Logikcull's Casey Sullivan simplifies an often complicated process.
In the past, legal work, particularly in-house legal work, simply felt – well, simpler. Take the discovery process, for example. Before the digital era, a company involved in document discovery could simply meet with its attorney, gather physical documents, and hand them over for review.
Yes, it involved bankers’ boxes. Yes, sometimes redactions needed to be made by hand, with a giant marker, and Bates stamps required actual stamps. Yes, it might not have been the most speedy or efficient practice. But the process was simple. It was straightforward. It made sense.
Fast-forward to today and the typical discovery process is anything but simple. For large corporations and other data-rich organizations, discovery can trigger a labyrinth of processes, as litigation holds are placed, custodians and repositories identified, vendors evaluated and procured, data analysis and culling procedures performed, etc. In such cases, it’s not unusual for a "simple" process to end up in a tangle of slow, costly, Byzantine procedures.
This approach to discovery is great for vendors and experts, who have leveraged this complexity into a billion-dollar industry. For most legal professionals, though, it’s miserable.
Indeed, many lawyers would prefer a return to the straightforward discovery process of an earlier era – minus today’s document loads.
Of course, there’s no going back to the ’80s.
Bringing Simplicity Back to Discovery
What if we could bring that simplicity to today’s overly complicated processes? What if we could cut out the middleman? What if it was so intuitive anyone could use it?
What if you empowered, rather than befuddled, reviewers?
At Logikcull, that’s what we’ve set out to accomplish. And it’s that commitment to simplicity that has led it to be embraced by corporate legal teams across the globe, including the world’s largest company, Walmart.
“Logikcull is a simplicity revolution for our teams and our outside counsel,” says Amy Sellars, associate general counsel at Walmart. “It allows us to conduct internal investigations, subpoena response and litigated matters in house at dramatically lower cost, and improves collaboration and transparency with our outside law firms.”
The key is simplicity – a North Star that has guided many transformative user experiences.
Take, for example, finding information on the internet. In the earlier days of the web, it could be incredibly frustrating to try to discover websites. Search engines like Lycos, AltaVista and Yahoo! were an exercise in maximalism. Cluttered, confusing imitations of the Yellow Pages, they made navigating the web much harder than it needed to be.
Google’s primary innovation was stripping out all that extraneous and distracting noise by focusing on the problem the user was trying to solve: just getting information. Not building a website, not signing up for a forum, not shopping for a new computer. Just getting answers to their questions.
Consider the amount of googling you do today. Nearly all the world’s public knowledge stacked up before you, a seemingly insurmountable amount of information to get through, yet accessing it is as easy as asking a simple question. It is simplicity, accomplished by powerful, complex technology that is simultaneously incredibly straightforward to use.
Now imagine an e-discovery tool that is as focused on solving the primary problem e-discovery poses – the need to, defensibly and accurately, review and produce documents – a solution so powerfully simple that it can be used by legal professionals with a wide range of experience and sophistication, from the tech-savvy lit-support guru to the family law attorney who rarely handles discovery.
That’s the goal of Logikcull: to strip away overly complex processes; to remove the need for downtime, slow processing and expert services; to create an interface that makes finding, organizing and reviewing documents incredibly easy; to make discovery as easy as upload, search, download, at speeds that are virtually instant. What follows is a jump-started investigations-and-subpoena response, greater security for data, mitigation of the risk of human error – and a dramatic reduction in outside counsel spend.
Of course, not every tool is appropriate for every use. Highly complex cases may merit highly complex tools.
But for high velocity, high frequency cases, those difficult tools aren’t necessary.
For the vast majority of cases, what is needed is simply simplicity.
Casey C. Sullivan is an attorney in San Francisco, where he leads education and awareness efforts at Logikcull, the leading provider of simple, instant discovery. Reach him at [email protected].
Published January 3, 2019.