Predictive coding is overhyped to the extent that while few legal teams consistently use it, the topic itself is practically passé. Yet in conversation corporate counsel and law firm attorneys express the need to cut through the hype and understand how to use and defend predictive coding.

With this in mind, senior managing director Kathryn McCarthy moderated a LegalTech New York panel discussion with Honorable Judge Andrew J. Peck, Jason Lichter from Pepper Hamilton and Eric Leiber of Toyota Motor Sales. The focus was on the practical applications of predictive coding for specific use cases, including for litigation, investigations and HSR second requests.

Some of the key takeaways from the session:

Judge Peck addressed case law regarding predictive coding, and the importance of keeping both parties on the same page on parameters for using it throughout the case. He pointed out that the technology is being used in the courtroom much more regularly than in just the handful of cases that are making headlines over the use of it, and in some instances, judges are even suggesting its use.

Kathryn McCarthy talked through a sample second request matter, explaining that these often involve very tight timelines, data residing in numerous locations worldwide, and dozens, or even hundreds of custodians. Companies may not have time to look at every document, and in those circumstances can benefit from using threading and mines to help shape the dataset initially. Predictive coding can then be applied to help the legal team get its arms around what needs to be produced to the government. For these types of matters, predictive coding can help get the job done quickly, while analytics can offer the confidence that the company’s response is thorough.

All of the panelists agreed that whether or not predictive coding is being used on a matter, keywords/search terms still have a useful place in the e-discovery process, as do other analytics tools including de-duplication and email threading.

Stay tuned for part two of this posting, which covers the panelists’ discussion of investigations and depositions use cases.