LFD 9 – An all-in-one ediscovery platform from a real technology company

(This post is part of the Lawyer-Focused Design series, which explores 10 ways in which Disco is designed for lawyers.)

Disco handles everything after data leaves the enterprise. This includes full processing, early case assessment, review, analytics, and production.

Disco engineers at our headquarters in Houston built Disco. Unlike so many products on the market, Disco is not a processing engine from one company stitched to a search tool from another with a licensed viewer patched in and analytics “integrated” from still a different shop.

Because we wrote everything, everything works together. And because we are a software company, not a services company that licenses and assembles software from others, our focus and core competency is designing and building the best legal technology.

Lawyers don’t want to assemble specialized tools for different parts of the ediscovery process; they want one integrated platform that does everything and just works. And they want that platform from a technology company that takes the law seriously and puts lawyers first.

LFD 8 – Secure data centers that follow industry best practices

(This post is part of the Lawyer-Focused Design series, which explores 10 ways in which Disco is designed for lawyers.)

Disco protects data in transit and on disk using SHA-1 key exchange, AES-256 encryption, TLS, SSH, and SCP. Data resides on dedicated Disco machines (not public cloud hardware, like Amazon AWS) in SSAE 16 SOC 1, SAS 70 Type II audited data centers in Arizona, Texas, Virginia, and London.

All data centers have 24×7 on-site security and network-operations-center staff; an alarm system with camera surveillance covering the entire perimeter and data-center area as well as all entrances and exits; and secure entrances with mantraps, biometric identification, keycard access, and multifactor authentication.

All data is replicated from a primary data center to a secondary data center in a different state. All machines are fully redundant so that a machine can go down with no data loss and no loss of access for users.

LFD 7 – No installation, remote desktop, or hardware issues

(This post is part of the Lawyer-Focused Design series, which explores 10 ways in which Disco is designed for lawyers.)

Lawyers and law firms enjoy winning cases, not managing servers, handling installations and patches, or buying, maintaining, or retiring hardware.

It’s a story we hear from new customers all the time: they buy an installed product and a bunch of machines to run it on and hire expensive staff to keep the product and machines running. At first, it works great. But as the firm’s data size increases, or the machines got older, or new versions of the software come out, problems start creeping in. Performance degrades. There are months of “integration” or “rollout” before new technologies can be used. And it’s not clear who’s responsible for the problems, the software company, the vendor, or the law firm’s own IT department.

We maintain the hardware infrastructure that Disco runs on so that you can practice law, not worry about problems like these. We call this “managed-services infrastructure”: everything having to do with hardware, Disco handles. All you need to use Disco is a good Internet connection and a modern version of any major browser.

Disco managed-services infrastructure lets us (a) deliver consistently better performance than installed solutions; (b) tightly integrate our hardware with our software; (c) update software instantly, so you are always working with the latest technology; (d) use the best dedicated hardware — like enterprise-grade solid-state storage — money can buy; and (e) automatically scale the infrastructure up or down for you as the amount of data you have in Disco changes.

You keep your browser up to date; we handle everything else.

Look for the engineers

How do you tell whether a company is really a technology company? Look for the engineers.

Real technology companies have engineering departments, not engineers attached to other functional departments. Real technology companies list engineers and engineering leadership at the top of their “team” pages, not at the bottom. When you walk the halls in a real technology company, you see engineers with private offices and all the equipment they need. When you ask technical questions or have technical escalations, real technology companies can get the engineer who wrote the code on the phone and can push bug fixes or new features immediately. Real technology companies value and respect engineers; real technology companies have engineers at their core.

The ediscovery market is full of companies who claim to be technology companies and advertise their product offerings. But most of the time their products are cobbled together integrations of bits and pieces from here and there; a viewer from one place, duplicate detection and threading from somewhere else, analytics from a third company, and so on. The websites of places like this emphasize sales or services; these are sales or services companies, not technology companies. They are not where you go if what you are after is the very best technology — especially if you want not just the best technology now, but the best technology always.

Our core strengths at Disco are engineering and law. These are the strengths you need to build great legal technology. What’s surprising is not that you find them at Disco, but how rare they are in our industry.


LFD 6 – Consistent interface across all Disco projects

(This post is part of the Lawyer-Focused Design series, which explores 10 ways in which Disco is designed for lawyers.)

Disco prides itself on its lack of customization.

Regardless of the matter you’re working on or the firm you’re working at, Disco looks and works the same. Once you learn Disco for one matter, you’ve learned Disco for all matters. Because of this consistency, using Disco quickly becomes as much second nature as using Word.

And because there is nothing to configure or customize in Disco, there is no “pre-work” — believe it or not, this is a real term from Relativity’s documentation — to be done in setting up Disco for a new matter. Or, as we like to say, “no pre-work required, but a post-work beer recommended.”

LFD 5 – Three simple screens

(This post is part of the Lawyer-Focused Design series, which explores 10 ways in which Disco is designed for lawyers.)

One screen for search: this lets you run and refine any search; displays results in a summary grid that shows key information about each result; allows you to download an index of search results; shows a search builder, search examples, search history, saved searches, and assignments; and lets you mass tag all or selected results.

One screen for review: this lets you view, add, and remove tags; navigate to related documents; see a near-native rendering of the document; see document metadata; apply, remove, or change redactions and document notes; click through search-term and global-highlighting hits; and download the original or any stamped copies from productions

One screen for productions: this lists and shows you details for all prior productions; lets you download, delete, or search within productions; and lets you create new productions with all production options.

Learn three screens and you can run a review in Disco. We don’t bury features behind endless wizards or separate sections. Everything you need is right in front of you.

LFD 4 – Productions are stored and searchable

(This post is part of the Lawyer-Focused Design series, which explores 10 ways in which Disco is designed for lawyers.)

Never again will you be forced to contact a vendor or litigation support to find documents from a prior production.

All productions are stored in Disco under “Produce” for the life of the matter. You can download the complete production, including an automatically generated index, any time.

When you run a production, Disco adds the stamped production images to the produced documents in your database. You can search for these images using Bates numbers. You can also filter searches by production and search within productions using Disco’s complete search syntax. And when you view a document that has been produced, you can download any of the Bates-stamped versions of that document in addition to the clean copy. What you see is exactly what opposing counsel received.

In multidistrict litigation, for example, antitrust or product-liability cases with multiple groups of plaintiffs in different forums, you may want to review a collection once but produce separately in dozens of different cases. In Disco, you can do this easily by running multiple productions from the same database with different Bates prefixes. Disco keeps track of the different productions and prefixes, lets you search within any of them, and lets you download the correct stamped version of any particular document for the case you are working on.