E-Discovery Vendor Refines Legal Searches


Thanks to changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) that require companies to produce documents in legal cases or face stiff penalties, vendors have been springing up to help companies navigate the morass of electronic documents to find those that are relevant to a case.

Such solutions aren't cheap — but neither are lawyers or the steep fines imposed on companies that have failed to produce documents.

Clearwell Systems hopes to make the process easier with its new "Transparent Search" feature, which speeds the e-discovery process and lets users define search parameters in such a way that the company says can be defended in court while avoiding over- or under-searching.

The company cited recent decisions such as Victor Stanley v. Creative Pipe that have required parties in a lawsuit to show how search results were obtained.

"This presents significant challenges for common search tools which take a 'black box' approach whereby keywords are fed into one end and results are produced on the other with no visibility into how or why a query found the documents it produced," the company said.

Clearwell's Transparent Search lets users preview, filter and refine results to add relevant terms or eliminate irrelevant searches, which are then detailed in a report to provide an audit trail. Users can also run large numbers of queries simultaneously, which the company claims can cut days off search times.

Vice president of marketing Kamal Shah said the new feature is unique among e-discovery vendors and adds to Clearwell's status as a top five e-discovery vendor in the Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey.

Shah said Clearwell's appliance can be up and running in 20 minutes. Pricing starts at $65,000 for 100GB of data analyzed.

Also adding to its e-discovery offerings this week was Kazeon Systems, which unveiled Version 3.1 of its Information Server IS1200-ECS. The new version includes a legal hold feature and support for laptops and desktops.

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