technology_tablet_000079371467_LargeThe Sedona Conference recently announced the release of its Technology Assisted Review (TAR) Case Law Primer. While this final version of the primer will be published in the Summer 2017 Sedona Conference Journal, the final/prepublication edition can be downloaded at no charge here.

Why is this primer needed? As noted by The Sedona Conference’s deputy executive director, Ken Withers, TAR’s “widespread application – and the realization of its potential benefits – has been impeded by uncertainty about its acceptance by the courts as a legitimate alternative to costly, time-consuming manual review of documents in discovery.”

The primer traces the development of the case law to the present, discussing those first cases that tested the TAR waters. It also discusses the disputed issues garnering judicial attention, including whether TAR can be required, the use of keyword culling before application of machine learning and the transparency required when TAR tools are deployed.

While one might think the release of a primer suggests the case law is well-developed, in fact this primer serves an important educational role precisely because so many open issues remain even as new issues arise out of the rapid evolution of machine learning technologies. As explained in the primer’s introductory paragraph:

“The jurisprudence regarding technology-assisted review (TAR) is not yet well developed, and the case law reflects a number of inconsistencies and unresolved issues. This Primer represents our best efforts to synthesize and summarize the current state of the law (and the open questions), in a neutral fashion, as of the end of 2016.”

This concise primer should be in the download queue of Bench and Bar.