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Lisa Prowse

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in document review with extensive experience in the area of eDiscovery. Certified...

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Joe Patrice

Joe Patrice is an Editor at Above the Law. For over a decade, he practiced as a litigator at...

Kathryn Rubino

Kathryn Rubino is a member of the editorial staff at Above the Law. She has a degree in journalism...

Episode Notes

Joe and Kathryn chat with Lisa Prowse, Senior Vice President of Legal Services and Document Review at BIA about the document review process and how its evolved over the years. From physically flipping through thousands of documents just to keep your job to developing a culture of attorneys that can provide results that help eDiscovery tools succeed, there’s a lot of psychology that goes into the discovery review process.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

Transcript

Above the Law – Thinking Like a Lawyer

The Psychology of Document Review

02/25/2020

 

[Music]

 

Intro: Welcome to Thinking Like a Lawyer with your hosts Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice, talking about legal news and pop culture all while thinking like a lawyer, here on Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

 

Joe Patrice: Hello. Welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer. I am Joe Patrice from Above the Law. I am joined today with by Kathryn Rubino, also of Above the Law, how are you?

 

Kathryn Rubino: I’m doing good. How about yourself?

 

Joe Patrice: I am good. I’m pretty tired.

 

Kathryn Rubino: I will tell you, I mean I was, not to like call you out, but you don’t look great.

 

Joe Patrice: I —

 

Kathryn Rubino: I mean you look great.

 

Joe Patrice: Oh wow, okay. Wow shots fired out of the gate.

 

Kathryn Rubino: No, I just meant you looked like you had done a lot today.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Was there a marathon?

 

Joe Patrice: No, I did just however come from teaching a CLE course.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Look at you all lawyerly.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I was —

 

Kathryn Rubino: Look at that.

 

Joe Patrice: The good people at the New York State Bar had someone accident — someone for things they couldn’t foresee dropped out and wasn’t able to do the show at the last minute and their response was to ask me.

 

Now they asked me however while I was at dinner and having had been drinking.

 

So I said yes.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Oh. That’s not fair. That’s not fair.

 

Joe Patrice: When I should — when I probably should have said no, but —

 

Kathryn Rubino: But now it’s done.

 

Joe Patrice: Yes. So —

 

Kathryn Rubino: I mean what –

 

Joe Patrice: I spent the weekend researching social media and the law which is something that while I understand law and social media is not necessarily a place of expertise for me. So I —

 

Kathryn Rubino: Fair enough, you actually do like —

 

Joe Patrice: Did some quick research.

 

Kathryn Rubino: You do extra credit to make it all happen for you.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah I think that’s probably fair to say.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Well did you at least get to tell some stories about terrible things that lawyers do, because we — that’s what we cover here at Above the Law.

 

Joe Patrice: A little bit. I had a little bit of that, but to fill it out and make it actually educational a lot –

 

Kathryn Rubino: As opposed to just funny stories.

 

Joe Patrice: Right. A lot more of it was about the ethical obligations to –

 

Kathryn Rubino: Blah, blah, blah, don’t be a jerk online.

 

Joe Patrice: Yes, but also advertising like your web presence can be construed as advertising and must stuff like that, avoiding solicitation issues.

 

Kathryn Rubino: I will tell you lots of times lawyer are jerks online though.

 

Joe Patrice: I tell you the most interesting question was from somebody in the audience. I was talking about there’s — there are provisions about not virtual ambulance-chasing, so the usual solicitation rules we all are familiar with hopefully, that if you for instance there are community and neighborhood groups right and if an accident were to happen in that neighborhood and somebody tried to jump into that neighborhood group and say, hi if you were injured in this accident, right, so there’s provisions against that which prompted somebody to say well what if — what about the scenario where it is okay for you to just generally post your skill set if you utilize certain keywords even without targeting that group wouldn’t it show up there and wouldn’t that raise an issue and I was like, I don’t know, but that’s an excellent point.

 

No, these rules were created long before the algorithm.

 

Kathryn Rubino: So you are targeting –

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, algorithm got this good you know so.

 

Kathryn Rubino: I mean listen lawyers are not known to be the most tech-savvy group in the world.

 

Joe Patrice: True.

 

Kathryn Rubino: And I think that that coupled with the rapidly changing social media landscape, probably means that we are like five steps behind.

 

Joe Patrice: But theoretically a social media consultant could tell you to write your — if you were injured in an accident to include references to the beautiful blah, blah, blah mountain or whatever and then it suddenly shows up that way and like where does it cross the line from you’re just advertising in that neighborhood to your specifically saying I know there was an accident, I’m trying to get there, yeah.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Well, I would think that if the advertisement was created before the accident it could not be.

 

Joe Patrice: Well sure, but this is about is there a way of rent, is there basically a way to target your solicitation without violating the rules, it was very fascinating, and I did not have an answer because that was a quirk of technology that was beyond what the cases who’ve broached this issue to date have dealt with.

 

But I thought that was very interesting. Food for thought for those of you who used the show to learn stuff about the law, which I don’t know why you would.

 

Kathryn Rubino: I mean it seems a little weird, but you know –

 

Joe Patrice: Anyway well, let’s, before we get into our topic of the day, let’s talk a little bit about our sponsors.

 

So today’s episode is brought to you by your pet frog, who’s very mad at you all because you’re still slogging through an endless doc review project. Make better decisions, keep your pet and work smarter with Logikcull, e-discovery software that gets you started in minutes. Don’t let frustrating outdated e-discovery make you croak. Create your free account today at logikcull.com/atl. That’s logikcull.com/atl.

 

(00:05:01)

 

Kathryn Rubino: Nicely done.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean, as I’ve said on many previous podcasts, we’re starting to run out of pets for me to do this way, it’s really, we’ll get updates on crisis.

 

Kathryn Rubino: To do an Alpaca next, that’s my challenge to you.

 

Joe Patrice: Okay, I am in.

 

Kathryn Rubino: I mean I don’t know who owns an Alpaca, but maybe.

 

Joe Patrice: Whatever, I mean that’s your challenge?

 

Kathryn Rubino: Yeah. Well I mean I have –

 

Joe Patrice: Like amateur hour.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Oh, oh chance fired.

 

Joe Patrice: Fair enough. Well, let’s begin our conversation of the day.

 

So we’re joined today by Lisa Prowse who’s a Senior Vice President of Legal Services and Document Review at BIA and we’re going to talk a little bit about document review and I know that’s something you know a little bit about and I know a little bit about.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, I mean I well, I spent a little more time than you did on document review.

 

Joe Patrice: Well, thanks for joining us today, Lisa.

 

Lisa Prowse: Thank you.

 

Joe Patrice: Thanks. So let’s begin by just talking about BIA, so what is BIA for anyone who doesn’t already know? I think we’ve talked about BIA on this show before so hopefully everyone’s listened to this, listened to every episode.

 

Lisa Prowse: I mean but nobody has heard it from me.

 

Joe Patrice: I guess it’s true.

 

Lisa Prowse: And I’m sorry for that for everybody who hasn’t heard it from somebody better. But BIA is an industry, we’re an e-discovery vendor. So essentially we get contacted by — we’ve got corporate clients but we also get contacted by law firms to help with collecting data, processing data, reviewing data, producing data and disposing of that when we’re done.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah. Well that was actually one portion of this CLE that I taught today dealt with the question of 00:06:38 social media which is a form of data that terrifyingly according to surveys I’ve seen a lot of lawyers and in-house legal departments don’t even think to collect, even though it’s pretty important and it’s something that they need the help of vendors usually to be able to get and secure and put in a structured form for people to look there.

 

Lisa Prowse: I literally just did the numbers on that the other day for a department or for a different purpose, but it was two years ago essentially I don’t know that we even had a single request for the whole year and then last year was I would say probably about maybe 10% and this year, I’m estimating it’s probably going to be closer to 30% or 40% where we are collecting more mobile data and social media.

 

Kathryn Rubino: It’s quite some growth.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah. All right. The survey that I cited in my CLE was that 14% of in-house legal departments responded to the survey saying that they collected and that was in 2018. So that more or less tracks the numbers you’re talking about like yeah.

 

Well, anyway that was a side note.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Well, it is sort of an interesting part of it.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah. No absolutely and the idea that there’s data out there everywhere and people need to begin the process of walking away from the idea that it’s just the –

 

Kathryn Rubino: It’s a filing cabinet somewhere.

 

Joe Patrice: It’s a filing cabinet somewhere.

 

Kathryn Rubino: I am just going to take the content to this filing cabinet and look at those.

 

Joe Patrice: Digitized. Yeah, so one of the topics you wanted to talk about was the whole process sort of document review and the psychology of it. So yeah.

 

Lisa Prowse: Years ago, I was a temp attorney. I graduated from law school, practiced privately for about 18 months. I did estate planning and family law and god bless, anybody who still does that, but after 18 months of that I was really, what I was crying and I was like I don’t — what did I do, like I cannot believe I spent that much money and I don’t want to ever do this.

 

And luckily it was the beginning it was early 2000 and so, the early 2000s, and e-discovery was really just kind of blossoming and during law school, one of the things that I actually did for side money and to pay bills was I did a lot of database work on the Internet.

 

So I had a database background already, so it just kind of made sense when I heard that you could actually do database stuff and the law, I was like well, that’s where I’m going right there.

 

Unfortunately breaking into that is typically as a temp attorney and as anybody who’s been a temp attorney knows that it’s a horrible job to do.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Very true.

 

Lisa Prowse: It just is, the whole process is temp attorneys are really treated like a commodity and if you’re not fast enough, you will get a call that night and don’t come in the next morning, we’ll bring somebody else in because there’s hundreds of people right behind you who are willing to do it faster and just as cheap.

 

So it breeds –

 

Kathryn Rubino: May be cheaper.

 

Lisa Prowse: And cheaper exactly yeah and it breeds this whole mentality where all you’re doing is trying to get through documents very quickly.

 

And basically quicker than the guy next to you, as long as I can outrun him then I can stay and he will go. And at some point usually the managers will say, you guys aren’t being careful enough because obviously everyone knows speed is typically not coexistent with being very careful.

 

(00:10:04)

 

So then you start to in your mind you’re like okay am I going too fast, I need to slow down and be careful, but I have to speed up, and so you’re constantly doing that battle anyway just to keep a job, like it doesn’t have anything to do with the actual work that you’re doing.

 

The documents that you’re reviewing at that point are meaningless. It’s just about making sure that you still have a paycheck at the end of the week.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Absolutely and I don’t know Lisa, but I actually spent some time in the e-discovery world myself. I started as a temp attorney and eventually went to in-house at a e-discovery vendor as well before turning over a new leaf and starting at Above the Law, but –

 

Joe Patrice: So a constant stream down is what you are saying.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Well, this is — listen this is the most fun job I certainly had, it’s a lot more fun than big law, but you said you started in the industry in the early 2000s and I didn’t start in the e-discovery world till 2009, and everyone kind of talked about the halcyon days, kind of before the bus when the money ran a lot freer, people were less concerned about margins and about how fast we’re doing.

 

How do you see sort of the industry? How it developed from that time period the early 2000s until now?

 

Lisa Prowse: 2009 when you started that literally –

 

Kathryn Rubino: The worse.

 

Lisa Prowse: Well, it was about a year before that was when — I was still a temp attorney and BIA was actually looking to branch and at that point, they were really just doing everything but the document review portion, and they had a large client who needed document review on a recurring basis.

 

So after trying to find document reviewers all the time, BIA said, well let’s just open a document review center like how hard could it be. So and they decided to locate it in somewhere in Michigan and they locate it in Michigan, it’s — we’re two hours from Chicago, we are two hours from Detroit, it’s Midwest, it’s Midwest pricing not East Coast West Coast pricing. So we were hoping to get a little benefit there and that was when I came into BIA that was essentially what I did because I wanted to grow the document review business and had to be different than temp attorneys.

 

So I wanted full-time attorneys who weren’t making sure that they got a paycheck at the end of the week because they were salaried.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Right.

 

Lisa Prowse: And it didn’t matter how fast they were I needed to them to be careful, not fast.

 

So that’s really where the industry kind of has tried to go. There’s still a lot of temp attorneys that just they want them to go just go fast and go through a lot of documents and they don’t care, and that’s — a lot of times it’s for like a second review or something where there’s a huge need to just be fast and maybe not so accurate because it’s not really going towards a litigation or something.

 

But we’re talking litigation, but as the years go on, we’re doing more and more where they want to — let’s use the analytics and let’s use all these other tools that we have to augment the document review, and that’s where the next big psychology piece comes in is the analytics.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean analytics are — I just came off of a tech show and so I’ve been neck deep in –

 

Lisa Prowse: Indoctrinated.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah neck deep in people showing me the improvements they’ve made to all their analytics and their review algorithms too that take in real time as people are entering things, figuring out oh, you’ve clicked the following three things responsive so we can already assume the next 10,000 things are, that sort of stuff.

 

But it’s really fascinating how this works and it does strike me you’re talking about the new psychology, it seems as though that can only be kind of a help to the poor review situation in that the analytics can put the person running the review in a position where they don’t need to just focus on speed, where they can actually get some intelligence to say this person may be slower, but they’re doing better stuff.

 

Lisa Prowse: Absolutely, and one of the big things that — so the analytics companies obviously they’re trying to sell the analytics and they’re trying to sell them document review is a big cost and here’s a way to lower your cost, because you can get through it faster and review fewer documents.

 

And all of that is true to a point but where I find the most benefit from analytics at this point is actually regardless of whether you even use it for culling and sometimes, we’ve got some clients who literally still review a hundred percent of their documents, but we still use the analytics with it.

 

The cost for analytics has dropped so much in the last few years that it does not make sense not to use it anymore, just to get — it’s not just the TAR portion of it, the predictive coding type stuff, we also use it to get the email threading and to identify near duplicates where two documents have very similar text.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Right.

 

Lisa Prowse: You still like it, a draft contract versus the finished contract or multiple versions of that draft contract. Analytics goes through and identifies all that stuff for us.

 

(00:15:00)

 

So, now instead of taking a batch of documents and saying okay, here’s all Joe Smith’s documents, go at it.

 

When a document reviewer is reviewing through that, even if they’re full-time salary and they’re trying to be very careful, because they can spend as much time as they want, going through that you still will get big pockets of like non-responsive documents, and the more non-responsive documents you go through, the more your brain goes, wait a minute, maybe I’m missing something, like it seems like there should be some responsive documents in here, because as why would I be reviewing these documents.

 

So you start to kind of skew your understanding of what’s responsive or vice-versa, what’s not responsive, simply because you haven’t gotten to any of those documents yet and we also see a lot of times clients will still want us to try and review documents as a family, which means that if you’ve got a parent email and it’s got attachments, they might need to review all those at the same time versus what we’d really like to do is review just on the four corners of the document.

 

If you’ve got an Excel that was attached to an email, I want to see that Excel not with the email itself. And the reason for that is we’re supposed to be judging each document as considering whether or not just document itself is responsive to the request.

 

And if we are looking at an Excel and we look at the email that it came from and we say well, the email looks responsive, so the Excel must be responsive, that really will skew the analytics and everything else.

 

We need to like just focus on the four corners of the document and that’s something that the analytics helps us do is make sure that we’re only looking at documents that we need to look at in line like with the email thread and that it is feeding us basically, because we’re using some type of like a TAR Model.

 

Joe Patrice: So one thing that came up and while I was listening to folks over the last show, was for those who aren’t in this industry, the phrases like TAR, everyone kind of understands that conceptually but within the industry TAR has gone through a bunch of different iterations, and like TAR 1.0 that you might have been working with in that early 2000s era is not the same as where we are today, like the sophistication has just picked up.

 

But one vendor told me that an advantage of their system was that it could kind of be backward compatible with TAR 1.0 and I said well, why would that matter, and the response was I thought this was interesting and to see if it fits with your experience. That sometimes the clients don’t trust the technological advancements but they feel comfortable with 1.0.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Right.

 

Joe Patrice: And so the clients are actually saying slow down, go back to the old thing we understand that at least, which I thought was a real testament to where lawyers — the whole lawyers are Luddites model, but so you’re seeing that too?

 

Lisa Prowse: Yeah, it’s very surprising how much they won’t trust it, and it’s funny because it’s definitely not the same algorithms, but it’s very similar to when you go on Netflix and Netflix says, you’ve watched these 18 shows we think you might like this and you look and say, yeah I actually would like to watch that. I never heard of that.

 

It’s not that much different. It’s — most of the models at this point are really — they’re — it’s not like they’re looking at specific keywords, it’s not like they’re looking at anything in particular like that. They’re looking for patterns of — it’s the measurement of the words combined with each other and very, very complex, but it works out really well.

 

And one thing that we found is if you think back to the document of attorneys who are sitting there and trying to essentially beat the person next to them, now what we’ve really moved into is they’re trying to beat the computer sometimes.

 

The computer has said I think this document is responsive and they look at it and they’re like well, well, let me verify that it’s right, and you’ve kind of like change that, the fact that they’re trying to eat each other and now they’re trying to fight with the computer itself which really gets very good coding.

 

They spend time, they make sure that they’re correct and where the computer is correct, they’re fine, just say yeah the computer was right there, and it’s almost like how many people will tune in to watch chess, obviously plenty of people, but not yeah huge amount of people, but the minute somebody wanted to play chess against the computer a lot of people tuned into watch.

 

And it’s one of the things where we’re still in that age where we find it hard to believe that a computer can replace us and a computer is not replacing the reviewers here, but it’s definitely helping them and they definitely will challenge those calls, and it makes a very good, very, very solid coding.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Can you talk a little bit about the ways in which the analytics are changing the psychology of document review, but you kind of mentioned earlier about how when you’re in a batch of non-responsive documents that you sort of spend more time kind of hunting out what’s responsive because that you’ve had so many non-responsive documents in a row.

 

(00:20:05)

 

Lisa Prowse: Right.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Do you think that’s something that’s really developed with the advent of the analytics, because I can certainly remember kind of back in the day on old school projects where we didn’t have a lot of analytics and it was very exciting to get an entire batch of non-responsive documents because I can kind of get my numbers up for the day.

 

Lisa Prowse: Right exactly. And that’s  the thing is there was all these things that you would do with a batch of non-responsive –

 

Kathryn Rubino: Let me grab this custodian, I know they’re not responsive.

 

Lisa Prowse: Exactly. But and that’s the thing though is you weren’t, at that point you, weren’t really looking at the documents to make sure that you were sending the right documents out the door, like there was just all these other reasons that you were going through the documents, and that’s a lot of what we were trying to change over is stop treating, in particular, stop treating the temp attorneys like some renewable commodity. They’re highly educated humans, who you literally are hiring to help you answer a court order and that’s what — that’s how they’re trying to behave and that’s how we should treat them and you get a much better result when you do treat them that way.

 

And another thing that I asked earlier I was like is there anything I’m forgetting and one of the guys that works with me reminded me and it was — it’s highlighting, highlighting in document review is something that clients always want and temp attorneys will typically want it too and it’s because it frankly it makes it, you can go through a lot faster.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Fast, yeah.

 

Lisa Prowse: But the problem is, typically what we’re doing is the client gives us a list of keywords and says, here all of our keywords, highlight these and here’s a list of all the attorney names, highlight these.

 

And let’s highlight them in two different colors, let’s highlight the keywords green and let’s highlight the attorney names red, which like literally is like nails on a chalkboard when I read that at this point, because essentially you’ve now turned most of the documents into a Christmas tree number one.

 

Joe Patrice: Right.

 

Lisa Prowse: Number two, your eyes get highlight fatigue and after you’ve gone through 400-500 documents with the same words highlighted, your eyes start naturally looking at stuff that isn’t highlighted, because you’re tired of looking at the highlights and you start to see a lot of stuff that — and you literally will just look over the highlights and not pay attention.

 

And one of the things that clients always ask is well then how am I supposed to get through to the idea that this document has all these words, and for one, it has — if having that word makes the document responsive on its own, like just because it has the word banana it is responsive, then don’t even have a human look at it unless it’s just for the privileged review or something, just go ahead and tag it and anything that has banana is responsive.

 

But aside from that, most of the review tools have the ability to put all the search terms along the side or in the coding layout itself, so that you’ve still got the list of what words were in that document, it’s just not blaring and drawing your eyes towards those and you lose a lot of the focus when you’ve got everything highlighted like that.

 

Not to mention, there isn’t a database alive that it does not slow down if you’re going to highlight ton of words.

 

Kathryn Rubino: For sure. But I also think there’s a real benefit to the highlighting when you’re dealing with larger documents. If you’re in a batch of Excel spreadsheets or something like that where you’re like I don’t know we’re in this 1,100 page document and that is being talked about, I don’t know.

 

Lisa Prowse: Yeah, a spreadsheet is one of the worst, because they’re just — they’re hard to review on a screen anyway. But yeah, and what I would normally say is if you’re going to use highlighting A, limit it to certain things that are really important, like you may have a lot of search terms that you’ve agreed to simply because you’re negotiating with the other side.

 

Kathryn Rubino: But they don’t how to be highlighted.

 

Lisa Prowse: They are not really going to be helpful. So you compare down that list, but at the same time you can also — most of the review tools will allow you to turn on and off the highlighting, don’t ever take that away from reviewers. I know that there’s a lot of — there are a lot of managers who will take the ability for the individual reviewer to turn that on and off, at least if you leave it on, they can — when their eyes start getting tired or they know that they are seeing certain words too often, they can turn that off and just focus on the ones that are important.

 

Kathryn Rubino: And that’s kind of goes but back to your kind of mission that you were talking about getting all the kind of stakeholders to see reviewers as highly trained educated individuals and letting reviewers have that level of autonomy to say, yes, I need it now, no, I don’t need it for these sorts of documents. I think is one step in that direction. What are some of the other things that you see that you all are doing to kind of reinforce that model that reviewers are in fact people?

 

(00:24:58)

 

Lisa Prowse: We do a lot of — with the analytics in particular with analytics because there’s still so much — and it’s not so much that it’s unknown, it’s just, it’s so much to try and learn on top of the review tool, on top of the facts of the case and everything else that what we really like to do now is take our reviewers who have been working in relativity and the other review tools for a decade now literally.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, at least.

 

Lisa Prowse: Yeah, and let them be your guide for the analytics. If we’ve got seven, eight people on your document review, they all know analytics really well, instead of trying to plow through and figure out how the analytics work — let them guide you and show you and basically think of them as an extension of your paralegal team or your legal assistants. They’re all licensed attorneys but at the same time there’s –

 

Kathryn Rubino: They are the ones with their hands in the documents.

 

Lisa Prowse: Yeah. Well, clients are always very — law firms are very, they need to be able to control the product that goes out which is absolutely their purview, but we can still help with that, like there’s – there is a lot of — a lot of things that we can guide them through and show them and it makes real sense to have somebody who literally works in this day after day to show you.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, it’s one of those situations like, the extension of staff is a good analogy because even though there are obviously problems within firms between how people treat staff as well, but for instance I would never question the managing attorney’s office on what color the backs are supposed to be on some filing I’m putting in, right, like I just know this is what they do, they got this, this is their purview —

 

Kathryn Rubino: And that is, if only like getting people to understand that these are our subject matter experts in terms of the review process being a subject —

 

Joe Patrice: Right.

 

Lisa Prowse: Yeah exactly.

 

Kathryn Rubino: — Is real like I have plenty of stories of attorneys from either the client or from a law firm coming in and being very rude and not very respectful of the reviewers and as a reviewer at the time I just like oh, okay, this is how we get treated now. And it’s demoralizing and it can’t — does not help production at all and it does the opposite.

 

Lisa Prowse: Absolutely.

 

Joe Patrice: Now you found if I recall correctly from stories that you’ve told from that era —

 

Kathryn Rubino: Are you saying that I repeat stories or?

 

Joe Patrice: No, no, no, but if I recall correctly, the problem tended to be more of a law firm problem than a client problem.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, that is very true.

 

Joe Patrice: That the legal in-house folks had kind of come around and —

 

Kathryn Rubino: In my experience very much shown, also in-house folks were also much more aware of and concerned about the overall cost than the firms tend to be, right. So in-house in my experience was very happy to use a team of reviewers because they knew how much it would cost if it went to a law firm as opposed to a room full of reviewers, and were understanding of that process and were also in a position of hiring people on mass at times and were just much more comfortable with the process, whereas the times where we worked with outside counsel, they felt very much like they knew we were taking their work away from them, because this used to be an easy way to bill out.

 

I mean I was also in Big Law back in the day and that was how I spent half of my first years in associate, right, I was doing the exact same thing I later did for significantly less money.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Kathryn Rubino: And they know that and so there’s — I think there’s that part of it as well as just oh you’re not good enough. There’s a very much a clear attitude I think from a lot of big attorneys saying that they don’t think that contract attorneys are as good at what they do but that is clearly false.

 

Lisa Prowse: And that’s the thing is we — typically the contract attorneys or like the ones that we have where they’re salaried, they’re not going to know your particular case as well —

 

Kathryn Rubino: Sure.

 

Lisa Prowse: Obviously because they don’t have as much information as you.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Well they know relativity a lot better.

 

Lisa Prowse: They know documents and they know — the thing is even now I will be surprised at how little a lot of people will understand just how people communicate. They will give me a list of search terms and keywords and I’ll look at it and I’ll think nobody talks like this in email, like it’s just not that formal and so it won’t find the good — the documents that you’re looking for and it really is there is — if people just could let go a little bit and realize that we look at documents, we understand the documents, we know how people attach them and how they — we’ll say that there’s an — my favorite is always, well this email says there’s an attachment and there’s no attachment, like and how often have you sent an email that you said here is the attachment and you didn’t attach it, that’s what that says.

 

Kathryn Rubino: Oh, look the next document, oh sorry.

 

(00:29:56)

 

Lisa Prowse: So yeah, it’s always — we are more than happy to augment the law firms and we’re not trying to take the work away from the law firms either. We just know that we can help them, we can help them get to the important stuff so that they can focus on the case and let us focus on the documents and we all get to the end together.

 

Joe Patrice: Well great. Thank you for joining us today. Lisa Prowse is a BIA. Thanks for talking about e-discovery and all the process surrounding that with us.

 

If you are listening to this show, good, if you are subscribed to this show, even better, you should be doing that, you should be giving it reviews, stars, little write-ups, helps us move up the algorithm of legal podcasts. You should be reading Above The Law, you should follow us on Twitter, I’m @JosephPatrice, she’s at @Kathryn1. Kathryn also has her own show called The Jabot, which you should listen to, which is about women minority and diversity issues in law, you should listen to the other offerings of the Legal Talk Network.

 

And with all of that said, oh and thank you to Logikcull for sponsoring and that’s that. All right, we will not probably be around with an episode next week. There’s another tech show that we will have to be at, but we will see, if not, it may be two weeks. So we will talk to you soon though.

 

[Music]

 

Outro: If you would like more information about what you heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. You can also find us at abovethelaw.com, atlredline.com, iTunes, RSS, Twitter and Facebook.

 

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

 

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: February 25, 2020
Podcast: Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law
Category: Practice Management
Podcast
Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law
Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law

Above the Law's Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice examine everyday topics through the prism of a legal framework.

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