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Law Firm Develops In-House System to Deal with Discovery Requests

March 17, 2008

Fenwick & West's Electronic Information Management Group was featured in a recent ComputerWorld article entitled "Law Firm Develops In-House System to Deal with Discovery Requests." The article highlights the impact of firm's IT Department on the evolution of the group.

In the early years of eDiscovery, lawyers were forced to sort through millions of files for major litigation cases. "Clients asked us to find another way," says Chief Technology Officer Matt Kesner.

Kesner's team delivered, by creating a revolutionary proprietary in-house process called FIND (File Identification Narrowed by Definition), which culls through data to identify pertinent pieces of information for review. The process has evolved over the past five years to become an integral part of what the Firm offers to its clients and attorneys.

In order to complete the computer forensics investigation project, Kesner coordinated the Firm's most talented IT people, learned to harness their strengths and applied them to every step of the process. Kesner recognizes that IT experts need to speak "in the same language as the business leaders on risk, both positive and negative, so you and they are on the same footing, so everyone understands the potential upside."

Brad Bonnington, Fenwick & West's practice support and database manager, says the IT team experimented to figure out how to compensate for gaps off-the-shelf products offered. "It was a lot of everything: trial and error, research and development, and knowing what you want out of it," IT Director Kevin Moore says.

The project spurred the creation of a major new Fenwick & West practice group called Electronic Information Management, which now expands the application of FIND beyond litigation, to include mergers and acquisitions, patent matters and tax issues.

Read the entire article by reporter Mary K. Pratt.