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Law journal news   it is dead article; long live it controlling costs while getting the most out of technology - sep 2009

Law journal news it is dead article; long live it controlling costs while getting the most out of technology - sep 2009






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    Law journal news   it is dead article; long live it controlling costs while getting the most out of technology - sep 2009 Law journal news it is dead article; long live it controlling costs while getting the most out of technology - sep 2009 Document Transcript

    • LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ® Volume 27, Number 6 • September 2009 P R AC T I C E T I P IT is Dead; Long Live IT: Controlling Costs While Getting the Most Out of TechnologyX Marks the Spot: By David B. CunninghamLessons LearnedFrom the DataMap ProcessBy Ganesh Vednere T here is an irony to IT in law firms: Firms spend so much time on issues like IT infrastructure and upgrade projects that they spend too little time using technology to improve how lawyers work. Law firms cannot achieve real value from their technology investments until they change this model. Moreover, changing the usual model can lower overall IT spending while increasing stability Creating the right data map and lawyer satisfaction. With our law firm IT benchmarks reflecting that the high-with the right information takes est spending firms spend twice as much per lawyer on technology as the lowesttime, patience, perseverance and spending firms, there is a lot to be gained by increasing technology efficiencies.pull. A data map that is hastily With good leadership, streamlining IT infrastructure and rebalancing attentionput together and is missing infor- to IT practice technologies, law firms can have real effects on productivity andmation will only provide cursory client relations.support to counsel, and instead A Firm’s Best it investment: it LeAdershipmay end up providing fodder to Based on the assessments of hundreds of firms, it is clear that a leading factoropposing counsel. Some have in the quality and value of a firm’s technology is the proficiency of the IT director.even said that is better to not A good IT director will build a solid team, communicate effectively with lawyers,have a data map, claim ignorance plan and architect with an eye to the future, emphasize testing, be a smart pur-and hope for leniency than to chaser and better control the firm’s vendors. Every dollar poured into a good ITstate that you have a data map director or CIO pays back in terms of risk mitigation, hassle reduction and costand produce an incomplete, half- control — not necessarily lower costs, but better control of spending.baked and inadequate one and Even a good IT director can become ineffective when working with technol-anger the judge. ogy leadership in ill-defined roles. An IT leader needs four things from the firm Many organizations have hun- outside the IT Department:dreds of business applications, 1. Representative feedback from a static group or a topic-specific group;systems, utilities, network file 2. Authoritative decisions;shares and collaboration sites 3. Qualified advice, recommendations and planning; and(such as SharePoint, Wikis etc.), 4. Advocacy.not to mention the potential gold- continued on page 2mine of data stored in backuptapes, archival systems, PST filesand offsite storage. Daunting as In This Issueit may seem, creating a data map Controlling Costs Whileis actually twice as difficult as Getting the Most Out ofyou thought. Really, simply e- Technology . . . . . . . . 1mailing a “questionnaire” to the Lessons Learned from theIT or operational folks asking for Data Map Process . . . 1a list of applications, systems and Gaining Competitiveplatforms within the organiza- Edge with Redact-It . . 3tion may not produce optimal re- Legal Hold Amendmentsults. Instead, a holistic approach At Family Dollar . . . . 7to the creation of the data mapmust be undertaken. continued on page 4
    • IT Is Dead and technology within the IT de- LJN’s partment. You should expect thiscontinued from page 1 level of streamlining to involve up- front investments, although the net Legal Tech ® Firms often assume a technology Newslettercommittee serves all four purposes. result over three years should re-In practice, a technology committee duce overall IT spending by at least EDITOR-IN-CHIEF . . . . . . . . . . Adam Schlagman, Esq . EDITORIAL DIRECTOR . . . . . . Wendy Kaplan Ampolskis optional or at least in a back seat 15% compared to traditional imple- MANAGING EDITOR . . . . . . . . Steven Salkin, Esq . MARKETING MANAGER . . . . . . Jeannine Kennedyrole compared to a qualified technol- mentations. This is important — if GRAPHIC DESIGNER . . . . . . . . Louis F . Bartellaogy partner and COO. you can’t map your projects to these BOARD OF EDITORS long-term business results, then youstreAmLine it; not Just may simply be increasing costs and RICHARD C . BELTHOFF JR . Wachovia Corp . Charlotte, NCA LittLe, But A Lot complexity under the guise of “im- BRETT BURNEY . . . . . . . . . . Burney Consultants Cleveland, OH It’s common for a firm to spend provements.” It is easy to argue that JEFFERY M . DUNCAN . . . . . Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lionemore than 80% of its attention and while spending reductions are criti- ChicagoIT staff time on infrastructure and cal, of more importance are better RANDALL FARRAR . . . . . . . . . Esquire Innovations, Inc . Temecula, CAless than 20% on applying technol- disaster recovery, reliability and lev- TOM GELBMANN . . . . . . . . . Gelbmann & Associates St . Paul, MNogy to the practice of law. The aim of els of lawyer satisfaction. JOHN GREEN . . . . . . . . . . . . Baker, Donelson, Berman,streamlining IT systems and process- Key aspects of streamlined IT in- Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC Memphis, TNes should be to reverse this balance. clude: HOPE HASLAM . . . . . . . . . . UHY Advisors FLVS, Inc . For IT infrastructure, the objective • Application Packaging and Dallasis straightforward: to provide a high- Delivery. Standardization of the PC JUSTIN HECTUS . . . . . . . . . Keesal, Young & Logan Long Beach, CAly available foundation that requires build is a fundamental attribute of RICHARD K . HERRMANN . . Blank Rome LLPless effort and cost to maintain. well-run IT departments, and doing Wilmington, DE ADAM E . JAFFE . . . . . . . . . . . Huron Consulting Group LLCConsolidating IT systems via virtu- so actually supports user customi- New Yorkalization software (allowing multiple zations rather than negates them. ARI KAPLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ari Kaplan Advisors Millburn, NJservers to run on each physical serv- Commonly used tools such as WYSE, ROSS KODNER . . . . . . . . . . MicroLaw Inc .er machine) has been a reality for a UIU, SysPrep, KBOX and Microsoft’s Milwaukee, WInumber of years, but the actual busi- System Center Configuration Manag- MARC LAURITSEN . . . . . . . . Capstone Practice Systems Harvard, MAness results are often underwhelm- er support software packaging, com- JOSEPH D . LEE . . . . . . . . . . Munger, Tolles & Olson LLPing. IT staffs have gained initial mon PC image development and ap- Los Angelessuccess by reducing the firm’s total plication deployment. These upfront ANN WALSH LONG . . . . . . . AALL PIC Oklahoma City, OKnumber of servers and, sometimes, efforts create significant payoff in DAVID L . NARKIEWICZ . . . . Montgomeryville, PAsoftware licenses. These efforts are support needs, reliability and ease ALAN PEARLMAN . . . . . . . . The Electronic Lawyergenerally focused on cleaning up of rolling out new changes. Northbrook, ILancillary and older servers. Think of • Consolidation and Virtualization DAVID C . REYMANN . . . . . . Parr Waddoups Brown Gee & Lovelessthis as Stage 1 in streamlining IT, of- of Core Systems. Reducing the loca- Salt Lake City, UTten with a moderate or net zero gain. tions and quantity of servers related SETH A . RIERSON . . . . . . . . FTI Consulting, Inc . ChicagoStage 1 helps IT staff gain experi- to Exchange, document management G . CHRISTOPHER RITTER . The Focal Point LLCence with virtualization, reduce the and other core systems simplifies Oakland, CAnumber of servers and reduce data management, reduces licensing and JOEL B . ROTHMAN . . . . . . . Seiden, Adler, Matthewman & Bloch, P .A .center needs, although these gains reduces the number of document Boca Raton, FLcan be offset by the costs, complex- libraries. Adding new servers be- GEORGE J . SOCHA JR . . . . . SochaConsulting LLC St . Paul, MNity and initial effort. comes a negligible effort and system JOHN J . SROKA . . . . . . . . . . Duane Morris LLP Philadelphia It is possible to streamline IT sys- recovery after failures can approach BEN WEINBERGER . . . . . . . Lathrop & Gage, L .C .tems much further and achieve a minutes rather than hours. Kansas City, MOreal, positive effect on reliability, re- • Storage Optimization. Storage LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter® (ISSN 0738-0186) is published bycovery capabilities, IT spending and is often allowed to grow (each gi- Law Journal Newsletters, a division of Incisive Media . © 2009 . Incisive US Properties, LLC . All rights reserved . Nostaffing levels. We call this Stage 2. gabyte is cheap), but then becomes reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher . Telephone: (877) 256-2472;This requires a focus not just on a significant expense. Intelligent Editorial e-mail: steve .salkin@incisivemedia .comtechnology, but on people, process management, data de-duplication Circulation e-mail: customercare@incisivemedia .com Reprints e-mail: reprintscustomerservice@incisivemedia .com POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:David B. Cunningham is Managing continued on page 6 Incisive MediaDirector of Baker Robbins & Compa- 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271ny. He leads the Strategic Technology LAW JOURNAL NEWSLETTERS Published Monthly by:practice where he assists law firms REPRINT SERVICE Law Journal Newsletters Promotional article reprints of this article or any other published 1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 1750, Philadelphia, PA 19103with mergers, planning, risk manage- by LAW JOURNAL NEWSLETTERS are available. www .ljnonline .comment, technology assessments and IT Contact Incisive Media Reprints at 877-257-3382 or reprintscustomerservice@incisivemedia.com for a free quote.optimization. He may be reached at Reprints are available in paper and PDF format.dcunningham@brco.com.2 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt September 2009
    • Gaining Competitive example, in one bankruptcy-related appropriate privilege based redac- litigation matter that I am working tions are factored into the mix, theEdge and ROI with on, we have exchanged over 60,000 burden on lawyers and litigants can documents with opposing counsel be overwhelming, particularly sinceRedact-It’s Electronic during the last three months, and each redaction must be identifiedRedaction Tool this is not a particularly large case. and explained in a log for opposing Document repositories with well counsel.By Sean O’Keefe over a million document pages are Years ago, my staff and I used the not uncommon in this environment. time-honored manual method of My firm, based in Newport Beach, resistAnce is FutiLe redaction. We printed copies of theCA, specializes in bankruptcy and Although some lawyers have re- documents to be redacted, used acreditors’ rights. As part of its prac- sisted the digital revolution, this is black marker or redaction tape totice, the firm regularly pursues and no longer an option. e-Filing is now cover the content to be protected,defends insolvency-related litigation mandatory in the federal courts, and and then made enough photocop-in the federal courts. This kind of state courts will soon follow this ies of the page to ensure the textfinancial litigation is inherently doc- trend. Unless a firm wants to out- was completely blacked out. Thenument-intensive — often involving source this function (e-filing), high- we would scan the document backthousands of documents that must speed scanning technology is a must, into the system and along the waybe reviewed, identified and scanned since substantially every e-filed doc- re-review the document to ensureduring the discovery process. ument must be in PDF format. Fortu- all privileged and privacy data was Twenty years ago, I would spend nately, the cost of this technology is blacked-out. In cases involving tensdays wading through hundreds of now reasonable, and PPM scan rates of thousands of documents, this wasboxes in hot, dusty warehouses and have dramatically improved. a time-consuming and mind-numb-storage rooms, trying to piece to- The move to electronic filing has ing burden that was prone to hu-gether the documentary evidence come with its own set of rules. For man error. Although in recent years,necessary to support or defeat the example, the Dec. 1, 2007 amend- we have used various software pro-claims involved in the litigation ments to the 2002 e-Government act grams to mitigate this burden, fewcontest. Once the documents were (Appellate Rule 25, new Bankruptcy of them provided the flexibility andculled from this source, each docu- Rule 9037, Civil Rule 5.2, and Crimi- convenience necessary to materiallyment would then be logged and nal Rule 49.1) require filers to redact lessen the burden.photocopied for trial. personal identification information About a year ago, when I was Today, the discovery universe is from documents filed with the court. again faced with a case that wouldvery different. Large bodies of doc- Personal information includes, but require the redaction of thousandsuments are already in digital form may not be limited to, Social Securi- of entries, I decided to search thewhen litigation is initiated and the ty and Taxpayer Identification num- Internet for new redaction softwarebalance can be quickly digitized bers, the names of minor children, that would ease this burden and re-through high-speed scanners. This financial account numbers, dates of duce the associated costs. My searchallows litigants to create a commonly birth, and, in criminal cases, home led me to a product called Redact-accessible database (although the addresses. Although this information It Desktop, which was made by In-arguments still rage over who pays should have been removed during formative Graphics out of Arizona.for what) and once all of the data is the “paper filing” days as a matter of Redact-It is an electronic redactiondigitized, the lawyers can efficiently prudent practice, it was frequently overlooked. Now, failing to redact software program that allows mesearch, identify, log, and where ap- to review documents electronicallypropriate, redact privileged matter, this information could have severe consequences for the filer. and search for privileged content.all without leaving their desks. The program enables me to effi- This electronic convenience is redAction soFtwAre ciently and automatically removealso very timely. The current eco- Redaction has always been one of privacy information — includingnomic downturn has dramatically the more time-consuming burdens all information that requires redac-increased the number of corporate inherent in the discovery process. tion for filing into the federal sys-Chapter 11 filings. Business bank- For example, a single tax return in tem — add reason codes for eachruptcies are typically document a complicated case can have more than one hundred pages of data, and redaction, and then generate a logintensive, and the litigation that for opposing counsel.arises within these cases can gener- half of these pages can include a Social Security or Tax Identification In April 2008, I purchased a sin-ate massive discovery burdens. For gle license for $195. The installation number. Every one of these entriesSean O’Keefe is principal and found- must be redacted. That’s 50 entries was fast and easy — I basically raner of O’Keefe & Associates Law Cor- in a single document. In a case with an executable file to install Redact-poration P.C. in Newport Beach, CA. 30 or 40 tax returns, thousands of It, opened the program and startedThe firm specializes in bankruptcy redactions may be required just to using it that day. The intuitive toolsand creditors’ rights law. eliminate these entries. When other continued on page 4September 2009 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt 3
    • Redact-It the legal community when they de- focus on other more important tasks, veloped the latest version of their or better still, to take some time off.continued from page 3 For a one-time charge of $195, I am software, version 1.1, which imple-and visual presentation allowed me mented tools that make the final re- saving my clients thousands of dol-to integrate the program into my view easier. I have just started using lars and improving the quality of mypractice, without the time and cost this version, but there is an option practice.of formal training. I found the soft- to show just a few lines of the doc- Eventually, all lawyers will be do-ware to be effective, flexible, and ument at a time for a focused view. ing redaction electronically; but formost importantly, user friendly. You I just click a “down arrow” to prog- now, many attorneys insist on do-don’t have to be a rocket scientist to ress the view window to the next ing redaction the old-fashioned way,figure it out. document segment until the entire with markers or redaction tape, and Although Redact-It certainly saved document has been read. When I it’s costing them and their clients’me time, I also needed the program complete this kind of review, the time and money. So to those still re-to be accurate and comprehensive. program creates a log entry, along sisting technology and change andEven with the benefit of this new with every other redaction function clutching their markers and tape, Ielectronic tool, I typically will do sev- performed. The improvements also am here to tell you that to stay com-eral passes over the material. First, I make it possible to record redac- petitive, electronic tools are essen-use Redact-It’s built-in tool for find- tion steps on the first document, tial. The cost and time savings areing privacy information, like Social and to automatically apply these just too important to ignore.Security numbers. Then I search for same steps to other documents as Discovery is tedious and expen-the actual Social Security number in soon as they are opened. This fea- sive, and whatever technological toolquestion with the text search tool to ture makes sure nothing is missed will get me through the process thebe sure nothing was missed. Even within the documents and it saves most quickly, without sacrificing myusing two search methods, it takes even more time. objectives, is at the top of my list.just seconds per document. Since I Redact-It has been huge from a For me, Redact-It fits the bill in thestill am a firm believer that there is ROI standpoint, providing cost and redaction arena. I am able to saveno substitute for the human eye, I efficiency benefits for both my prac- both my sanity and my time whilestill perform a visual review. tice and my clients. On small cases, saving my clients’ money and in-improvements And roi with a few hundred documents, I creasing accuracy. This helps me Redaction errors or omissions can save several hours, which at cur- to maintain competitive advantage.can have serious consequences for rent hourly rates is a major plus for Few tools at that price can do thatthe client and for the lawyer. So I my clients. In the larger cases, the much for the bottom line.was very glad to see that Informa- savings are even greater. This tech- —❖—tive Graphics heard the pleas of nological enabler also allows me toData Map Process Start with existing data infrastruc- provide a list of security and access ture, record and business process groups by the various applications.continued from page 1 inventories. Typically, the IT infra- Obtaining accurate and complete structure team will have the list(s) of inventories is always a challenge.it’s ALL ABout the While it behooves organizations to system infrastructures, their locations,(mAp) coordinAtes business/IT owners and platform spend upfront time and resources in At its core, a data map is an inven- ensuring that these lists are as accu- names. The records managementtory of the sources of data within an rate as possible, the data map team team will have an inventory of theorganization, the names and types must make adequate contingency various types of records generatedof applications or platforms that plans to account for the errors and through the course of business alongstore this data, the processes that omissions in the lists provided tomanipulate the data, how the data with the requisite record metadata, such as record description, owner, lo- them.flows within various business pro- Once existing lists and invento-cesses and how this data is stored, cation, formats and retention period. ries are obtained, the next step is toretrieved and accessed. The operations team will have a list of start mapping the data types to cor- the various business processes, pro- responding applications, platforms,Ganesh Vednere is a manager with cess descriptions, process inputs and owners and business processes. Thea global financial service consulting outputs, owners, process dependen- data map team also needs to con-company based out of New York. He cies and the applications and systems duct walkthrough sessions with thehas expertise in implementing informa- that are used to execute the process. various stakeholders to discuss howtion and compliance programs includ- Work with HR to obtain organiza- the data moves from one applica-ing e-discovery, compliance research, tional charts that show the various tion/business process to another.records management, legal research hierarchies, roles and responsibilities A data map needs to incorporateand program implementation. He can within the organization. In addition, continued on page 5be reached at gvedn@comcast.net. the information security team can4 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt September 2009
    • Data Map Process cal mid-size organization, it is rea- • Use Facilitated Sessions. When sonable to expect a timeframe of at time is short and specific pieces ofcontinued from page 4 least a couple of months to produce information are required from theaspects of all data flows within an a data map, assuming the informa- participants, facilitated sessions mayorganization. There are several ways tion required is readily available and be the way to go. It may be betterto perform the mapping — starting up-to-date. to gather managers and support staffwith the infrastructure/application • Avoid Reinventing the Wheel. that work in a common businesslist and then tying it to the business Leverage any and all existing lists, in- area, assemble them in a room andprocess, records, HR and access ventories, projects and programs for target specific questions to gather in-controls lists. Alternatively, one can harvesting information necessary to formation about their specific busi-start with the business process list the data map project. In some cases ness process and data flows.and then map out the correspond- these are not always well published or • Automated Tools. As the mar-ing data outputs, records and so publicized, hence some digging around ketplace ramps up for e-discovery,on. This is where the bulk of the may be required to uncover what piec- many players are entering the arenadata map complexity occurs. One es have already been created. with their product and service offer-option for reducing the complexity • Apply Project Management ings. Given the complexity of locat- Techniques. By its very nature, the ing data, determining structures andof the mapping exercise is to pri- data map project requires a disparate relationships it is no surprise that au-oritize higher data risk areas with- tomated tools will eventually replacein the organization and focus on team of representatives from various most of the core data map process-these first and then complete the business lines, legal, compliance, IT, es. Tools can also ease much of theother areas. operations and so on. The only way manual work around collating, clas-Are we there Yet? to keep the team working together in sifying and storing the information. The following are some key lessons a cohesive manner is to have one or • Updates and Maintenance.learned from the data map process. more strong project managers with Once the data map is developed, • Deploy the Right Resources. experience in large scale projects a process for periodic updates andCreating a data map requires a col- who have gone through the program ongoing maintenance must be insti-laborative effort on the part of legal, implementation lifecycle. tuted. A data map that is outdatedIT, business, operations and compli- • People Have Day Jobs Too. Most does not really serve its purpose. Asance areas. It is not just a one-person resources allocated to the data map business processes and systems areshow. Legal needs to determine if the project will continue to have their updated or upgraded, the appro-end product is good enough for use “day” jobs. It is rare that a project priate information in the data mapduring litigation; IT needs to provide team will get dedicated representa- must also be updated. At the samerelevant information about servers, tives from the lines of businesses and time, when systems are retired ordata and metadata; business and IT. Typically, one can expect part-time replaced, updates must be made tooperations teams need to provide resources to be provided to support the data map to reflect where andinformation on business processes; the project. How part time it gets de- how the data will be stored for re-while the compliance team provides pends on how well management has trieval at a future date. This last partdetails on what controls have been been updated on the need and im- is important as there are instancesestablished on information flows. portance of the data map project. The where data may not be accessible via • Apply a Methodical Process. key thing to keep in mind is not just reasonable means and organizationsThe process of how a data map is to have a large number of individu- will have to demonstrate that this iscreated is in many instances as im- als on the project, but rather to have indeed the case.portant as the data map itself. The the right resources on board. Quality concLusionquality of the data map — and its reli- trumps quantity here. Daunting as it may appear, creat-ability — is directly dependent upon • Use a Risk-Based Approach. ing a data map is a key aspect of thehow well the process of collecting, Somewhere in the middle of the e-discovery process. Organizationscollating, analyzing and classifying data map project, it is easy to get must start the process of creatingthe underlying data is implement- lost in the sheer volume of informa- one now rather than waiting untiled. It is best to follow a consistent tion that is being collated and ana- litigation requires them to do so. Aframework throughout the process lyzed. In most large organizations, well-developed and well-document-and ensure that all involved teams it is somewhat impossible to gather, ed data map will prove useful in thefollow the process. identify and tag every single piece long run, both from a litigation and • Establish Reasonable Time- of information. While it is hard to operational perspective. It allowsframes. Setting up a time frame is predict what kind of information legal to support its case in court,usually not an option when there is a will be required to be produced business to understand the types oflitigation fire drill going on, but if the once in court, one can at least make information it works with and IT tosituation permits, an attempt should risk-based assumptions on the types have a full and complete list of sys-be made to evaluate and establish of data sets required and focus best tem assets.reasonable timeframes. For a typi- efforts on them. —❖—September 2009 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt 5
    • IT Is Dead 1. Services that are notably man- and for how long. Software vendors intensive but not user facing? have long recognized the conver-continued from page 2 2. Services that require specialist gence of e-mail, document manage-and recovery capabilities are built skills, but aren’t full time? ment and records management, sointo storage systems like those from 3. Services that require 24-hour at- companies such as Autonomy (nowNetApp (which can also manage tention? owners of iManage/Interwoven) andother vendors). By combining smart 4. Services that need high capital Recommind provide sets of tools tosystems with good firm retention investments? support a single, unified electronicand archival policies (notably in- One firm, for example, had sever- matter file from open through close,clusive of litigation support), firms al IT staff employed to run backups and effective e-mail management.have literally reduced storage needs and provide 24-hour monitoring of As the economy has changed,by over 60%. the firm’s network. While one could one of the few areas in which firms IT Data Center. Often overlooked, applaud the generosity of their mon- have invested more resources is ina key benefit of consolidation is the itoring focus, they were able to turn nurturing client opportunities andpotential to avoid or reduce costly to a vendor service for about 10% of relationships. Despite investmentspower and cooling upgrades. the firm’s previous cost. And frankly, in marketing software, firms are un- These changes will simplify IT the vendor was able to afford bet- satisfied with their own abilitiesoperations and staffing levels to ter monitoring and troubleshooting to learn whom and what the firmone IT staff managing infrastructure tools. Other examples include help knows about clients and potentialand PCs for approximately every desk (notably after hours support), clients. Passive technology, such as100-150 users. The upcoming re- database maintenance, Wide Area ContactNet, mines information aboutlease of Windows 7 and, assumedly, Network monitoring, security con- relationships from e-mail, voice sys-better economic conditions are ex- trol and disaster recovery testing. tems, billing systems, etc. Such soft-pected to kick-start more firms into Get more From ware combines internal and externalmaking these improvements over prActice technoLoGY information sources and requires nothe next 12 months. With IT infrastructure streamlined, additional effort to keep informa-Get A reALitY check resources can be redirected to ap- tion current. Having this “six degreesABout outsourcinG plying technology to the practice of separation” network available at Evaluating outsourcing is uncom- of law. Practice technology objec- a lawyer’s fingertips can enhancefortable for law firms. However, tives include supporting the qual- business development and help torather than consider outsourcing to ity and profitability of legal services strengthen client relationships.be an all or nothing proposition, rec- to clients, while enabling lawyers The precedent for firms usingognize that vendors provide a menu to spend more time on high-value technology to enhance their ser-of services from which a law firm work and client-facing activities. vice delivery is unfortunately low.can choose (hence the term “man- At the core of practice technology The 2008 Association of Corporateaged services” is often used). There is document and e-mail manage- Counsel Value Challenge findingsare a small number of legal-specif- ment. Common issues are fragment- reflect the frustration from corpo-ic managed service providers (e.g., ed client matter files (electronic and rate counsel on law firms’ abilitiesKeno Kozie, MindShift, IntelliTeach) paper files scattered across multiple to effectively budget, staff projects,that can match your internal costs, locations and applications) and dif- track fees to budget, share knowl-provide lower risk of failure and se- ficulty finding and sharing matter edge and communicate status. Likecurity breaches, and provide deeper materials (lawyers and staff perform other areas, technology can onlybench strength of IT skills than most redundant, inefficient searching and play a supporting role in improvingfirms can afford. filing activities and redundant paper these business functions, but there Therefore, it is smart for a firm files consume unnecessary amounts are many simplified project man-to undergo a “sourcing analysis” to of physical space). As a result, while agement and collaborative extranetcompare its internal risks, service good service is likely maintained, it technologies available for firms. Inlevels and costs to those of external is done with more effort than neces- a time when investing in client re-vendors. At a minimum, the firm will sary while profits are undermined lationships is a priority, providingunderstand its own areas of potential and client service could be compro- clarity on matter status can be aimprovements. While only a minor- mised. firm’s strong differentiator.ity of firms will turn core operations Such practice issues require a One of the fastest changing aspectsover to a vendor (e.g., hosting and blend of people, process/policies to client relationships is an arrange-managing the e-mail system), all firms and technology to address. In re- ment in which a firm’s fees are basedshould list and scrutinize the services lation to electronic matter files, an partially on the success or satisfac-provided by IT. Four areas to look at e-records management policy and tion of the work product. To makeIT for managed service opportunities retention schedule should serve as such an arrangement profitable,can help focus the analysis: guides for what is stored, where continued on page 86 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt September 2009
    • A Focus on Customer issued a hold notice via our corpo- impLementinG Fusion rate e-mail accounts and hard copy. The implementation process wentService: Legal Hold We tracked the details of each legal extremely smoothly. We chose toManagement at hold, including reminders and hold releases, using Excel spreadsheets. keep Fusion Legal Hold behind Ex- terro’s firewall, allowing us to foregoFamily Dollar We found this process to be lacking, on-site installation; and implement- and determined we needed a “one- ing the ASP model was a simple,By Kevin Anderson stop” communication link with cus- easy process. Exterro had a solid todians, with automated audit trails. implementation plan before rollout, Family Dollar Stores is a neigh- We also wanted to move away from and we were quickly able to lever-borhood-based convenience and the practice of regularly using outside age its integration capabilities tovalue retailer with more than 6,600 counsel to handle the creation of cus- incorporate our pre-existing tech-locations in 44 states, and more than tom legal hold notices for our litiga- nology with Fusion. Our transition45,000 full-time employees. tion portfolio. We knew it was time to was seamless and there was nei- As the director of litigation support, rethink our legal hold process. ther significant interruption in ourI work with a team of 26 attorneysand various information technology FindinG the riGht soLution day-to-day activities nor any system We decided that automating our compatibility issues. I worked with(IT) professionals. I am the primary legal hold process was the best way our IT department and Exterro’s cli-driver for all e-discovery, informationlife cycle management, privacy and we could give good service to the ent success and engineering teamslitigation management processes. At business people with whom we work to deploy Fusion Legal Hold and itsany one time, Family Dollar has doz- while also mitigating risk for the or- features:ens of professionals collaborating on ganization and reducing the time • Fusion’s integration points en-multiple pending cases in a variety spent on the legal hold process. abled us to feed custodian dataof fields. We came up with several require- to Fusion from our HRIS system ments going into our search for an and Oracle e-Business Suite, andcommunicAtion BreAkdown: link Fusion’s functionality to automated solution. First, we neededcumBersome LeGAL it to capture and create audit trails of our custodians via Microsoft Ex-hoLd process all hold activity. Second, we needed change Server. This eliminated We send out litigation holds al- a solution that would provide a cen- any need to manually enter cus-most daily to up to 400 custodians at tralized way to manage legal hold todian information into Fusion;a time, including anyone from store responses and answer custodian and with approximately 3,500 usersmanagers to senior organization of- data stewards’ questions. Third, it — that’s a major time savings.ficers. e-Mail is the most commonly needed to be intuitive and easy to • Fusion Legal Hold’s notifica-targeted type of data in our holds, use without specialized training. Fi- tion management increased ef-but we also often place holds on a nally, it needed to be cost-effective. ficiency by automating and sim-wide variety of other data, including I began my search by looking plifying the process of creatingunstructured file network-situated at automated legal hold solutions legal holds, identifying custodi-data and structured data; and we de- from several leading legal software ans and data, and issuing legalcide what to hold based on the na- providers. While many offered sev- hold notifications. Additionally,ture of each case. eral features we needed, an in-depth automated notifications enable In developing our litigation hold analysis of Exterro’s Fusion Legal our IT team to know what dataprocess, we had created a manual Hold revealed it to be the best fit for needs to be retained without theapproach to the large number of Family Dollar’s needs. legal department having to initi-litigation holds we managed. How- Exterro’s Fusion Legal Hold met ate a separate workflow to com-ever, we found the process to be all of our requirements, and offered municate with them.very labor-intensive. When a trigger- several additional features that made • Fusion’s unique collaborativeing event came to our attention, we our decision an easy one: tools enabled us to share theKevin Anderson is the Director of • A secure, audited and direct link identities of custodians with ourLitigation Support for Family Dollar between custodians and legal IT department in real-time. TheStores, Inc., a Fortune 500 company teams that would allow custo- collaborative tool we’ve foundbased in North Carolina, where he dians to ask questions and our to be most useful is what wefocuses on e-discovery, technology legal teams to answer them from call the “ask questions” feature.and privacy issues. Anderson has a central repository; Custodians in the field and ITmore than 18 years of experience • Superior integration capabilities, managers can immediately sendin the practice of law, including a including the ability to integrate their hold-related questions todecade in private practice and eight with our HR system and existing us via Fusion, without having toyears of experience as in-house matter management system; and either log out of the system orcounsel in the retail industry. • Competitive price point. continued on page 8September 2009 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt 7
    • Family Dollar said, “I love this thing.” Overall, we • Gap time reduction. We’ve re- had a very positive response from duced the lead-time between trigger-continued from page 7 ing events and legal hold issuance. the legal team as well as the custodi- pick up the phone to call us. Our ans and IT team members. Fusion’s templated holds and inte- answers flow back to them im- end resuLts grations with our HR system allow mediately, and the whole conver- With Fusion in place, once a trig- us to quickly scope large litigation sation is tracked and tied to the gering event comes to our attention, projects. Additionally, we can now hold itself for future reference. a member of the legal team can im- quickly target the data to be retained • Fusion’s audit trails created efficient mediately create a legal hold by with clear litigation hold notices that defensibility and cut down on the choosing the template appropriate to minimize inefficiencies and reduce time spent tracking holds by en- matter type and modifying it as nec- duplication. abling our users to see, at a glance essary, or creating a new hold using • Time savings and efficiency. and in real time, who has and who Fusion’s simple three-step wizard. We’ve reduced the time spent per has not responded to each hold The hold is then approved and sent week on tracking legal hold processes notice. We can view event history out rapidly via Fusion’s messaging from about 10 hours to about 30 min- for a hold or matter, and export a system, with built-in escalations and utes — a time savings of 95%. Since timeline if necessary. reminder parameters. Fusion tracks its implementation in January 2009, • Fusion’s hold templates reduced and audits all activities related to that Fusion has saved us significant staff the time spent on creating new hold, alerts the legal team when ac- hours in tracking and administrative legal holds by about half, prov- tion is needed, and allows our custo- work alone, freeing our legal talent to ing particularly indispensible for dians to ask questions and our attor- focus on their core competencies. large litigation projects. neys to answer immediately. When • Defensibility. We now have an • Fusion’s release process allows the matter is resolved, the hold is re- automated method of tracking and increased efficiency by enabling leased with the click of a mouse. monitoring the legal hold process us to release legal holds with The aspects of the software that we that requires little intervention on just a couple clicks of a mouse, have been most satisfied with are: the part of the legal team, and shows freeing our IT department to re- • Streamlined process, compli- exactly what happened with respect turn affected data to its regular ance. Fusion has cut the inefficiency to each hold issued on a custodian- retention and destruction cycle out of the legal hold process, greatly by-custodian basis. and allowing for timely data dis- improving our customer service and concLusion position. accessibility. Additionally, by allow- Since its implementation, Fusion Getting buy-in from our constitu- ing end users to review legal holds as has reduced our legal-hold relatedents was fairly easy. I sat with each part of their normal, day-to-day busi- outside counsel expenditures substan-attorney and paralegal while they cre- ness processes, Fusion has embedded tially, cut our spoliation and human-ated their first legal hold, and overall compliance into everyday workflows. error related risks, and given us theit took about two weeks to get every- • Reduced costs. By reducing our transparent and fully audited systemone comfortable with the new tech- reliance on outside counsel and staff we need for a fully defensible legalnology and associated process. One time to create, process and track le- hold process.of my most difficult-to-please parale- gal holds, Fusion has helped to re-gals even walked into my office and duce our legal-hold related costs. —❖—IT Is Dead best practices, experts, etc.) quick- for IT departments to simply keep ly and easily. Matter and practice systems running, the role for IT incontinued from page 6 supporting lawyer productivity is financial dashboards can providea firm has to learn how to price current status and issue informa- the dawning of a new age for manysuch work, how to define success tion. Any effort to create efficien- firms.or satisfaction, and how to man- cies pay off handsomely, especially —❖—age progress against the budget. since a recent study within profes-Few firms are yet good at all three sional service organizations reflects The publisher of this newsletter is not engaged in renderingareas. Technology can play a role that people spend 30% of their time legal, accounting, financial, investment advisory or other professional services, and this publication is not meant tonot only in managing matter time simply searching for content. constitute legal, accounting, financial, investment advisoryand budget (as above), but also in Never before have firms been as or other professional advice. If legal, financial, investment advisory or other professional assistance is required, the ser-providing access to existing firm willing to shake up the traditional vices of a competent professional person should be sought.resources (templates, precedents, focus of IT. While the age is over To order this newsletter, call: On the Web at: 1-877-256-2472 www.ljnonline.com8 LJN’s Legal Tech Newsletter ❖ www.ljnonline.com/alm?lt September 2009