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Stroz Friedberg is a global leader in investigations, intelligence and risk management.
We are a collection of the brightest minds in the fields of digital forensics, investigations, forensic accounting, incident response, security, compliance, data discovery, intelligence and due diligence. Our single firm does it all.
We are driven by a guiding purpose: Seek Truth.
Our approach is to seek truth because truth can expose organizational threats, criminal behavior, and weakness in fortifications. It can identify new possibilities, protecting and propelling businesses forward. We seek truth so you can find facts and success.
Stroz Friedberg is here to help executives and litigators better understand how to mitigate the risks of tomorrow. We assist in defending our clients, in repelling their intruders and in countering their adversaries. We can guide you through the maze of complexities found at the intersections of law, technology, investigations, compliance and behavioral science. To do so, we have built a firm offering a full suite of global solutions and services, addressing investigative, intelligence and risk management challenges.
Stroz Friedberg’s strategic consulting is designed to comprehensively define the roles and objectives of the eDiscovery team, to meet all legal obligations, and to reduce time, cost, and complexity throughout the eDiscovery process. Our renowned collection teams can be deployed quickly to virtually any global location and are expert at preserving multiple terabytes of electronically stored information (ESI) from computer workstations, servers, enterprise databases, mainframes, backup tapes, legacy and removable media, and handheld devices. For multi-national clients who require in-country processing, we have a fully provisioned Mobile Processing Unit ready for deployment anywhere in the world. We are also certified compliant with the European Union and Department of Commerce Safe Harbor Framework, providing assurance of our bona fides regarding host-country data handling and data privacy. Our approach to identifying, collecting, processing, hosting, and producing ESI ensures that our clients are able to establish good faith compliance with all of their electronic discovery obligations.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT of DATA DISCOVERY PROJECTS
Stroz Friedberg has extensive experience assisting clients with electronic discovery strategy, vendor management, and implementation. Unlike other companies that view electronic discovery as a purely technical process, we apply a unique combination of digital forensic expertise, prowess in litigation strategy, and a vendor-neutral methodology geared towards shaping an accurate and cost-effective solution for each job. We assist our clients with the identification, collection and preservation process and utilize our specialized skills to address the more complex aspects of the case, while involving other best-of-breed ED vendors to handle routine tasks, such as bulk backup tape processing, mass TIFFing, and load files creation. In addition, we are uniquely equipped to address forensic issues as they arise from electronic discovery, such as document authentication and potential spoliation. Productions that are found to be incomplete or inaccurate can create significant liability problems for the responsive party and drive up the cost of production. A lack of quality assurance can be a significant problem in many ED vendor operations, many of whom claim to do everything, but in reality do not have the necessary technical, legal, or forensic knowledge and experience to produce quality results. To ensure the best quality of results, law firms and corporations have asked Stroz Friedberg to manage the electronic discovery process and perform quality checks on processing protocols and methods, and deliverables of ED vendors. Problems that we have identified in ED vendors’ work product and services include:
- Non-forensic preservation: Accessing storage media without write-protection, causing alteration and corruption of data. Only making a logical copy of storage media later found to contain significant amounts of deleted files and signs of spoliation critical to the case.
- Excessive preservation: Creating forensic images of entire e-mail servers, database servers, and other large systems when only a small portion of the data is needed. In such situations, targeted preservation is more effective and less costly and disruptive.
- Incomplete preservation: Failing to meet the requirements of a preservation order, creating significant liabilities for the client. Overlooking items such as backups, home computers, e-mail archives in home directories, and decommissioned computers, due to lack of experience gathering information about the underlying systems and their use.
- Incomplete recovery: Claiming that deleted e-mails have been recovered when in fact they were not due to a bug in the ED vendor’s proprietary software. Claiming that backup tapes could not be accessed when in fact the tapes were accessible with the proper equipment and software.
- Excessive, incomplete, or inaccurate productions: Providing thousands of unresponsive documents because of poorly designed protocols and filtering techniques. Failing to produce all responsive materials because of shortcomings in their search methods. Producing e-mail with incorrect dates and times as a result of erroneous conversion, interpretation, and time zone adjustments. Failing to preserve an accurate linkage between computer media and data restored from the computer media. Mislabeling items and failing to document their original state, causing confusion and additional work.
- Unreadable documents: Providing large numbers of corrupt or unreadable documents.
- Hidden Costs: Many ED vendors are notorious for quoting low rates and failing to disclose fully how those hosting, per-page fees, or tiffing charges will quickly inflate the cost of your discovery effort. Stroz Friedberg guards against such problems and identifies strategies to minimize processes that implicate high per-page and per-gigabyte charges.
Stroz Friedberg manages electronic discovery matters and widely-used ED vendors to catch these common quality control issues before they become litigation problems, and provide the most accurate and complete results for attorney review and production.
Identifying the location of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) that may be subject to preservation and production is a critical part of every discovery project. Getting this part right may be challenging given the variety of digital storage devices ubiquitous in many companies (e.g., computers, laptops, servers, removable media, handheld devices, fax machines), legacy systems, siloed IT infrastructures within different business units, out-sourced vendors, and lax data management programs. Stroz Friedberg will work with counsel to develop a customized investigative methodology to minimize the risk that a cache of previously unidentified ESI will belatedly surface in the course of internal investigations, government subpoena compliance and discovery. Stroz Friedberg is expert in implementing strategies and techniques to help corporate counsel and outside counsel accomplish the collection tasks as seamlessly and efficiently as possible. Our strategies are structured to:
- Reduce cost of collecting ESI by using the most up-to-date discovery and forensic tools
- Minimize disruption to client operations by managing the process clearly with coordination with appropriate IT and other internal personnel
- Maintain appropriate documentation to track ESI to particular custodians and machines
- Ensure compliance
- Provide assurance to all parties, the government and the court of the integrity and completeness of our processes.
We have served our clients using the depth and breadth of our experience in identifying data sources, employing cutting-edge tools to extract ESI from varied sources and no matter the native format, reducing data volumes by eliminating duplicates and executing targeted searches, posting data sets to searchable online databases, and preparing electronic or paper output as required by the client. Upon collection, our Workflow Management System captures both an audit trail and trace log files in order to re-construct the who, what, when and where of the data collection and production process, as such information becomes crucial in response to government, judicial or civil inquiries.
Stroz Friedberg’s processing capabilities are state of the art, support the largest matters, and include unique functionality to identify and prioritize the most relevant data. Our processing methodology is designed to handle Electronically Stored Information (ESI) from multiple sources and in a variety of formats, including scanned OCR paper documents, Outlook and Lotus Notes email, Microsoft data and Notes databases. We strive to put counsel as quickly as possible in a position to perform their role in reviewing, analyzing, and producing ESI. As described below, following volume reduction and cleansing of redundant and non-relevant material, we provide both standard searching and filtering capabilities as well as advanced proprietary solutions for data retrieval. These tools enable counsel to target relevant ESI efficiently, precisely, and confidently. Our solutions are based on cutting edge natural language processing (NLP) technologies and artificial intelligence programs developed to capture document content information and electronic metadata for more effective filtering, searching and clustering. Stroz Friedberg can apply a number of sophisticated filtering methodologies to reduce the volume of ESI subject to review. We filter and exclude non-relevant ESI by file type, date, duplicates, and known system files. In addition, near-duplicate files may be identified and eliminated to further reduce the volume of ESI subject to review. Our near near-duplicate technology can also be used to quickly identify files that closely resemble highly relevant known files. As part of our culling process, data may also be filtered and searches conducted by –
- Boolean logic (e.g., and, or, and not,)
- Proximity (e.g., w/10)
- Phrases (e.g., using quotes)
- Wildcard operators (e.g., * or !)
- Fuzzy language (e.g., matching variations on words)
Unique to Stroz Friedberg’s electronic discovery processing are two critical data processing functions that greatly enhance the productivity and effectiveness of searches and thereby lowers the costs of counsel review. StrozExtract. Our targeted data extraction technology, Stroz Extract, performs automated objective coding derived from document text. This artificial intelligence technology employs targeted data extraction to recognize, extract, and automatically code bibliographic metadata such as document type, document date, title, etc., from the content of the document, along with individual and organization names, dates, locations, and addresses. All of this information is searchable, enabling the reviewer to find key information in both electronic and paper (scanned) documents. Stroz Extract then displays the information in a searchable, highlighted format, which allows users to speed through first-level review by finding the right information quickly and efficiently. AutoSuggest. Unique to the Stroz Friedberg online repository, is an advanced, artificial intelligence, clustering technology called AutoSuggest that can be used both to increase the efficiency of the review process and for quality assurance. This feature leverages advance pattern matching and rules based processing to learn the categories applied manually by reviewers to a subset of ESI and then apply the same categories automatically to larger datasets. For example, after counsel has identified a set of known highly-relevant documents, AutoSuggest can establish a statistical profile the document set, and then apply that profile the remainder of the corpus of unread documents to identify similar (and thus highly-relevant) files. AutoSuggest can also be used to profile privileged documents so as to quickly, and automatically identify large numbers of other privileged files. As the review team adjusts the settings for and gains confidence with accuracy of the AutoSuggest profile, the reviewers performance can be assessed in terms of whether they are including or excluding documents that meet the profile.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROCESSING and HOSTING
Companies operating in today’s global market often must have the capability to process data in non-Romance languages. Stroz Friedberg has integrated Unicode processing into the discovery process and can perform search and retrieval of hieroglyphic languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and Russian. Data in these languages can accurately be hosted in Stroz Friedberg’s on-line review environment. In addition, the ESI in other languages may be automatically translated with the original document available for viewing simultaneously. Working in conjunction with Systran Corporation, the leading developer of machine-based translation software, Stroz Friedberg is able to provide, as part of its integrated suite of services, automatic translation of French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean documents.
EARLY CASE ASSESSMENT – FIRST ANALYTICS
As the volume of electronically stored information (ESI) proliferates, so does the complexity and time required to perform legal case review. Today, more than 90% of business transactions, communications and contracts are electronically stored and reside in more media than ever before — from desktops and laptops to servers and mobile devices. With that kind of volume, having the ability to get a quick snapshot of the main topics discussed in a document set has proven valuable in streamlining the case review process. First Glance, the first in a suite of analytics tools, is a powerful keyword and conceptual search tool designed to assist in early case assessment. First Glance reduces both time and money as litigation support teams interactively search, analyze, organize and cull their data. Highlights of the tool include: • Visual mapping – Concept and clustering technology is used to produce visual maps which display groups of documents based on their relevance to the investigation. This allows litigation teams to identify key documents for special consideration and cull out immaterial documents that would likely slow the in-depth review process. • Enhanced keyword generation – Built on the proven artificial intelligence powers of the tool’s engine, First Glance “reads” the body of ESI and suggests additional keywords that return more relevant results. • Foldering and document culling: First Glance enables examiners to organize sets of essential documents for further analysis. At legal counsel’s choosing, First Glance seamlessly transmits all foldering decisions onward into our Stroz Review platform.
REVIEW PLATFORM and ANALYSIS
Stroz Friedberg Review is a hosted database repository that enables counsel, litigation support personnel, and their clients to review their documents securely from multiple locations. Users only need their web browser to navigate easily to our website and do not need to install specialized software to review Electronically Stored Information (ESI) that may be in non-standard formats. Our Review platform allows users to quickly connect to a secure, hosted Oracle database and review documents from anywhere in the world. With 24-hour client support and 99.5% system availability, Stroz Friedberg Review is a robust and user-friendly platform that stands out dramatically in the eDiscovery field by virtue of our advanced text analytics and QC mechanisms that reduce the time, manage the costs, and improve the quality of eDiscovery outcomes. Stroz Friedberg Review’s features are described below.
• Extract performs automated objective coding derived from document text. This artificial intelligence technology employs targeted data extraction to recognize, extract, and automatically code bibliographic metadata such as document type, document date, title, etc., from the content of the document, along with individual and organization names, dates, locations, and addresses. All of this information is searchable, enabling the reviewer to find key information in both electronic and paper (scanned) documents. Extract then displays the information in a searchable, highlighted format, which allows users to speed through first-level review by finding the right information quickly and efficiently.
• Privilege Analytics incorporates sophisticated search technologies that target key textual features of privileged documents to refine the search process, while identifying the universe of potentially privileged documents for manual review. By classifying all such documents into recognizable patterns, highlighting key sections of the document, and ranking the likelihood of privilege, reviewers can significantly accelerate the review process, while simultaneously increasing the confidence level and defensibility of their determinations.
• Near Duplicate Detection identifies and displays documents which are syntactically similar to a specified document. Honing in on text, it ignores formatting and file type (.doc, .pdf, etc.). The degree of similarity is dynamically adjustable by the user, who can also display the differences between the near duplicate documents.
• Foreign Language Support enables reviewers to conduct English or foreign language searches, with automatic language translation. Our Review platform is fully Unicode compliant, including support for CJK languages. This support includes automatic language identification, OCR (including OCR of mixed alphabet documents), and machine translation. Machine translation is available on a bulk basis during processing or on demand during review.
• Email Thread Analysis and Visual Representation enables reviewers to identify emails that are part of a thread and to group and tag threads for easier, faster review. The structured representation of email threads allows bulk coding of documents in any portion of a complete thread.
• Customized Review Options facilitate project management and document review with broad capabilities for distributing, managing, and directing reviews, assuring the separation of attorney work product among different firms through a single database, drastically reducing data management costs.
• AutoSuggest helps reviewers make quick work of large unstructured data sets by automatically grouping like documents. It relies on an initial sample of documents that have been previously classified in some manner, either manually or by application of Elevate. This “learning set” is run through a statistical engine (presently the Oracle Support Vector Machine) which performs a textual analysis of the documents to create a model embodying the criteria used to classify the initial learning set. This model is then applied to the larger set of documents subject to review for automated classification. Among its several applications, clients can use AutoSuggest to perform bulk classification of document sets for prioritization or to route various types of documents to specific reviewers; to suggest coding to reviewers as they review documents; or, as a quality control function, to perform behind-the-scenes classification and designate for second-level review those documents whose manual and AutoSuggest coding differ.
• Elevate uses the logic described in attorney subjective coding manuals to run sophisticated processes that can partially or fully automate first-level coding. It dramatically reduces the time and cost of first-level review by applying Extract’s objective coding methodology to optimize subjective coding. Far more than a keyword search, Elevate performs sophisticated pattern matching and uses decision tree logic to quickly, consistently, and cost-effectively identify relevant documents. An iterative process of running Elevate, examining results, and adjusting Elevate logic is used to arrive at the most satisfactory result.
• Event Extractionanalyzes the document for events (i.e., who did what to whom when) which are identified by parsing the document text and identifying Actions, Actors, Acted On’s, and Dates. This facility enables high precision searches on any combination of Action (optionally including synonyms), Actor, and Acted On. Events identified for a document are displayed with the document’s metadata; clicking on an event highlights its location in the document.
• Themes and Gists provide further text analytic sophistication. Themes, derived with the assistance of a knowledge base that can be edited for a specific domain, are searchable and can be used for conceptual grouping of documents which are then foldered and ranked for any number of designated themes. Gists provide either a generic document summary or a summary from the perspective of any displayed Theme.
• Comprehensive Search/Redactionemploys easy-to-use advanced query tools for many different kinds of logic searches—both Boolean and natural language—with numerous options for setting search parameters and a broad array of redaction tools for user-tailored flexible editing.
• Exception, Workflow, and Administrative Reports can be generated on demand or at scheduled intervals across all metrics. Deep reporting on exceptions, the option for password cracking on protected files, and real-time monitoring of reviewer activity are among the available features.
• Data Privacy and Security Assurances are provided with the pioneering Mobile Processing Unit (MPU) which brings Stroz Friedberg Review platform and its analytical tools to any global location that client needs may demand. Rapidly deployable in any venue, the MPU keeps data within physical country borders and provides a secure processing environment for resident reviewers, thus delivering ironclad assurance of compliance with country-specific ESI privacy regulations. Safe Harbor-certified, Stroz Friedberg is thus able to perform all phases of eDiscovery for an international client base that must adhere to disparate data privacy regulations arising from a multinational business environment.
Recent case law and judicial commentary have issued a clarion call to litigants regarding Privilege Review, which has become one of the most critical elements of the eDiscovery Document Review process. Because so much hinges on rapid and accurate coding of privileged documents, Stroz Friedberg has introduced the Privilege Analytics Filter, technology that takes privilege coding far beyond the limitations of keyword searching, incorporating our patent-pending advanced text analytical tools. Privilege Analytics delivers sophisticated search technologies that target key textual features of privileged documents to refine the search process, while identifying the universe of potentially privileged documents for manual review. By classifying all such documents into recognizable patterns, highlighting key sections of the document, and ranking the likelihood of privilege, reviewers can significantly accelerate the review process, while simultaneously increasing the confidence level and defensibility of their determinations. Read aseminal article by the Hon. John M. Facciola, US Magistrate Judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and Jonathan M. Redgrave, a partner with Nixon Peabody LLP in Washington, DC, published in The Federal Courts Law Review.
REVIEW SUPPORT TEAM
Our Review Support Team helps clients achieve their eDiscovery goals by providing direct personal support for training and technical issues and for realizing the full benefits of our feature-rich Review platform. Our specialists provide custom solutions to project-specific issues and recommend proven discovery review and search techniques to effectively master our Review platform and ensure the most defensible results in complex litigation matters. Support Specialists are available from 9am to 9pm ET daily and via an on-call system around the clock, seven days a week. Direct: 212-981-6550 US Toll-Free: 888-981-6550 Email: email@example.com Our team of experienced Support Specialists will provide timely assistance in the following areas:
- Troubleshooting technical issues – password resets, user or login issues, and work-arounds
- Orientation and best uses of basic functionalities – searching, tagging, foldering, and printing
- Building advanced queries and the use of advanced features such as Stroz Extract, Stroz AutoSuggest, and Stroz Elevate
- Identifying the most efficient methods for organizing data sets, quality control, auditing, reporting, and printing
- Facilitating liaison with our custom development team to address unique data set or document issues
- Coordinating immediate communication with the Stroz Discovery Engagement Manager for expert consultation
NOMAD, our proprietary mobile processing unit, gives clients the unique capability to securely process, host, analyze, and review data on-site – in any part of the globe. We custom-build every NOMAD unit to provide mobility, flexibility and a local solution for managing data privacy and security. A first of its kind, NOMAD continues to be of instrumental use in multiple high stakes investigations and litigations across continents. NOMAD completely replicates Stroz Friedberg’s powerful electronic discovery platform, Stroz Friedberg Review. NOMAD is equipped with advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, advanced text analytics, and foreign language processing in order to help you speed up your discovery process, control discovery costs, and assure the most effective and defensible results. NOMAD is capable of processing multiple terabytes, and as with our Data Centers, reviewers access the NOMAD-resident data via a swift, simple, and secure Citrix connection either internally or through a protected web interface. Used successfully in many eDiscovery matters, NOMAD has made the difference between a fast and smooth litigation path versus a tedious process driven by delays, conflicts, and obstacles.
DATA DISCOVERY SPECIAL MASTERS
Judges and Magistrates often find it necessary to appoint neutral, third party experts to assist in the management and resolution of disputes in civil and criminal matters over electronic discovery costs and obligations, and the handling and interpretation of digital data. Stroz Friedberg is renowned for its objective advice, strategic prowess, and technical work in carrying out electronic discovery and forensic assignments. Senior Stroz Friedberg personnel, who may be called upon to serve as Special Masters or court-appointed experts, hail from long careers as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and civil litigators, and are guided in all matters by fairness and practicality. We are able to assist the Court in structuring an overall protocol for the electronic discovery or forensic matter, including identifying the specific or types of computers and devices from which data is to be harvested, structuring search parameters, preserving the confidentiality of privileged or otherwise non-discoverable data, and specifying the form of production, all with an understanding of what is reasonable, feasible, and not unduly burdensome. Our training enables us to understand and abide by the specific terms of the Court’s order and to handle deftly suggestions by either side that would be inconsistent with that order. In the end, we strive to provide assurance to all parties and the Court that the protocol ordered by the court or agreed to by the parties has been implemented in a manner that fairly identifies and produces the critical, non-privileged information and answers that are at issue.
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