The pace of technological innovation and the explosion of electronically stored information (ESI) has forced the legal industry to adapt quickly. This is particularly true when it comes to eDiscovery.

The vast amounts of data created by email, text and social media meant eDiscovery providers themselves needed technology to deal with these new challenges. While the market is somewhat established by now, that doesn’t mean innovation is static. As we move into a new year, eDiscovery service providers must look ahead to what’s next.

Here are five eDiscovery tech trends to watch in 2019.

Tech-Certified Staff

More and more, legal teams will need versatile, multidisciplined teams during the review stage. Janice Hollman, of Relativity®, Trustpoint.One’s trusted partner, elaborated in a discussion with Legal Tech:

“In 2019, we’ll continue to see more paralegals and litigation support professionals getting certified—along with increased demand for tech-trained paralegals and lawyers.”

Privacy Tipping Point

After years of data breaches—including some high profile incidents in 2018—and privacy concerns, regulations are starting to catch up. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, recently took effect in the United States. It’s a European Union law regulating data security for data housed or transferred from the EU.

As Leonard Deutchman at the Legal Intelligencer notes, this means legal teams will need to take steps to comply with the GDPR going forward. From a technological standpoint, eDiscovery service providers will have to be up to date and in compliance with privacy laws.

However, the GDPR isn’t the only concern. Now most states have data breach standards, and California recently passed a sweeping digital privacy law that goes into effect in 2020. Therefore, it’s necessary that eDiscovery service providers are ready to incorporate data privacy protections into their processes.

Active Learning

As the amount of data collected during review increases, active learning will be valuable for reviewers. It’s a tool that is constantly learning based on reviewers’ coding decisions. It uses those decisions to identify important documents. As a project progresses and more coding decisions are made, the results are refined.

By running this and utilizing other analytics tools such as email threading and cluster visualization, reviewers can create a highly efficient workflow to sort data by issue, prepare evidence for litigation, prioritize documents for batching or allow for quality control.

Increased Translation Demands

We’re living in a global economy where companies are increasingly doing business across international borders. As Michael Swarz of Veritone suggests, this means that there will be an increased demand for quality translation services during eDiscovery. He said:

“2019 will be the year demand for translation of any ESI file—text, audio and video—will balloon to meet increasingly globalized e-discovery & compliance requirements. Firms will look for robust translation options, whether machine or human, to translate international files into the language of their choice—by location, accent and dataset—to win their case.”

Reckoning with Office 365

Many companies use Microsoft’s Office 365, which provides some limited eDiscovery tools for preservation of data, data identification and other tasks. Some in the industry, such as Phil Shellhaas, EVP of Discovery Solutions at Trustpoint.One, view the increased adoption of Office 365 as a positive.

He said: “The integration of Office 365 and their advancements in the overall toolset have allowed the collection of custodian mailboxes for downstream litigation to take place at a much more efficient pace.  No longer do we have to worry about deploying a forensic technician into a data center to manage an Exchange Database onsite with a client’s IT professional, which would result in grabbing massive amounts of data due to the limitiations on filtering onsite.  Now the data can be retrieved in a forensically sound manner, utilizing filters right from the cloud.  It is faster and more efficient.”

Conversely, a 2017 report by Gartner described these eDiscovery capabilities as “immature.” Proofpoint, an enterprise security company, also notes that its capabilities are likely fine for organizations not typically involved in litigation. Those that are could require additional support from third parties in areas such as retention management, legal hold, eDiscovery search and content sources.

Relativity has already identified this gap. Its Legal Hold feature allows eDiscovery administrators to “…preserve a custodian’s Microsoft Office 365 data, including Exchange mailboxes, OneDrive files, and Skype for Business conversations.”

No matter your assessment of Office 365, eDiscovery service providers would be wise to keep an eye on it in the coming year.

As technology evolves, Trustpoint.One always leverages cutting-edge technology and top talent to deliver streamlined eDiscovery solutions. If you need help, contact us today!