27 April 2012

In a recent judgment in the US, a judge has ordered that defendants may use predictive coding for the purposes of processing and producing electronically stored documents. The Plaintiff had argued that this was not as effective as a human review.

Of course it doesn't carry any legal weight here in Australia but it is interesting that Judges in America are adopting this attitude, in what appears to be an attempt to make the process of discovery, especially electronic discovery more effective.

The Plaintiff argued that there is no better process than a person actually reviewing the documents. However, the Judge disagreed with this case and ordered that predictive coding be used to assess the documents.

UPDATE - 21 June 2012

In the now famous US case Da Silva Moore, et al. v. Publicis Groupe SA and MSLGroup, Judge Peck has recently denied a submission by the Plaintiff that Judge Peck recuse himself from the case because of his public statements favouring computer aided technology.

In his 56 page statement he goes to great lengths including 16 pages covering the chronology of the matter so far to declare the Plaintiff’s recuse motion  "is denied as untimely and in any event as without merit." Further detail of the statement can be found here - pdfserver.amlaw.com/legaltechnology/recusal.pdf

It is very interesting that Judge Peck and some of the US Judiciary appear to be strong willed about the use of computer assisted technology in legal matters. I wonder how long it will be before these attitudes flow on to Common Law countries.