What New Attorneys Often Learn Too Late (Part 2): Thoroughness

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Few words in the English language require that many useless characters. Yet in order to write it correctly you have to go through every single letter -- even if it doesn’t make a sound or sense. Such is life as a litigator.

Part two in our three-part series is about the importance of being thorough and the ridiculous amount of self-discipline it requires to do the job correctly. An answer exists somewhere in the world, and your job, quite literally, is to find it. The trick is to become uncompromising in your pursuit of the answer. There are many places in the practice of law where thoroughness will pay dividends, particularly when finding evidence.

The smoking gun. The needle in the stack of needles. 

There’s one way to find it: document review.

In no place is thoroughness more tedious than in the special hell that is document review. A friend of mine describes it as endless boredom punctuated with moments of sheer terror. On the whole, it’s a drag, but it needs to get done -- as reliably and as efficiently as possible. DISCO helps take some of the sting out of an otherwise painful process.

Thoroughness is also critical when crafting your story.  

I was once up against opposing counsel who would include every conceivable thought or argument -- no matter how unrelated -- in every single motion. He would include massive excerpts from hornbooks in his footnotes, often in an effort to circumvent page-count limitations.

One theory was that he was practicing law in the ancient Kung Fu art of Drunken Fist. Perhaps he wasn’t crazy, but instead completely in control while appearing completely out of control..? It turned out his approach was closer to just drunk. Thoroughness only works when it is appropriately targeted. 

Throwing in the kitchen sink only annoys the judge and confuses the jury. You should be meticulous in crafting your story. Thoroughness is not flailing in the dark. It’s well thought out, considered, then executed fully and completely. Crafting your story relies on finding the evidence that supports your story and wielding that evidence with precision.

Let technology help you.

DISCO makes review almost as easy as getting someone else do it. Use the predictive sort feature to find the most relevant documents sooner, giving you more time to work on crafting a story that doesn’t suck. Our machine learning is baked straight into the review, so no more seed sets. Once the machine has learned enough to score the documents, you can rank the documents by their predictive score, percolating the most important documents to the top of your list. We can’t review the documents for you (yet) but, we can help you find what you’re looking for faster and provide the confidence that the review is not just finished, but thoroughly complete.

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Mike Wilson