AccessData begins Australian attack

US firm AccessData is making a concerted push into the Australian ediscovery market, launching its new Sydney regional headquarters and announcing software support for the unique requirements of Australia’s Courts and litigation support environment.

The latest version of its ediscovery software solution, AccessData eDiscovery 3.3, incorporates support for data formats specified by the Federal Court Practice Note CM 6, as well as the load file format used by the Ringtail Legal document review and production platform.

Issued in 2009, the Practice Note applies standards to the management of legal matters where there are 200 or more electronic documents.

AccessData’s eDiscovery solution is able to gather data from laptops, desktops, shares, servers, email and structured data repositories such as SharePoint.

Following the purchase of CT Summation in 2010, AccessData is now aiming to provide an end-to end solution for ediscovery and document review. However while Ringtail remains the dominant platform for legal document review in Australia, as it is currently, AccessData is making the task of migrating data between the platforms easier with its latest release.

Visiting Australia this week to launch the enhanced local presence, AccessData President and COO, Brian Karney said it has taken a couple of months of development effort to incorporate support for the Australian Practice Note.

“In the US legal market its like the Wild West, there are more than 10 different formats for exporting data for legal document review, however in Australia the Federal Court has made a standard and you have very specific requirements.

“You have made a proactive step in defining a standard and we saw this as an opportunity to help customers solve problems.”

While acknowledging the realities of the current market, Carney is critical of the problematic approach to ediscovery as it is practiced worldwide today.

This iterative process requires that native file formats for email and documents are not supported in the overall legal process, so everything that is assembled for a court case must be exported to PDF or TIFF, and compulsorily stripped of its descriptive metadata, which must be assembled in a separate “load" file.

The ediscovery process starts with an organisations’s internal discovery, then goes through a number of stages before data is delivered for external legal processes.

“Its crazy. At each stage of the process data must be reprocessed, expense is incurred and information and time are lost,” said Karney.

“We are developing an integrated platform for discovery and review that removes the need to create load files.”

AccessData eDiscovery/AD Summation is an "end-to-end" eDiscovery software that addresses matter management, custodian management, litigation hold, identification, forensic collection, preservation, processing, culling, and ECA, Legal review, Case management and production of electronically stored information (ESI). Local sites include Forensic Digital Services (FDS) and Australia.

It is built on AccessData's Forensic Toolkit technology, computer forensics software used by many police forces, government agencies and forensic bureaus in Australia.