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Technology: Predictive coding gets its day in court

Judge Peck finally rules on the use of predictive coding in e-discovery

The hottest development in the electronically stored information (ESI) world is predictive coding. It is a promising tool that, in non-technical terms, can automatically tag or designate documents. The process is fairly complicated. Using an array of mathematic algorithms, a predictive-coding tool analyzes the language used in a document and “predicts” how it may be coded by a live person. An attorney must manually review a small subset of the total amount of documents potentially involved in the litigation. In theory, as the attorney codes or “tags” documents as relevant, the predictive coding software is “trained” as to the characteristics that make a document relevant and is able to review and tag the entire set of documents itself. 

Predictive coding has been the buzz of ESI conferences over the last few years, but no judge or court had officially signed off on it as a defensible way to review documents.


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Dave Walton

Dave Walton is a member in Cozen O'Connor’s labor & employment practice group and co-chair of the firm's e-discovery task force. He has extensive...

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