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Top three issues facing legal counsel, CIO policy challenges and intelligent collection

Synopsis Part 1: Top three issues facing legal counsel, CIO policy challenges and intelligent collection

data discovery interview – 
David Baskin, VP of Product
Management, Recommind, (Part 1 of 2)

David Baskin, Vice President of Product Management, is responsible for the development and delivery of high quality technology products to address the most challenging enterprise search, information management and eDiscovery needs of enterprises, professional service firms and law firms. Mr. Baskin has played a key role with the EDRM Project (, a highly influential industry group tasked with creating and maintaining standards for the eDiscovery industry.

By Joshua Konkle writing for

Joshua Konkle: In your work with corporate legal counsel how do you help them synchronize their policies and their IT, what is the mood of legal counsel out there?

David Baskin: The mood is focused.  In my experience, the General Counsel’s (GC) office has several responsibilities.  At Recommind, we have identified the top three as security, review and risk management.

In terms of security, GCs need to understand how it is collected, where it goes, how it is purged and/or returned to them.  Related to security is risk management.  GCs need systems in place to control their external process, law firms and vendors.  Each external force introduces risk that must be managed, qualitatively.  Finally, review costs are bleeding legal budgets across the world.  ~70% of matter costs are related to the review of evidence.

Joshua Konkle: One of the most frequently asked questions by CIO’s and others worried about the cost of data management is “how long do I have to keep my data, really?”  What do you say when you get asked that question?

David Baskin: Focus, we say let’s focus on your industry and what we know can be destroyed.  Each client carries different requirements and regulations.  For example, the Financial Services industry is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The SEC establishes rules for all financial services companies’ business and communication process.  In 2000 they required all financial services companies to retain communications between broker-dealers under the 17a-4 for a period of seven (7) years.

Outside of regulatory agencies and rules, data is created according to business processes.  Those business processes will help shape retention and disposition programs.  In many businesses, a two week retention period would be sufficient, except data related to “key business operations.”  Most companies can start their focus on retention and disposition at the department level and work into more finite data retention plans by team, individual and departmental process.  In some cases, hiring outside counsel to help make decisions establishes third-party review and client-attorney privilege.  Ultimately, creating rules is only effective with enforcement, like the speed-limit on the nation’s highways and byways.

Joshua Konkle: What is causing the need for intelligent preservation/collection by the corporation?

David Baskin: Firstly, technology must be used, or individual people must spend time reviewing, categorizing, organizing and deciding on information.  When individuals get tired, the work product is affected.  Recommind has a paper describing both recall and precision as it relates to categorizing by technology and individuals.  Here is an excerpt from Section 7, Finding Information: Intelligent Text Retrieval and Categorization:

While clear metrics have not been established for end-user performance, academic research uses two measures, precision and recall, for evaluating accuracy of retrieval results. Precision represents the number of correct hits in a return set of specified length; recall represents the number of correct returns relative to the total number of possible correct returns.

Technology that returns results using precision and recall performance indicators is very important for collection, processing, review and analysis.  Technology will never replace qualified individual’s capability to interpret and recognized key evidence, but it will advance data results so the best people can spend their quality time on quality data.

you would like to communicate with him directly, he can be reached at info(at) or by calling Recommind Headquarters at 1 415 394 7899. publishes interviews with legal professionals; click here for more eDiscovery interviews or sign up for the feed.


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