whether such technologies could accurately predict legal case outcomes.  Answer:  Yes, within reasonable margins of error.

In all, the inaugural Symposium was a roaring success for the 150+ attendees from all over Washington, DC and beyond.  MWE is hoping to expand on their initial success and present several more related symposia in 2014.  Well worth the free attendance!