Japanese Doc Review spent the week in Las Vegas attending ILTA’s Annual Educational Conference. It was the first ILTA conference we attended as a company, and it was worth every minute.
The opportunity to meet other providers in the Asian eDiscovery space was delightful. The conference was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new contacts. As a company, we are a firm believer that we can work together with other service providers to assist Japanese companies and their US law firms during the review phase.
Furthermore, our collective experience with the Japanese-fluent review community serves as a wealth of knowledge. This is an area nobody has examined closely. The reason, we will publish in the first-ever White Paper on Japanese Document Review and E-Discovery. This paper will focus on the experiences gained from people we believe have the most direct contact with Japanese review: the Japanese fluent Attorneys who have conducted a greater portion of most of the Japanese review in North America. As we all know, every review is different, especially since the substantive area of the law, work flow, and scope of review is widely different depending on so many moving parts. This is more true with Japanese review.
Our discussions with dozens of Japanese-fluent Attorney reviewers on virtually every area of law working out of dozens of law firms is a source of great value assessing where the industry is going, which technologies have the greatest depth and promise and how we can improve. We do not attempt to be the definitive guide to “the best practices” in CJK, but at least serve as starting point in addressing how we can improve and work together by sharing our collective insights. This study is open-ended and will not be sponsored by any particular company. We encourage others to contact us if there is an interest in participating.
ILTA Las Vegas
That’s a wrap. Another great two day event meeting with old friends and establishing new professional relationships. While LegalTech NY is substantially larger, that does not always mean better. Often in large crowds every vendor is hoping to turn the noise into a signal and command a listening audience. We are not your typical vendor.
Throngs of people pass by your booth, your batch scanned to be later contacted by one of their sales reps and business cards are exchanged. We had a good time. New technologies and features are released, too.
While our friends outside the legal and technology community may beg to differ, the panels were informative. As usual, the panel discussion covered big data, information governance, privacy, and the always-pleasant Judge’s Panel, featuring Judge Jay C. Ghandi and Judge Suzanne H. Segal.
Japanese Doc Review was in attendance this year at the annual New Year’s Party hosted by the Japanese Business Association (JBA) in downtown Los Angeles. There was plenty of good food and drinks provided by Asahi Beer, Kirin and Sapporo.
It was a good opportunity to network and meet with new JBA members. Also in attendance was Mr. Jun Niimi, the current Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles. Virtually every big name Japanese company was also there. 2013 is going to be an exciting year. We wish everyone the best!
Over the next few years, technology companies and staffing agencies providing services to help companies and law firms manage the increasingly growing corpus of documents, will need better tools to manage the data when that body of data is in another language. This problem is exacerbated when the documents are in Chinese, Japanese or Korean (known typically in the industry as “CJK”). Add to this the various standard practices vis a vis document management and preservation.
So what happens when a company gets hit with a government investigation or a civil suit? Corporate departments are scrambling, law firms do not have the people-power to conduct a thorough document review and everything seems last-minute. From our discussion with various professionals involved in many Japanese and Chinese reviews, they will tell you that this process is quite messy and ad hoc.
Here’s the rub: when a staffing agency is called by “big firm” Y to staff a Chinese or Japanese project, the recruiting professional tasked with the responsibility to recruit a Chinese or Japanese review team has absolutely zero knowledge of the language. Ask any reviewer who has been involved in a Chinese or Japanese review. They will tell you. Law firms and their clients deserve better. With so much on the line, we think it is critical that there exists a single data base and resource that can leveraged for these matters. This is what we at Chinese Doc Review and Japanese Doc Review are building.
Japanese Doc Review, LLC is now an official member of the Japanese Business Association. We are featured in this month’s newsletter here. The Japanese Business Association, founded in 1961, is a non-profit organization where its members consist primarily of Japanese businesses operating in North America. We are excited for the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with Japanese companies, small and large.
Our Japanese Document Review team spent the past two days at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on Figueroa. As a side note, not only is the hotel the largest in the city, but one of the original investors was the Mitsubishi Corporation. So why was Japanese Document Review, LLC doing at the Bonaventure Hotel? LegalTech West Coast 2012. Stay tuned for some of our findings. We met some awesome people in the Japanese document review and vendor community. Many law firms were present too.
Is there life after predictive coding for an outsourced, contract attorney doing document review? If I were an English reviewer at one of those “big law” type international law firms, I would either find another gig (like launching a startup) or learn a foreign language that is based on thousands of complex Chinese characters. Although the volume of work is still in English, early last year’s order issued by Judge Peck that approved the use of computer-assisted review, should be an ominous foreshadow that document review conducted by us mortals may be inching to its decline and eventual obliviousness—or at least the labor intensive review that often costs more than litigating the rest of the case.
What is predictive coding? In short, it is computer-aided coding that enables a computer program to determine relevance without having to sift thru the entire population of electronically stored information “ESI” by document reviewers. For further explanation see this and this.
Although our company has an interest in seeing Japanese language document review keeping our Japanese colleagues employed for many more years to come, predictive coding is still cause to reflect on the power of technologies to make it more affordable when reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents that ultimately turn out to be mostly “false positives.” To our Japanese readers:
*Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe et al., No. 11-1279 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2012)