Ryan Roman, a partner in the litigation practice at Akerman, an Am Law 100 law firm, had been using different ediscovery solutions for years. But no matter which software package he tried, it always seemed more difficult to use than it should be. The software would be slow, or the interface would be counterintuitive, or Roman couldn’t get help when he needed it. “I was never satisfied that I found the right fit,” says Roman.
Then, in 2015, Roman started experimenting with Thomson Reuters eDiscovery Point™. As he began to test and evaluate the software, it quickly became clear that eDiscovery Point could be the solution he’d been looking for. Roman found he greatly preferred eDiscovery Point, and now routinely uses it for electronic discovery. “To me, so much is driven by how quickly and efficiently I can review documents, code them, and produce them, and it’s great for that. The technology is fast and the interface is intuitive, so I can easily find what I’m looking for.”
At about the same time as Roman was introduced to eDiscovery Point, a client asked him to consider using Thomson Reuters’ Managed Document Review in a large case.
Managed Document Review was new to him, but he considered himself open-minded and, after being assured that its work would hold up in court, agreed to try it. He was pleasantly surprised. “Once I did it the first time I was very happy with the results,” he says. “There is no better feeling than waking up in the morning and having a report of how many documents were reviewed by the review team while you were sleeping.”
Now, Roman routinely turns to eDiscovery Point for discovery, uses Managed Review Services for document review, and turns to Professional Services for collection and production.
Partners in the trenches
One of Roman’s cases showed him just how powerful the combination of eDiscovery Point, Professional Services, and Managed Review Services could be. He was representing a buyer in an asset purchase agreement that had gone south. There would be only two months between the filing of the case and an expedited trial.
A couple of hundred thousand documents needed to be reviewed within a few weeks. Roman asked Professional Services to handle the production side on both the front and the back end. He wrote, as he always does, a review memo to familiarize the Legal Managed Services team with the history of the case, and to help guide their workflow. “It’s a matter of my investing time early in the case to make sure that memorandum is as tight as possible,” he says.
Roman had already worked with some of the supervisors on the Managed Review team, which helped speed things along.
“If I were doing it internally, I might be bringing in lawyers who have never touched the case just to work on document review,” he says. “To me, continuity is a big factor.”
Meanwhile, Ryan’s own team was busy in eDiscovery Point. They were already familiar with the software and could find specific documents quickly and easily.
Still, he realized they would all be facing a time crunch. “If you can get through this crazy period of time with somebody, you become very loyal to them,” says Ryan. And that’s exactly what happened. The Managed Review team, he says, “were a partner in the trenches; they worked under a lot of stress, and there were tight deadlines.”
eDiscovery Point and managed services together
Roman now includes Thomson Reuters Managed Services as part of his pitch when he’s approaching new clients.
“When I go in front of a potential client, I need to sell them on the team,” he says. “The team is not just the lawyers at the firm but all the folks we rely on when we’re going to stand in front of the judge and jury and argue the case.” That includes the Thomson Reuters team as well as the professionals who create demonstrative exhibits and the jury consultant. “We’re showing that we have thought through the different layers over the life of the case,” Roman says. “The quality is so good that it makes perfect sense.”
As Roman has become more experienced using Professional Service and Managed Review Services, he’s started to reassess which document reviews should be handled by the Thomson Reuters team. He once thought that he needed a huge volume of documents to justify Managed Review Services. “My mind-set has changed,” he says. Even if there are 3,000 or 5,000 documents, he’ll consider Managed Review Services. In those instances, Thomson Reuters can get the work done in a couple of days
The value is evident to the client
For discovery, Roman says that “most outside counsel understand that the least effective way to get through discovery is to have our lawyers looking through every document.” The bigger clients, he says, are very well-versed in the ways they can save money and time.
Other clients may not have regular litigation, and may not be as familiar with the landscape of legal services. Roman says once he explains his approach to them, they quickly see that it makes sense.
The people behind the technology and services make the difference
“Thomson Reuters obviously has a lot of resources behind it,” he says. “That’s been part of the calculus for me – making sure my team has the horsepower to do some of the crisis work when needed.”
There are other benefits in using eDiscovery Point, Professional Services, and Managed Review Services together, says Roman. The trifecta “helps us be more efficient and focus on all aspects of the litigation,” says Roman. “I know that I can trust that Thomson Reuters is going to do their work professionally and get me the work product in a manner that I can take it and run with it. Everyone is at their highest and best use.”
Roman notes that there’s a slew of legal technology that he could use. What really keeps him working with Thomson Reuters, he says, are the people. “The software and the processes and the technology, that’s a given. What keeps me is the people. We like working together, and we’ve developed a friendship over time. I know I’m looking out for their best interests so they can be successful, and they do the same for me.”
About Ryan Roman
Ryan Roman A well-rounded litigator and businessman, Ryan Roman focuses his practice on securities litigation, securities fraud, and shareholder class-action defense on behalf of large, sophisticated companies and directors and officers of public companies. Ryan also defends businesses in antitrust litigation, consumer class actions, and other complex litigation, as well as representing private equity firms and their portfolio companies. He routinely tries cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Ryan is also the co-owner of Mignonette, an oyster bar in Miami. As a restaurateur, Ryan is immersed in the industry and its legal nuances. He regularly represents restaurants, food and beverage operators and distributors, and other hospitality companies in business disputes including contractual, partnership, and leasing disputes, as well as restrictive covenant litigation.
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