Companies large and small across industries throughout the world face challenges associated with ever-increasing data volumes and types, the rapidly-evolving technologies that create, analyze, and store information, and the risks and opportunities these phenomena create.
Our e-Discovery Analysis and Technology (e-DAT) attorneys and technologists collaborate with our clients and colleagues to leverage technology and deliver innovative, efficient, and cost-effective solutions to complex information governance and e-discovery issues in civil litigation, arbitrations, governmental, regulatory and internal investigations, and corporate transactions. We have over two decades of experience as a dedicated practice group led by trial lawyers and supported by a team of e-discovery lawyers, analysts, developers, and certified project managers. We combine our established processes, workflows, in-house tools, and an extensive body of practical experience and knowledge with the use of advanced technology platforms, including predictive analytics, to provide scalable, repeatable, defensible, and cost-proportionate results tailored to our client’s business and project needs.
Electronic Discovery in Litigation, Arbitration, and Investigations
We have broad experience assisting clients with the effective management and execution of all discovery phases, from identification through review and production to presentation. Our team members are regularly involved in:
- Identifying and understanding where and how a client’s records are stored, including any unique data types or other client or matter-specific document preservation or collection considerations.
- Advising on document preservation requirements and procedures, including drafting and implementing litigation holds.
- Conducting document custodian interviews.
- Drafting and negotiating ESI protocols.
- Developing and executing defensible and cost-effective plans to collect and process electronic data, including new or uncommon data types from non-standard repositories.
- Crafting robust discovery requests, objections, and responses that comply with the applicable rules.
- Negotiating and narrowing our client’s required scope of response to an investigative or regulatory request, including with respect to production formats and privilege logs.
- Responding to Hart-Scott-Rodino Second Requests.
- Navigating and resolving discovery disputes.
- Conducting early data assessment focused on identifying the most relevant sources of information, culling non-relevant materials, and otherwise streamlining the overall volume of data at issue as early as possible in the process to save time and costs overall.
- Reviewing documents for responsiveness, privilege, and other issues or criteria, including deploying predictive coding workflows and visual analytics to isolate and prioritize relevant content for review, spot trends, or discover unexpected connections, in both our clients’ data and opposing parties’ productions.
- Preparing and securely delivering productions that comply with the applicable rules, protocols, and client requirements.
- Synthesizing information and creating fact and expert witness and issue document compilations for use in depositions, interviews, other testimony, motions, and affidavits.
- Providing “back office” technical and strategic support to trial teams.
In 2019, e-DAT harnessed over 28 terabytes of data, and more than 115 million files of various types, spanning more than 200 individual matters.
The e-DAT team also assists organizations of all sizes in preparing for e-discovery in litigation. This includes setting up Automated Litigation and e-Discovery Response ALERT® Teams; customizing a Discovery Toolkit that includes litigation holds, interrogatories, document requests, and deposition notices that can be adapted for use in particular matters and jurisdictions; helping clients pilot document collection and production steps; and conducting “Phase 1” litigation readiness evaluations.
We regularly notify our clients and colleagues in other practice groups regarding emerging e-discovery trends, issues, technologies, and evolving case law. In addition, we provide continuing legal education and other training programs on e-discovery best practices and related topics, such as data privacy and protection, cross-border data transfers, and artificial intelligence in the practice of law.
Members of our e-DAT team are actively involved in local, national, and international e-discovery and information governance organizations, including the Sedona Conference, Women in e-Discovery, the local Rules committees of two federal district courts, the Pittsburgh “Friends of E-Discovery” group, and the International Legal Technology Association.
Global Information Governance and Records Management
Responsible, defensible, and up-to-date information governance policies and records management practices are key elements of successful business and legal strategies. In providing advice regarding the practical implications of retaining or destroying documents, our e-DAT practice helps clients design systems, implement records management programs, and develop training modules on efficiently managing records consistent with their unique legal, regulatory, and business needs.
We advise a wide range of clients, ranging from Fortune 100 companies and governmental agencies to small businesses and trade associations. We frequently work with our clients to develop, refine, or update records management policies that incorporate retention schedules and litigation hold exceptions. We also counsel clients on risk management, e-mail management, remote access of business systems, business use of employee-owned devices, data privacy concerns, and maintenance or migration of backup, archive, and legacy systems. We offer a variety of creative pricing solutions for these services to maximize value while minimizing costs.
Corporate Due Diligence and Mergers and Acquisitions
Smart Contract Analysis
Harnessing the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence technology, e-DAT provides detailed summaries of key contract provisions in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost. We use contract analysis software to quickly and efficiently summarize the material provisions so that key issues can be readily identified and the due diligence team can focus its efforts where substantive legal proficiency is needed. In those instances where the material contract provisions are not already part of the software analytics, our experienced due diligence review lawyers are poised to review a subset of the contracts (typically less than five percent), identifying those unique provisions and “training” the software to recognize and extract similar provisions across all of the contracts at issue.
Integration Planning Support and Legal Project Management
Working with deal counsel on multibillion dollar mergers, we are adept at designing processes for coordinating and conducting antitrust and business sensitivity review of client information to be disclosed in due diligence. Post signing, our teams of lawyers and paralegals provide legal project management services to facilitate antitrust review and monitoring of integration, hold separate, or divestiture planning activities.
Special Projects and Customized Innovative Solutions
Our e-DAT practice has a 20-year track record of leveraging technology to address the unique issues our clients encounter. Our team includes program developers whose sole focus is on identifying, delivering, and if necessary creating innovative solutions for the wide variety of situations and needs that arise in the context of legal disputes and business transactions. Examples of some of the tools and processes we have designed and shared with our clients include snapshot reports of incoming data collections, evaluation of a website’s technical legal compliance with applicable Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, a tool to facilitate Wiki processing, review and production, and an automated exhibit numbering tool.