Canadian Lawyer InHouse

Oct/Nov 2008

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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BUSINESS CASE WHITTLING DOWN By Geoff Kirbyson gain the upper hand in the courtroom. Experts say the use of such technol- C ogy in Canada's legal profession is still in its infancy compared to that in the United States, but, make no mistake, the days of manually poring through stacks of paper fi les to prepare for a case are gone forever. Th e objective of data mining is to extract valuable information from the reams of data at your disposal — to discover "hidden gold" — while e- discovery is essentially the exchange of information. "When two sides are litigating and they're asked to present documents, 98 per cent of documents today are electronic. It used to be you'd hand over 20 boxes ompanies that embrace elec- tronic discovery and data mining can not only reduce their pre-trial costs in the long run but they can also THE HAYSTACK A company's ability to leverage information is a key determinant in success, both in the marketplace and in the courtroom. Experts say that companies regularly involved in litigation should follow best e-discovery practices. [of paper], but now it's much more sophisticated and complicated, and the amount of data is tremendous," says Lloyd Rosler, Toronto-based vice president of e-discovery servic- es at KPMG Forensic, a subsidiary of KPMG LLP. He says many companies have giant data warehouses where they've accu- mulated scores of data and documents, but the ability to leverage that informa- tion effi ciently is a key determinant in its success, both in the marketplace and in the courtroom. Rosler says considering the "huge" amounts of data in question, fi nding a needle in a haystack, by comparison, would be easy. "If you have 250 gigabytes of data, and you've got two lawyers working on it, to review all the documents could take months or years. It can be very time-consuming," he says. Rosler says the amount of informa- tion lawyers have to deal with in the 21st century "runs the gamut," but too many of them aren't up to speed on the time- and money-saving benefi ts of technology. C ANADIAN Lawyer INHOUSE OC T OBER 2008 39

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