Technology in Practice: The Blog

Technology in Practice is an annual litigation technology conference that provides educational and practical content for Canadian legal professionals. It is hosted by Commonwealth Legal and supported by our technology partners and fellow industry experts.

Our Flawed Love of Keyword Searches

Sep 26, 2017 11:15:00 AM | Sean Lynch

In eDiscovery, lawyers often think they’re experts at crafting keyword search terms to reduce the volume of documents for manual review. Unfortunately, lawyers, and human beings in general, are not good at stringing together Boolean search terms that result in finding all relevant, or potentially relevant, documents.

The problem with developing highly-accurate keyword search terms is often caused by one of two things:

  1. The human tendency toward confirmation bias – “the tendency to search for, interpret, and recall information in a way that confirms one's pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses”. The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making, p. 233

  2. Humans don’t know what they don’t know, or what I like to call, the “unknown unknowns”.

The result? Keyword search strings inherently miss the "unknown unknowns", and are therefore not complete.

Here's an example...

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Topics: Intelligent Review, Sean Lynch, TAR

How Small and Mid-Sized Firms Can Leverage Review Analytics to Remain Competitive

Jan 20, 2017 8:42:05 AM | Sean Lynch

Small and mid-sized law firms face unique challenges when managing eDiscovery. Data volumes that seem manageable to a larger firm may be overwhelming to a boutique firm or sole-practitioner.

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Topics: ESI, eDiscovery, Analytics, Intelligent Review, Sean Lynch, Jessica Lockett

Yes, we can review 650,000 emails in just a few days.

Nov 8, 2016 8:04:35 PM | Sean Lynch

During the course of the 500-day-long U.S. Presidential Election campaign, there has been a great amount of discussion and concern surrounding the review of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Most recently, James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sent a letter to Congress indicating that the FBI had “reviewed” all 650,000 documents contained on a newly-discovered laptop owned by Huma Abedin, a close aide to Hillary Clinton.

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Topics: eDiscovery, Intelligent Review, Sean Lynch, Jessica Lockett