Wednesday, January 15, 2014

cicayda has an optimistic vision for the future of delivery of legal services

“I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.”  Thomas Edison

Last month, Barry Murphy of eDiscovery Journal blogged about a business model change for eDJ Group. In the post, he stated that a couple of things related to vendors made eDJ realize its analyst model would not scale well. Specifically, Murphy wrote:


  1. “a portion of vendors in the market did not want to be coveredby an independent research firm; the feeling was that true transparency would not be good for sales (there were actually vendors that told us an educated consumer would not be good for them); and

  2. “Not every vendor wanted to be covered ‘objectively.’ The smart vendors could handle constructive criticism and even use it to their advantage. Sadly, though, we had vendors that would not become clients simply because they were not able to control the message.


Sadly, I am not surprised. In my ten years as a litigator and last seven focused on electronic discovery, information management, and more generally how to incorporate technology effectively into my practice, I consistently found that transparency and objectivity were sadly missing from the majority of vendors that I encountered.  

 When I made the move to cicayda, I had several e-discovery colleagues make the remark that I was joining the “dark side.”  I thought this comment was equal parts sad and disturbing.  It speaks volumes of the state of e-discovery software and services and why so little progress has been made since the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended in 2006.  This can only be viewed as technology failure.  Efficiency and process improvements should never be viewed as the “dark side.”  While I have never worked for a software company servicing another industry, I find it hard to believe that they are described as the “dark side.”  Rather, individuals appear to view positively the hundreds of thousands of task-oriented applications developed in the last few years that improve human lifestyles.

We are different. Chris Dale of the E-Disclosure Information Project said it best in his blog about our recent RelEvent “Unconference”:

This was sophisticated stuff, pointers to a world in which clients were not impersonal abstract entities who had problems and who paid the bills for solving them, but people you work with towards the success of both parties.

We are hardly a typical e-discovery start-up. We have over 150 years combined e-discovery and litigation experience. Our CEO and CTO have successfully developed e-discovery software and operated an e-discovery company previously,  We are owned and operated by lawyers and are building applications with legal professionals in mind.  Based on this experience and knowledge, one approach to building software would be to bring it to market with a take or leave it, “you should be using this and let me tell you why” approach.  However, this approach is not how great software or any product for that matter is designed and made.  We believe humans have two ears, two eye and only one mouth for a reason.  We listen and incorporate a feedback loop into everything we do. Our talented team of software developers and service professionals are committed to the best practice in software design and development.  (Lean & Agile).

We have an optimistic vision for the future of delivery of legal services where lawyers and other legal professionals empowered through easy to use software applications sit front and center.  This vision includes advanced technology built around Clojure, Natural Language Processing, Lucene, NoSQL, and proprietary algorithms. As any person knows, it is harder to improve if you do not get immediate feedback about what you did right and what you did wrong.  In order for us to continuously improve software that isfaster, better, affordable and always reliable, your partnership and feedback is essential and always welcome. By designing products with the end-user in mind, truly innovative products that improve lawyers’ lifestyle will be the end result.  



By Guest Blogger: Cicayda