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March 29, 2012

Paper Still a Factor in Discovery

Paper_clips400With all the talk about computer-assisted review, I thought it would be refreshing to step back and look at the state of paper. It remains an important part of discovery, says Tom Pallidino, president of NightOwl, a leading Minneapolis based e-discovery service provider that started exclusively in paper back in 1991.

Although scanning paper has shrunk considerably, it has stabilized and is holding strong at about 15% of its e-discovery business, he explains.

Additionally, almost half of the paper discovery revenue comes from blowbacks — the printing of electronic document for review. Nearly 25% of scanning is now in color and continues to rise due to new inexpensive color printers.

The ability to seamlessly merge paper and electronically stored information in the discovery process is key. Scanned documents now work as well as native ESI for most analytical platforms including predictive coding, reports Tom.

Certain documents including lab notebooks, medical records, contracts, loan documents, legacy documents in mergers and acquisitions, and government submissions remain in paper and need to be scanned and integrated into the electronic document population for review and production.

Hard copy is not going away anytime soon, technology has just made it easier and cheaper to process, he notes.

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Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets paper discovery

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