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The Challenge of Multilingual Documents In E-Discovery

May 01, 2020

The rapid increase in globalization and international commerce means that more and more disputes are crossing borders and jurisdictions. In a recent survey of multinational corporations, almost 50% experienced an increase in cross-border litigation during the past 2 years. The volume of electronic information has also grown exponentially with more people producing more data – on their computers, the cloud and with mobile devices. Technologies for creating and storing electronic data are evolving quickly, adding to the challenges of e-discovery.

On par with changing technologies, the legal industry and discovery, specifically, have also shifted. Computerized information has created mountains of data for legal teams to sift through during e-discovery. Complicating matters even further, cross-border disputes often involve documents in multiple languages. The need to review, organize and translate these foreign language documents can add significantly to the cost, complexity and lead time for e-discovery projects. English-speaking lawyers can’t even begin to review foreign language discovery documents until they are translated to English – potentially delaying the identification of key trial information. And strict budgets and tight deadlines place additional stress on legal teams already bogged down in the e-document mire. Sound familiar?

If you work at a law firm or as part of a corporate legal team, multilingual documents in e-discovery present unique challenges. The pure volume of documents alone can be overwhelming. This is where a language service provider (LSP) can offer some much-needed relief.

LSPs use specialized tools to cull large data sets into more manageable chunks of case-relevant information. The application of filtering techniques like foreign language keyword searches, for example, can identify and remove irrelevant documents from the data set. Then machine translation (MT) can be used to determine the “gist” of what each document contains, helping determine which ones require more accurate human translation.

Lawyers and firms who use kCura’s Relativity platform to manage their document review process can help streamline the translation of foreign language documents during their case. Language Connect, Morningside’s free Relativity plug-in, expedites the translation of foreign language documents by allowing users to instantly send multilingual files for quotes and language identification directly from their own Relativity environment. After choosing between human, machine or hybrid translation solutions in more than 200 languages, all completed translations are automatically delivered back into the Relativity environment – ensuring seamless delivery.

While the review phase of multilingual e-discovery poses unique challenges, legal teams that rely on Relativity can simplify the process by obtaining translations via the plug-in. It’s a process that not only saves time and money, but also grants peace of mind in a world of ever-increasing e-data.

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