Artificial intelligence (AI) has given legal professionals an arsenal of tools to help them tackle the challenges of ESI and its unprecedented growth in the modern world. However, so far in our AI Legal Revolution series, the tools we’ve discussed have largely been reactive; solutions that attempt to resolve problems instead of anticipate them.
These tools that help attorneys catch up are a much-needed boost over some of document review’s biggest hurdles. However, with AI-powered early case assessment (ECA) software, legal professionals can leverage machine learning technology that predicts data and improves discovery processes.
What is Early Case Assessment (ECA)?
“Early case assessment” (or “ECA,” as it’s often shortened to), occurs at the beginning of a lawsuit and is essentially the process of evaluating potential risks and costs associated with any given case.
During this phase of discovery, attorneys sift through electronically stored information (ESI), looking for patterns and evidence, which are then used to:
- Perform a cost/benefit analysis on a case
- Preserve relevant documents
- Respond to discovery requests
- Cull irrelevant information from further review
- Identify documents to organize and filter
- Collect information for data analytics
- Compile evidence for outside, expert review
- Highlight redaction, translation, and transcription
The information uncovered during the ECA process ultimately helps shape case trajectories, lay the groundwork for future arguments, and predict the chances of success for every possible avenue.
For modern attorneys, this information can often play a critical role in either the success or failure of an entire case. ECA provides the very foundation upon which a lawsuit is built. It guides attorneys toward avenues most likely to succeed and shows them where their time, skills, and resources will be most valuable.
However, the strategic insights found during the ECA process have a “best by” date. In order to have the biggest impact, these connections need to be gleaned with as much speed, efficiency, and thrifty spending as possible.
The Growing Problem of Unstructured Data in ECA
If you’ve been keeping up with this legal blog series, then you already know all about the headaches that unstructured media have created for legal professionals. Namely: there’s just too much of it.
With so many ways for the average person (and business) to create content—from personal photos, videos, security surveillance, satellites, emails, body cams, zoom meetings, and more—attorneys now find themselves crushed under massive amounts of media content. This mountain of data might very well contain valuable evidence, but it can feel like searching for a needle in a Mt. Everest-sized haystack.
The sheer volume of this content is putting a huge strain on legal teams, who are beginning to buckle under the constraints of time, money, and workforce shortages, let alone provide any kind of meaningful early case assessment.
This technological wave isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon—according to some estimates, roughly 80% of data worldwide will be unstructured by 2025—which, naturally, begs the question of what is to be done in the face of such mounting problems in an uncertain future.
ECA Software: The Lawsuit Game Changer
By applying AI to discovery processes, Veritone Illuminate has made early case assessment a hundred times more efficient, faster, and cost-effective; giving attorneys the tools they need to continue capitalizing on this critical phase of a lawsuit with more detailed precision than ever before.
When used in the e-discovery process, Veritone Illuminate can help attorneys:
- Explore huge amounts of ESI at near real time speeds
- Search, discover, analyze, and cull information
- Identify patterns and formulate arguments
- Analyze media evidence, including photos, audio, and video data
- Redact, translate, and transcribe information from text, audio, or video files
- Organize data by keyword, facial, or image search
- Compare and contrast evidence with outside case data
- Optimize workflow into any e-discovery platform
With these tools, it’s no longer necessary for legal teams to sort through mounds of e-discovery data manually while trying to keep up with case deadlines. Instead, AI can help teams find connections, make judgments, and narrow the scope of a lawsuit with enough time to strategize and make informed decisions. This helps legal professionals with predicting where their time, money, and brainpower will be most effective, saving a lot of hassle for everyone, all around.
Accessing ECA’s Precog Powers: Anytime, Anywhere
There’s no doubt about it: the precog connections that ECA software can make are an invaluable addition to the AI legal revolution. While this technology can’t actually predict the future, it gets close enough, providing attorneys with complex strategies for any case at near real-time speeds.
The best part is, with Veritone aiWARE, these AI legal solutions and services can be flexibly accessed either locally, online, or both; giving legal professionals the ability to tap into the precog powers of ECA, no matter where they might find themselves.