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“Most Innovative Technology in a Corporate Law Department” – a choice of legal hold software?

Something is amiss if the distinguished Legal Tech. News of ALM proclaims that the year’s most innovative law department, from the standpoint of technology, achieved that distinction because it selected a litigation hold system. The February 2012 write-up, at page 15, unquestionably describes something new and unheard of: the “extensive 430-point rating system to assess various vendor offerings” that Deere concocted. The vendors invited to participate, and there are a slew of them vying for playing time, must have gnashed their teeth at the bloated set of questions. A Request for Profusion shouldn’t win the blue ribbon.

The explanation for that unimaginably lengthy RFP, which spewed huge replies almost impossible to assess by Deere even if the vendors answered honestly and completely, was “because the system needed to work in the company’s current technology environment, integrate with existing technology, and be highly configurable.” That is what all law departments want of their software. Nothing innovative there nor in the function itself – litigation hold software. Ultimately, Deere selected Fusion Legal Hold from Exterro.

Unless there was a paucity of submissions, why does licensing a commercial package to handle litigation holds merit such recognition?

As far as litigation hold software goes, this blog has only a few mentions (See my post of Feb. 6, 2007: PSS Systems’ Atlas for litigation hold management; April 27, 2008: Motorola developed its own hold software; and Feb. 7, 2009: five categories of software capabilities under “litigation hold.”).