Orca Tec Document Decisioning Suite has been accessible via
iPad, iPhone, and Android devices since April 2011.
Yet while mobile users can access all of the analytics
and predictive coding of the OrcaTec suite from their tablet
browser, Roitblat doesn’t see e-discovery moving en masse to
iPads. “If you are going to be doing hardcore review, you don’t
want to do it on a tablet — you want to have two 25-inch monitors sitting on your desktop,” he explains. But for “reviewing
something on a train, pulling out an iPad and reading a document makes sense.” Orca Tec’s browser interface was designed
“for running on reasonably large monitors,” says
Roitblat. At the same time, tablet-specific features,
such as touch and pinch-to-zoom, boost usability
for those users who do want to work from a mobile
It’s worth noting that not every vendor creating a web-based e-discovery tool is delivering it
through a browser. When Orange Legal Technologies ( www.orangelt.us) announced OneO Mobile
Access two years ago — providing device-agnostic, on-the-go
access to the full functions of the company’s OneO Discovery
Platform — it leveraged what is known as Terminal Systems
Architecture. This technology works in a manner similar to
Citrix, running an application on a remote server and displaying an emulation on the mobile device.
The technique, says Michael Delis, Orange’s vice president of business operations, eliminates browser compatibility issues, obviates the need for browser plug-ins for certain
features, and provides a consistent look from one device to
another device — though it also means a more challenging,
more expensive development process, he adds.
CRUCIAL DASHBOARDS. While mobile e-discovery is
still in a nascent stage, vendors generally agree that certain
features are more likely than others to be embraced by mobile
users. Much of this is based on common sense: It surely is easier to check the progress of a discovery project on a tablet than
use the device to actually review and tag documents.
But already, some vendors have been able to back up their
hunches. After two years observing mobile use, Orange,
for example, sees that “more often it is being used for status
reporting, for browsing documents, [and] for running some
initial searches,” says Delis.
When Venio Systems ( www.veniosystems.com) was deciding how to integrate mobile with its EDD products, it talked
to clients and also found that they were more interested in
managing the work via mobile than actually performing it.
“They’re using tablets for quick overviews of a project, to see
how far along things are — but not necessarily to open confidential documents,” says Arestotle Thapa, Venio’s C TO.
This insight is already impacting design decisions. Venio,
for example, has opted not to take the “kitchen sink” approach
to mobile e-discovery — providing access to a full suite of dis-
covery tools — in favor of developing a product built around
select features. Venio Touch, a browser-based mobile integra-
tion tool, is expected to be launched at Legal Tech New York
2013, at the Hilton New York. It focuses on the reporting and
managerial tasks related to EDD — not the heavy lifting, says
Thapa. It will rely heavily on on-screen dashboards that, at a
glance, convey the status of an EDD matter, enabling attorneys
managing the work to track the productivity of their review-
ers, and see how long it will take to finish a project at the cur-
rent pace, among other data points, he explains.
If you are doing hardcore review,
you don't want to do it on a tablet.
You want two 25-inch monitors.
DON’T RULE OUT APPS. Clearly, stand-alone, platform-dependent apps are not at the top of any EDD vendor’s to-do
list — but they’re not completely off their radar, either. Can
Citrix- and browser-based interfaces give mobile users access
to EDD tools? Sure. Do stand-alone apps mean more complexities in terms of support, training, and updates? No doubt.
But apps offer unique advantages, too. Users get a quick,
easy link to software — just touch a button on a tablet’s home
page. And those same buttons — displaying a product name
on prime tablet real estate — can give a vendor a lot of visibility. “That is very appealing to us,” says Houston-based Doug
Austin, director of marketing at CloudNine Discovery (www.
cloudninediscovery.com), which plans to introduce a browser-based mobile version of its OnDemand e-discovery review
software at Legal Tech New York (focusing on status-checking
and administrative functions, such as enrolling users in projects and controlling their permission rights). Austin says the
company plans to follow that with apps: first on Android, then
on i Pad and i Phone.
Drew Lewis, e-discovery counsel at San Francisco-based
Recommind ( www.recommind.com) says mobile e-discov-
ery is inevitable. “Most professionals feel closely attached to
their mobile devices, and lawyers are no exception — to put it
mildly,” he observes. But vendors, he says, must design apps
around how attorneys actually work. “Counsel might not need
a full-blown mobile review application, but they might bene-
fit from mobile apps specially designed for hearings and con-
ferences. You could imagine apps that would allow counsel to
test words and phrases against a corpus of data and generate
reports on the fly.”
Ultimately, how mobile e-discovery will play out will
depend in great part on how the mobile products on the mar-
ket now — and those introduced at Legal Tech New York 2013
— are embraced by users. “If demand proves to be as high as
we think it can be, then we will go to the next level, maybe
mobile apps with features specific for mobile,” says Daegis’
Engles. “We don’t see law firms giving everyone an iPad and
saying do [e-discovery] on it. But if they do, we’ll be ready.”
Alan Cohen is a New York-based freelance reporter. Email: