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By Debora Motyka Jones, Esq.

Published on Tue, January 10, 2012

All posts by this person

Many January blog postings focus on the 2012 predictions.  Rather than further opining on what several brilliant writers (here, and here) have already discussed—I thought I would skip the predictions this year.  I’m not sure that clairvoyance is my strongest skill anyway.

Instead, this blog will focus on what clients should demand from their service providers in 2012.

Demand #1:  A Technology Assisted Review Differentiator.

We know almost all service providers have some sort of Technology Assisted Review offering.  And, clients generally understand what it does (that’s what 2011 was all about).  Judges are even starting to accept it. But, to use the technology to its maximum capacity and in a defensible manner, service providers need to be true experts who fully understand the technology and the best process for implementing it.  For example, service providers need to know how to select appropriate training documents (because not all training sets are created equal).  It also helps to have computational linguists on staff to expertly train the computer on the nuances of the case (the devil is always in the details). In 2012, clients should focus on the differences between service providers’ offerings and ask questions like:

  • What makes your TAR offering different?
  • How are you a qualified TAR expert?

Demand #2:  An eDiscovery playbook.

Understandably, corporate counsel use different law firms for different types of cases—they want to top legal experts in a certain area of law.  This model doesn’t make a lot of sense in ediscovery.

eDiscovery providers have ediscovery expertise, that expertise doesn’t become obsolete when the subject matter of a case changes.  To the contrary, there are efficiencies to be had streamlining your ediscovery and using one provider.  For example, it allows corporations to take advantage of volume discounts and to reuse data from case to case.  In 2012, corporations should work with their vendors to create an ediscovery playbook containing their streamlined repeatable ediscovery workflow.

Demand #3:  Reuse of their data.

These days, even occasional litigants have data that is relevant to multiple cases.  And,
there is no sense in paying to process, review and image the data twice if you don’t have to.  As my colleague Chris Dahl points out, there are some complications with reusing the data.  However, a smart service provider can figure out a way to do it.  Clients should demand this service in 2012.

Demand #4:  Flat fees.

Much as the heyday of the hourly law firm rate has passed, so too has the height of the per GB service provider model.  These per unit models both still have their appropriate use but the shift has to be toward a more predictable model.  Data sizes are skyrocketing and nobody has the stomach for high and unpredictable litigation costs. Thus, clients should be demanding flat fee arrangements.

About the Author
Debora Motyka Jones, Esq.

Vice President

As Vice President, Debora plays an essential role on the company’s executive team by collaborating around new markets, and bringing a customer-centric and pragmatic approach to achieving corporate and customer goals. She is responsible for building out a robust team of legal and technology experts in the eastern US, driving forward partnerships focused on delighting clients, and expanding the company’s brand through thought leadership events and new relationships. Debora’s background as a litigator and buyer, as well as her vast client-facing and operational experience will enable Lighthouse to provide the high-caliber, consultative client experience, the company is known for.

Debora has been with Lighthouse since 2009 and has made a significant impact on the company’s growth and business strategy during her tenure. With a background in litigation from practicing at law firms in both Washington D.C and Washington State, her expertise and deep understanding of complex ediscovery matters enabled her to create a resonating brand and architect the innovative products and services that keep Lighthouse at the forefront of the ediscovery market. She led the execution and implementation of the company’s rebranding in 2012 and developed the marketing department from the ground up. In addition, she has been instrumental in spearheading the company’s strategic technology partnerships, driving the formation of Lighthouse’s product strategy, and the evolution of Lighthouse’s SmartSeries. She also instituted and continues to maintain a client advisory board to ensure strong alignment with market demands. Finally, in 2015, Debora lead the company’s expansion to the eastern seaboard by managing the development the New York office and team, as well as expanding upon the company’s current set of services and clientele.

Prior to joining Lighthouse, Debora was a Complex Commercial Litigation Associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in Washington, D.C. where she worked on matters such as the WorldCom and Enron bankruptcies. Her practice also included multi-million-dollar commercial and securities litigation, and internal investigations. While at Weil, Debora was recognized three times for her dedication to pro bono service. Debora also practiced as a litigation Associate at McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC. Her practice included commercial, employment, and securities litigation, as well as legal malpractice defense.

Debora received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington where she graduated magna cum laude. She received her law degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. She is admitted to practice law in New York State, the District of Columbia (inactive membership), and Washington State. Debora is Level II Pragmatic Marketing Certified. Debora is actively involved in the legal community as the former Director of Women in eDiscovery, as a mentor with Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle, as an Advisory Board Member for the Organization of Legal Professionals, as the former Chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)'s New to In-House Committee, and as a former board member of the Washington Women Lawyers (WWL). Debora was also recognized for her contribution to the ACC and was named 2012 WWL Board Member of the Year. Debora is a frequent speaker on eDiscovery strategy, a former instructor for the Organization of Legal Professionals, and a regular Lighthouse blog contributor.