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LegalTech NY: Stephen Hawking’s question on search

By Whit Andrews | February 02, 2009 | 0 Comments

Stephen Hawking: Can lawyers rely on keyword search any more?

Craig Ball [badly transcribed but the essence captured]: The way I look at Victor Stanley, the hyperbole of Judge Facciola found itself re-expressed as this: You need to be qualified to engage in search, and you need to have Quality Assurance and quality control, and you need to be testing. You’re going to have to test your keywords, have a methodology and some level of expertise.  They need to be people who understand the collections, the hidden words, the inside words that are used. You’re going to have to involve them in what you do, because otherwise you’ll have clients paying for nightmarish collections, and you’re going to miss what’s important.

Victor: There’s keyword searching and theire’s keyword searching, and what we’re learning in TREC legal track and the legal track, is there isn’t any one search tool that’s going to get you everything. There’s concept searching. When you combine these tools together, and you look at it and you tweak, you do better. You can’t pick a few blunderbuiss words out of the air, plug them in. That’s not diligent representation.

Craig [laughing]: But Ken, it works so well for Google. The business model will put us [lawyers] out of business. Are you kidding? “Do no evil”?

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