By Matthew W. Miller, JD – Business Development Executive (Midwest Region)

LegalWeek is a combination of three conferences comprising the world’s largest and longest-running trade show for legal technology. This annual gathering in Midtown Manhattan is held once a year in the first week of February. Legal professionals from all over the world gather to view live demonstrations of the latest and greatest knowledge solutions geared towards the legal field.

Professionals meet and confer with likeminded colleagues and listen to industry leaders on topics relevant to the business of law. Attendees include consultants, service providers, legal teams of all sizes, corporations, as well as state and Federal government representatives.

For those who have not made the annual pilgrimage to New York, you are missing out on a wealth of information relevant to your practice areas. Attending LegalWeek exposes you to innovations that could automate your workflows and save your firm money in the process.

Source: LegalWeek Gallery, Addison Geary/Kates Media

The Rise of Contract Tools and Technology

The initial buzz going into the 2020 conference was centered around emerging technologies such as blockchain-powered smart contracts: self-executing agreements removing the need for legal representatives. However, many attorneys in attendance were concerned about technical issues that could affect said agreements and practical issues, creating problems if disputes arose. It remains to be seen whether this technology can find its niche with buyers and sellers across all industries.

Numerous people who were interviewed at the conference said that this year the dominant vendor presence definitely shifted to new technology like contract tools from eDiscovery tools just a year ago.

eDiscovery Tools are the New Standard

Several years ago, eDiscovery solutions were the new kid on the block, but eDiscovery teams now have been established as the seasoned technology in the legal field. All the major vendors, including Reveal, Relativity, Disco, and Everlaw, had large displays on the convention floor with an army of experts showing off their most recent feature releases.

Reveal’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform uses predictive coding, natural language processing, cognitive analytics, and dataless classification to turn unstructured data sets into meaningful insight. Reveal’s industry-leading AI harnesses machine learning to deliver operational efficiencies and proactive risk mitigation for legal, corporate and compliance teams. It is now evident that the use of AI tools for information governance and early case assessment and review is becoming table stakes.

eDiscovery Trend 1: Bringing eDiscovery In-house

Attendees from large law firms seemed most intrigued with the ability to bring platforms in-house through a hybrid of on-premises and cloud-based deployment. Several of these legal departments expressed interest in having multiple eDiscovery options to present to their clients, ultimately letting the client choose which solution to employ on their litigation matters.

In fact, a consortium of global law firms has backed the development of Reynen Court – a platform that allows member firms to source and run third-party software applications offered by member vendors in the law firm’s own virtual private clouds. Reynen Court announced several new law firms and vendors, including Reveal Data, were in the process of joining the platform as of the start of the conference. If Reynen Court’s platform takes off, it could disrupt the proof of concept timeline for AM 250 firms and significantly speed up the sales cycle for technology vendors.

 eDiscovery Trend 2: On-Demand Access + Affordability

Conventioneers attending on behalf of small and mid-sized law firms were looking to implement electronic discovery solutions in order to stay relevant in the legal industry, to be able to attract lateral talent, and meet growing client demands. They were hoping to find partners who could provide on-demand access to a variety of processing, analytics, and review tools prices they can both predict and afford. These firms also required project management and consulting services to assist with processing, develop models, advise on proper workflows, train internal staff and hire outside review teams for larger projects.

A few of the eDiscovery vendors appear to ignore this market or leave it to their resellers to service these firms. However, savvy vendors, such as Reveal, know this is a growing segment of the legal services marketplace and welcome opportunities to work with local and regional firms.

eDiscovery Trend 3:  Data Protection Privacy Laws  

The major concerns for all firms were the new data privacy laws, both foreign (GDPR) and domestic (CCPA), and their potential effect on corporate clients. There are now more than 100 countries with data protection privacy laws and violation of these laws can result in a wide range of fines. Firms will be facing an uphill battle trying to keep up with all the regulations.

Specifically, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was the main concern for many and was the subject of multiple panel discussions, as the law had only been in existence for about a month when the conference began. Organizations will have to prepare for additional privacy legislation and regulations in other states as well. Firms that regularly litigate in other countries and deal with data sources from multiple jurisdictions will need to pay close attention to ensure compliance. Flexible, proactive and efficient data management technologies will become essential.

Given 2020 is an election year, pundits say chances are slim that cybersecurity or privacy regulation will be enacted in the United States, but that may come to fruition in 2021. If so, this will present a whole new set of challenges in the coming years for firms and vendors alike and will most assuredly be the subject of many discussions at next year’s conference.

eDiscovery Trend 4: Processing Collaboration Tools

Firm representatives were also inquiring about solutions relating to ephemeral messaging applications such as Wickr and Slack due to their steady replacement of internal e-mail. This trend is resulting in organizations receiving an increasing number of discovery requests to produce electronically stored information (ESI) from these platforms.

To keep pace, eDiscovery providers will have to continue to develop their platforms, particularly their advanced analytics, to be able to extract the data from these collaboration tools. Practitioners will need to be mindful of which providers have adjusted their offerings to address this evolution. Reveal monitors these paradigm shifts in the industry so it can advise its clients accordingly.

Reveal’s eDiscovery Software Advantage

Reveal offers the most flexible ediscovery solution on the market. Reveal’s end-to-end ediscovery platform, available in both a cloud environment and on-premises, combines user-informed features into a faster, more nimble review experience, and provides channel partners the ability to scale to their client’s needs faster than any other industry application.

Reveal is able to offer such groundbreaking software after a series of quiet acquisitions and elite technology integrations, developing an end-to-end platform that seamlessly delivers best-in-class processing, review and AI functionality.

With the acquisition of Mindseye, Reveal has taken processing and early case assessment to the next level with its fully-integrated review platform.

Artificial intelligence and cognitive analytics also got an upgrade with the seamless integration of NexLP’s Story Engine.  The artificial intelligence integration allows users to leverage powerful natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and visualization to understand case narratives.

The best part of this continuous technology growth is that all advanced functionality is included.  Reveal’s all-in-one pricing model, for both on-premise and cloud-based subscriptions, gives users powerful tools along with the flexibility their businesses require.

If you would like to discuss your practice with us and determine how Reveal can improve your workflow while simultaneously lowering your costs, please contact us to schedule a demonstration.