The Challenge

A large Fortune 1000 company, with billions in revenue, was tasked with implementing an efficient, cost effective, defensible and reasonable document review tool when the company was facing a large-scale litigation. The legal team recognized the need for a system that was sophisticated enough to produce high caliber results yet simple enough to explain to opposing counsel and the court how those results were reached.

The requirement that the solution be capable of processing tens of terabytes of data made the challenge even more difficult. For purposes of context, one megabyte of electronic information equates to approximately sixty-five thousand pages. One million megabytes, also called a terabyte, equates to about sixtyfive billion pages.

The company had more than forty times that amount of potential discovery. Given its practice of entering every single piece of data into the system and sorting later, it needed a platform robust enough to handle that volume. Much of this was unstructured data, such as e-mail correspondence and shared files.

The Solution

The Fortune 1000 company assembled a cross-functional team of the highest order comprised of internal legal counsel, external legal advisors and multiple outside law firm representatives, as well as finance administrators, consultants and IT experts. The group spent four months reviewing e-discovery processing software, TIFF vendors, review platforms and attorney staffing options. “We had never heard of Attenex and it quickly became our finalist,” said a legal team member.

In selecting an e-discovery processing tool, the company evaluated how the product would fit in with the personality, culture and data type of a particular company. “You have to be as least disruptive to the operations of the business as you can,” notes the legal team member. “Jumping through various hoops doesn’t work in the business context.”

Seeking out a program that would complement the organization’s data management systems in a way that they could comprehend, the company’s legal team selected Attenex. “We had to understand enough of what was happening in the system to explain and defend it to a judge,” said the legal team member.

The Results

With the amount of data that must be managed for discovery purposes, failing to meet a production deadline is an event that can never occur. “Impossibility is a very real concern. Attenex Patterns has made getting through a huge volume of information in a defensible way possible.”

Recognizing the impracticability of reviewing every gigabyte of data from every custodian (each of which has at least ten on average), the legal team emphasizes the necessity of visual analytics and conceptual clustering to perform data analytics that can sift through a large volume of irrelevant information. “It is the way we are able to separate the wheat from the chaff,” according to the legal team member. And, while the visualization of electronic information is critical for litigation-related discovery, it offers the same value for administrative and regulatory inquiries. Attenex Patterns provides options based on client need, rather than document use. “There is a lot of flexibility on how you do things,” the legal team member notes.

Although the company has realized monetary savings, “the defensibility is really the biggest savings.” Most significantly, the legal team values the opportunity to sit with a plaintiff’s lawyer who is skeptical about the company’s management of trillions of pages of potentially discoverable material, and secure that lawyer’s approval about the data processing simply by advising of its use of Attenex. “This is what allows me to sleep at night.”