As children, those of us who grew up in the 1980s and 90s pored over the pages of Where’s Waldo? books to find the elusive Waldo. The way most of us searched for Waldo—by scanning pages, looking at characters one by one, and deciding whether each character is Waldo—is quite similar to the “traditional” method of document review in complex litigation: assigning reviewers to look at each document, one by one, and deciding whether that document is responsive to the other side’s document requests.
But traditional document search and review is usually time-consuming, costly, and difficult, especially in securities litigation, where cases can involve millions of documents. There are substantial benefits to using analytics and predictive coding as tools to assist attorney review. Producing parties can identify key documents earlier and at a lower cost, and requesting parties may receive more relevant documents sooner. And massive volumes of documents can be searched and reviewed much faster and more effectively. That said, these technologies are not silver bullets. They are tools to improve the discovery process, but they still require the involvement of attorneys with expertise in their use.