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Move Over Watson, Automated Document Review Has Arrived


We trust machines to take our heart rate. We take out and deposit money via machines. We wear clothes sewn by machine. And now machines beat our best and brightest at chess and Jeopardy. So, why are we still doing legal document review by hand?

Numerous studies, research papers and head-to-head comparisons have proven the fallibility of manual document review [FN1], and yet the practice is still the predominant approach. Why?

Because all the research and proof has, to date, been conducted in academic, artificially constructed settings and not the real world where real litigation really takes place. Where were the last-minute changes to the specs, the wishy-washy answers, the suddenly “found” third-party documents, the porn?!

It took a smart, scrappy, tech-savvy company up in Massachusetts, with strong ties to MIT & Harvard, to become the first legal services provider to provide real-world, battle-tested, fully Automated Document Review. That’s right. Software (albeit configured and operated by humans) determining privilege, responsiveness and issues–faster, more accurately and certainly at lower cost than an army of onshore/offshore contract attorneys. Meet Valora Technologies.

Valora’s systems and processes combine a decade of legal document tagging experience with cutting edge software tools to provide defensible, custom-configured, Rules-Based Document Review.

In layman’s terms, Valora’s process understands and interprets the document review rules set out by outside counsel, in the form of a review protocol or memo. The Valora team then reconstructs the review instructions in software, as custom-configured algorithms, and runs the processes in under 48 hours. With a few iterations for accuracy, completeness and hypothesis-testing, we produce results that routinely surpass those of human review – on any shore.

Drawing from capabilities in statistical relevance (predictive coding), pattern-matching, Bayesian analysis and latent semantic indexing, Valora’s PowerHouse system combines the best technology available in a proprietary, wholly configurable process. And since we built our software over 30 person-years, there are no pesky license fees or per-click charges to contend with.

The allure of Automated Review is overwhelming: document reviews performed in hours, not weeks; accurate, consistent defensible results; and costs on the order of pennies per page. With increasing exposure and acceptance every day, why not see what you’ve been missing?

Stop paying outrageous contract attorney fees and start focusing on winning your case. With the machines handling first pass document review, what better things could you be doing?

For more information about working with Valora, check out the company website.

[FN1] See any of the last 5 years’ worth of TREC study results, articles by Maura Grossman or Judges Peck, Facciola & Grimm, research by Blair & Maron or the eDiscovery Institute. Check in with Jason Baron at National Archives, Alex Buck at Barlit Beck, or the folks at McDermott, Will & Emery (currently in litigation themselves for problematic document review practices). Or contact Valora for its numerous head-to-head “bake-off” results.

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