Legal Technology

Thanks to DOJ OK, liquor companies saved 50 percent using predictive coding

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Two beer companies seeking to merge won Justice Department approval after a review that used technology to find relevant electronic documents.

The U.S. Department of Justice gave its OK to the use of a computerized document search using predictive coding in its review of the proposed merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The technology was used to help sift through a million documents from Constellation Liquors, a liquor company that would buy assets in the deal, and from Crown Imports, a joint venture between Constellation and Modelo.

Warren Rosborough, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, told the Wall Street Journal that the use of predictive coding cut e-discovery costs in half. “Something that would easily cost three, four, five million dollars, you can do in the range of one to two,” said Rosborough, who represented Constellation and Crown Imports.

The lawyers used software from kCura Corp. in a process that starts with a manual review to train the software to recognize relevant documents.

The Justice Department dropped its challenge to the merger in April after the two beer companies agreed to sell Grupo’s U.S. business to Constellation.

Prior coverage of predictive coding:

ABA Journal: “Law by the Numbers: Predictive coding is on the rise in courts” “Is predictive coding better than lawyers at document review?” “Lawyer for E-Discovery Company Predicts Predictive Coding Will Become an Ethical Obligation”

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