Litigation support and electronic discovery services company D4 has hosted a Web-based electronic discovery platform for area law firms and corporate clients for several years, and is now poised to provide that service to Canadian clients.
“Canada has a similar legal system but it’s taken Canada longer to adapt to electronic discovery rules,” D4 CEO John Holland said. “Law firms and clients there are catching up and now realize managing data in litigation is costly and they need solutions to help them deal with the burden of storing vast amounts of information.”
Company representatives said it’s a huge opportunity for them and a team of D4 employees will begin installing a cloud platform in Toronto next week for Canadian clients. D4 hosts a document review application called Relativity, which gives users the ability to securely manage evidentiary documents and electronically stored information in the cloud.
“It’s a tool we use for our clients so they can effectively and proactively deal with e-discovery,” Holland explained.
The Relativity software was developed by a Chicago-based company, kCura. D4 is one of approximately 50 service provider companies worldwide that host Relativity.
“We’re a service provider, not a vendor,” said Martha MacPherson, D4’s director of marketing.
The use of software such as Relativity has grown dramatically since the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure changed in 2006 to allow for the collection and review of electronically stored information.
In a case decided on Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe et al., Judge Andrew J. Peck ordered the parties to adopt a protocol for e-discovery that includes the use of predictive coding, which allows litigants to review large document sets and determine what is relevant in software such as Relativity.
“It’s a landmark case for setting the tone in the use of this technology,” MacPherson explained. “It will make lawyers and their clients feel more comfortable using it and the benefit of the cloud is you can access it from any point.”
“Generally what people are interested in is how we harvest the data. All that information is in the cloud. That room full of documents that attorneys used to flip through is gone now,” Holland said. Nor will it be taking up hard drive space on clients’ computers.
Relativity provides a way to handle a significant amount of information, not only originating from documents but also, much more likely, from sources including email, iPods, cell phone text messages and other sources.
The firm employs significant physical controls to protect the sensitive information it stores for clients such as Eastman Kodak Co. and Bausch & Lomb.
“Typically the information is highly confidential and under protective orders,” Holland said, so the company must take extreme measures to protect the information it stores.
MacPherson said the operations in Canada will essentially replicate what the firm has here in Rochester.
“We reached out to Canada on our own but who knows, maybe they’ll need this in London or somewhere else soon and we’ll set up there,” Holland said.