Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2011-08-26 11:10:34  A year after the flooding, the ILTA rev-elation conference finally made it to the Gaylord Opryland Resort this week. I heard that member attendance hit 1500, but the increased provider presence raised the total attendees to almost 2500. As an acquaintance remarked, “The resort is like a casino, but all the slot machines have been replaced by plants.” Yes, it was that hard to find your way out. Luckily the conference and networking proved sufficiently distracting. The friendly atmosphere and grass-roots networking have always differentiated ILTA from the commercial bustle of Legal Tech. The exhibitor labyrinth was much larger than the last show in Las Vegas, which I have mixed feelings about. Overall, the mood was upbeat and almost everyone I queried has had a record year. Litigation and discovery readiness spending seems to have recovered from the 2008-2009 lull.Many service providers seem to be finally offering fixed fee or managed service alternatives to volume based pricing. This is still new enough that they are still wrestling with how to price their offerings, but I am encouraged to see some major players recognize that corporations need predictable costs to make the commitment to preferred providers. Although I did not do a briefing with the Clearwell team on this trip, multiple competitors remarked on their new Low In-High Out pricing structure since the Symantec purchase. Predictive coding continues to generate interest, with kCura’s Relativity the latest player to launch an offering. Many providers are finally building real workflow into their ECA or review applications. Hopefully this will slowly enable users to stay within one application, inching towards the nirvana of a true discovery platform. I have come to the conclusion that “ECA” applications are just repurposed processing applications with native file viewers.This year I moderated one panel that focused on emerging technology, specifically remote collection and predictive coding tools. We had good attendance and audience participation despite being the first session on the last day of the conference, which usually guarantees a poor turnout. Dominic Jaar (Consultant KPMG) and Daniel Lim (AGC Guidance) defined and explored remote collection methods, issues and benefits. Points of heavy discussion included bandwidth limitations, stealth investigations and the quest for the mythical pre-collection analysis to reduce over-collection. Surprisingly, the forensic experts agreed that drive imaging was usually overkill and unnecessary. Howard Sklar (Recommind) and Keven Hayworth (Counsel – Morgan Lewis) delved heavily into a predictive coding case study and fielded a lot of questions on defensibility, true benefits and workflow. Howard set forth the primary usage scenarios; prioritizing collections for full review, quality control and actual reliance on the training sets to automatically code the bulk of the collection. The audience seemed skeptical about the last, but was very interested in how the process worked. Even though machine learning techniques seem to offer a substantial advantage in recall precision over Boolean search terms, I still feel that it will be hard to defend until parties can actually understand why the system included or excluded specific documents. It is easy to point at Boolean terms/clauses and understand why they missed an implied conspiratorial agreement.  Most predictive analytics are essentially black box technologies that ask the user to trust complex selection profiles. There is no doubt that we need these technologies to tackle the ever-growing scope of collections, but the panel agreed that the easiest way to mitigate risks was to get the opposing parties agreement on review methods.Beyond my panels, I packed my days with press briefings that I hope to distill for you over the next several days. I enjoyed seeing many familiar faces, making new connections and hearing about everyone’s plans leading up to their major releases for Legal Tech. If you made the Nashville conference, please throw in a comment about something interesting you heard.

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