Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Federal Pig Andrew J. Peck Ushered In a Brave New World, Law Students!

Predictive Coding Approved by a Federal Court:


If you are considering law school - or worse, currently enrolled - then you should read this Chris Opfer article, which appeared in New York magazine on March 14, 2012. The title is “Rise of the Machines: New Technology May Spell the End for NYC’s Bottom-Rung Lawyers.” Take a look at the future:

“The Southern District of New York recently became the nation's first federal court to explicitly approve the use of predictive coding, a computer-assisted document review that turns much of the legal grunt work currently done by underemployed attorneys over to the machines. Last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck endorsed a plan by the parties in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe — a sex discrimination case filed against the global communications agency by five former employees — to use predictive coding to review more than 3 million electronic documents in order to determine whether they should be produced in discovery, the process through which parties exchange relevant information before trial.” [Emphasis mine]

Later on, the piece continued:

“Using the technology, a senior attorney familiar with the intricacies of a specific case reviews and codes a "seed set" of documents. An algorithm then identifies properties among the manually reviewed documents to code and sort everything else. Each document is assigned a score to indicate the likelihood it's correctly coded.

Proponents say predictive coding is not only more accurate than using human reviewers, but also more efficient. Yet many, including Jason R. Baron who previously co-chaired an influential think-tank called the Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production, argue that human review is also necessary, at least in the short term. "I'm modestly hopeful that contract attorneys will still have a role for some time to come," Baron says. "My glass is half full."

There's no escaping the fact that as predictive coding is used more widely, the technology will reduce the overall number of documents to be reviewed and the attorneys needed to review them. Judge Peck noted the technology will require human review of less than 2 percent of all documents in an average case. His stamp of approval means that the document reviewer ranks may be culled sooner rather than later.” [Emphasis mine]

Personally, I don’t care if the metaphorical glass is half empty or full. I am concerned with the substance in the cup.

Other Coverage of this Development:


Check out this May 5, 2012 blog entry from Walter Russell Mead. The piece was entitled “Attention Young Lawyers: The Grim Reaper Is Here.”  He gets straight to the point:

“Every student in America thinking of going to law school on borrowed money needs to read this article in New York magazine. Every dean of every law school in the country, every parent or teacher giving young people career advice needs to read it. Every policy wonk thinking about the future of American society needs to read it, as well. 

The legal profession’s John-Henry-meets-steam-drill moment is here: a federal court has approved a computerized document review process that turns huge volumes of legal grunt work over to the machines. The process is said to be cheaper and more accurate than human review of the thousands and even millions of documents that are involved in large, complex legal cases.” [Emphasis mine]


ATL’s Christopher Danzig posted an entry labeled “The Future Has Arrived: For the First Time, Judge Orders Predictive Coding in a Federal Case.”  Look at this telling excerpt:

“Just a few weeks ago, Magistrate [Jackass] Andrew Peck (S.D.N.Y.) spoke to several hundred people at LegalTech New York about the importance of predictive coding for the future of electronic discovery. He expressed his hope that a federal court would, sooner rather than later, officially encourage using the technology in a case.

Shortly after participating in the panel, [Cockroach] Peck fulfilled his own wish. Last week, he became what appears to be the first federal judge to order litigants to use the cutting-edge technology in a case.”

One wonders whether this fat bastard owns stock in any of these companies.  Too bad, he can't rely on a machine to fix his crooked teeth or to trim his cheesy mustache.  By the way, when was the last time you saw  someone who appears to have Down syndrome on the federal bench?!?!

Conclusion: This decision will further undermine your chances of practicing law, in any capacity. While no sane person goes to law school with the intent to become a doc review monkey, for many years this route provided TTT grads with the chance to pay the bills and put food in the fridge. Also, most states allow non-lawyers to engage in the limited practice of law. Of course, ABA-accredited trash cans continue to pump out FAR TOO MANY graduates for the available number of attorney positions. Furthermore, the cockroaches and rats keep increasing their tuition to alarming levels. How thoughtful of them, huh?!?!

For $ome rea$on, the “law professors” and deans do not mention these developments in their slick marketing materials - or during orientation. Perhaps, these academic thieves sincerely believe that re-hashing Pennoyer v. Neff is going to adequately prepare their students to represent clients.  The commodes can no longer claim to provide students with a mere abstract "education," because law firms and attorneys will train the graduate to practice.  Biglaw clients have caught onto the scam, and they are less willing to pay top dollar so that new associates can receive on the job preparation.  Plus, with the ABA's "Ethics" Opinion 08-451 in place since August 2008, the pigs now largely rely on  foreign lawyers and non-lawyers to engage in U.S. legal discovery.  It's a brave new world, lemming!  I suppose that you can choose to embrace this new reality.


  1. Oh my God.. Look at this fat slob and his greasy smile.

    Jesys M. HariKrisna!!

    These pig's profiles just keep getting worse, somehow.

    I knew this was going to happen. If its anything in favor of Business and away from the Little Guy, Business always wins. This is only going to screw more unemployed lawyers harder.

    As if they aren't having enough of a hard time finding demeaning, underpaying shit-monkey work.

    Nice. Just.. Nice.

  2. Don't pay your student loans. Problem solved.

    You realize that student loan debt is unsecured debt right? Just go work in the underground economy. The feds don't know you exist. You're just a worthless peon.

    Find a spouse with good credit to finance large purchases such as homes or cars.

    If possible, become self-employed. That way your "wages" aren't subject to garnishment because they are not held by a third party.

    See how easy it is to fuck the scammers right back? Fuck the gov't and fuck the criminal law professors.

    1. You are an idiot unless you like dealing drugs or picking berries in the field. If you could fix and build shit then why did you go to law school to begin with

    2. Actually, I'm practicing law and drive an Audi R8 ($140,000.00 MSRP)

      Not one student loan payment has been made or ever will be made.

      Have fun drowning in debt and being poor all your life because of what some "database" says about your "credit".

      Haha. Peon. You deserve to live in squalor.

  3. Horrifying.

    But, the market has spoken. People just don't need buggy whip manufacturers anymore. Best to move on and have the market correct - not unlike home prices.

    Sadly, this will be done on the backs of thousands of students who in good faith went out to do what they wanted to do, only to have the rug pulled out.

    The only grim satisfaction I have is that, eventually, when enough students have been sacrificed, the law schools will feel the pain of what they have wrought. Like bankers, the ones who did the actual scheming aren't often the ones who feel the actual pain, but the industry will change regardless.

    In the meantime, the global game of musical chairs (aka capitalism) continues...

  4. This magistrate is not evil for recognizing the handwriting on the wall and automating discovery. Even if he had not, another judge would have eventually made this decision. The problem is we produce too many lawyers and some of the best places to hide the unemployed are vanishing.

  5. We don't need TV repairmen any more either. If it wasn't for the thousands of debt serfs with law degrees, it wouldn't big that big of a deal.

  6. What happened to the guy upset at nando and Campos for informing students about the legal market? Did the psych ward he escaped from find him and return him to his padded room?

  7. Even the Luddites didn't have six-figure student loan debt.

  8. @12:12PM

    He took his blog and video down. Poof! Gone.

    1. The World Traveling Law Student doesn't go away that easily; he'll be back in some other form, just watch.

  9. I waz a 6th grade dropout. 'N I still practiced law in Little Rock (before I gots into a fuckin' fight wit' a rowdy client 'n gots mah ass disbarred. Heh heh.) How you like dat, sumbitches? I didn't have to take out enny loans fo' dat either. Fuck, I never even heard of a fuckin' student loan in mah day. Now ya's gots kids wit' da law degree 'n they can't even gets a job as a lawyer 'n shit.

    Ennyways, here's The Colonel signin' off.

    Hoo-ah muthafucka! Hoo-ah!

  10. If this fucker was not a fake lawyer with a robe would anyone hire him to do anything? Seriously. What are his skills. I think in a past life he was Mr. Belvedere.

  11. Here is an update on the situation. On April 27, 2012, law.com published a piece from Mark Hamblett, under the headline "Peck Decision on Use of Predictive Coding Upheld in N.Y. Federal Court." Look at the following excerpts:


    "Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck's February ruling allowing the use of predictive coding, aka computer-assisted review, to weed through millions of electronic documents in discovery has been upheld by a federal judge.

    "There simply is no review tool that guarantees perfection," said Judge Andrew Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who turned aside several objections to Peck's ground-breaking decision adopting an electronically stored information protocol in the gender discrimination case of Monique da Silva Moore, et al. v. Publicis Group SA, et al, 11 Civ. 1279.

    "Manual review with keyword searches is costly, though appropriate in certain situations," Carter said. "However, even if all parties here were willing to entertain the notion of manually reviewing the documents, such review is prone to human error and marred with inconsistencies from the various attorneys' determination of whether a document is responsive."

    Someone should check Carter’s bank account, to see if there were any large deposits from the predictive coding bastards. The article continued:

    “The case involves some three million emails, and Peck found that "linear manual review is simply too expensive."

    Peck quoted from his October 2011 article, "Search Forward" in Law Technology News, as he explained how predictive coding can work and how it would work in the Moore case.

    Intended as an alternative to manual review of mountains of documents by junior law firm staff, the method involves reviewing and coding a "seed set" of documents by a senior lawyer or a small team at the firm. The computer then identifies properties of those documents that it then uses to code other documents.

    "As the senior reviewer continues to code more sample documents, the computer predicts the reviewer's coding (or the computer codes some documents and asks the senior reviewer for feedback,)" Peck said. "When the system's predictions and the reviewer's coding sufficiently coincide, the system has learned to make confident predictions for the remaining documents."

    Peck said the senior lawyer would usually have to review only a few thousand documents to effectively train the computer.”

    Let’s see if Andrew Peck’s teeth are fixed, in the near future. After all, industry cockroaches are certainly grateful for this gift.

  12. The only thing that prevents this "black gowned clown" from looking like a mongoloid is his Ned Flanders' mustache.

    It was only a matter of time before predictive coding would be accepted. This decision fucks over many recent grads who counted on doc review as plan B. What is plan C? IBR? Plan D? Killself?

  13. Nando, you and I both know this is so much bullshit, IMO.

    There is simply no way, IMO, that existing technology can effectively do what these salespeople at Screw U. Co. or whatever.. are claiming.

    Trust me. I worked in an environment where "canned technical solutions" were trumpeted as The Answer. It's all Bullshit. Designed to sell. Period. Overpromise and underdeliver. I know the drill..

    The software is trained based on one person. Therefore, whatever "human error" that person has is passed on to the software.

    There is no cost-effective existing tech that can separate what is relevant and what is irrelevant, IMO. It's just not that good and I can easily see this based on how this junk is set up to work.

    Reminds me of Dragon Dictate or whatever. You have to "train" the software. BS. Works okay 75% to 85% of the time. Misses a good 15%.

    This is sales drivel designed to push a product to these doc review mills and law firms.

    Yes, I'm sure costs will be cut. But so will quality. IMO, there is no substitute for human multi-level review. This tech they are touting simply isn't there yet. I can easily see that.

    This is just an excuse for the firms to increase their own profit margins while providing shoddy work. But that's law for ya.

    Fuck the client, right? Fuck all sides. Slash and burn.

  14. Forgot to add:

    As if overseas review done by people in India isn't cheap / effective enough. They don't want to pay a nickel more than they have to.

    More Race to the Bottom bs. In price and also quality. The Wal-Mart-ization of law continues.

  15. Andrew J. Peck reminds me of Walter Peck, the EPA guy in "Ghostbusters."

    Ray: Mr. Mayor, everything was going fine until Dickless here (nods to Peck) shut off the containment grid.

    (Peck yells and is held back by police.)

    The Mayor: Is that true?

    Peter: Yes. This man has no dick.

    (Peck struggles and fights some more.)

  16. They want to replace lawyers with technology, foreign lawyers, or nonlawyers simply because it is cheaper? That is the world of 2012, I suppose. But why not also replace $170,000/yr. law professors with adjunct practitioners who will work for $10K per course, and probably do a much better job? And why keep those anachronistic law librarians around in the age of Westlaw Next? In fact, why have big fancy law school buildings at all, the upkeep of which is an expense that the students ultimately bear, when the technology exists for virtual classrooms and virtual mock courtrooms? Or, going further, why not replace all of law school, and every parasitical law school employee from dean to janitor, with a $4,000 9-week BarBri course, or with some interactive computer program?

    I hate "race to the bottom" economics--the hunt for ever-cheaper labor is going to have unimaginable collateral social costs. BUT, if lawyers have to survive in this "race to the bottom" world, so too should legal academics.

  17. Taking it a step further, why don't we replace American CEOs with Koreans and Vietnamese who can do the job a lot cheaper and be just as productive?

  18. This country is all about getting yours at someone else's expense.

    The machines will produce many errors since computers cannot truly understand language and context. They'll make many errors. But they lower the cost, so they get the green light. See how this profession works now?

  19. ^^^^^^^

    Exactly. Notice how these judges never talk about protecting the client - the one who is paying for services and to whom a duty is owed.

    No. It's all $$$$$. Damn the client.

  20. Nando:

    Kimber's sudden departure was shockingly sudden, and in hindsight "seems" almost like it was an inside job for the law school incredibly powerful financial Mammouth that bought her out.

    All of that certainly slowed the scamblog movement down.

    I wonder if Kimber is so happy now?

  21. I can explain a bit about how a mechanical document review system might work. I've studied this kind of thing in school.

    First, there are several assumptions being made about the documents that are being reviewed. A few of them stem from the concept of documents being a Metric Space. There is a little math, but for this post you need to know just this.

    (1) For a file of documents you can define a function which will give a positive distance for how 'far' one document is from another.
    (2) If two documents have the same text then they are the same document (and the distance between them is zero.)
    (3) The distance between document A and document B is never greater than the distance between document A and document C Plus the distance between document C and document B.

    If the three numbered statements above are false when talking about legal documents then no machine will ever be able to classify them. If however those statements are true we then still must make a few more assumptions.

    Either (4) There exists a line (or maybe a curve made by a polynomial) that goes through the file of documents and leaves the relevant documents on one side and the irrelevant documents on the other side.
    Or (5) There exists 'regions' of relevance and irrelevance in the file such that the regions can be represented one or just a few (existent or machine generated) documents.

    Here we want either a fence between relevant and irrelevant documents or we want clusters of relevance. If relevant and irrelevant documents are spread around the file randomly and equally they cannot be separated and a machine will not be able to classify them.
    If the first three numbered statements are true about documents and either (4) or (5) is true, then you will witness from here on out the rise of the machines.

    That's two semesters of Machine Learning in one post, so if you've read this far you can feel pretty smart.
    However we should also cover the murky underbelly of Machine Learning. August 28, 2012 9:53 PM is quite correct about how some IT contractors run their business. There are some non-business pitfalls too.
    First, it is not hard to write algorithms that will perform ever so slightly better than chance. I'm hoping nobody will pay for doc review software that classifies a correct document 55% of the time instead of 50% of the time, but you'all know more about the legal field than I do and so I'll leave that question to the reader.
    Second, it is hard to write algorithms that will perform as well as a human should. 20% error rates make a person incompetent at a lot of jobs, but are par for the course for beta or academic machine learning software.
    Third, There can be problems with how the machine learns based on the number of documents and the amount of error that is tolerated in training the machine. If the machine is trained with too few documents, the training documents will not be a representative sample of the entire file and the machine will do poorly. There will be large regions of documents in the main file the machine will not have had to handle in training. But if it is trained with too many documents or if the error tolerated in training and testing is too low the machine will learn to fit based on the documents given, even if the actual file is slightly different. Document D might be barely relevant and maybe should just be rejected in order to also justify rejecting a bunch of very irrelevant documents. But if the machine is trained to accept document D, it might have difficulty with other documents down the line.
    Forth If the human trainer doesn't know what they are doing, the machine will also suck. You cannot put wrong figures into a machine and expect the right answers to come out.

    While Nando is right, no-one ever says "I want to do doc review when I grow up." If you're an undergraduate and you have the ambition to be involved in the legal document review industry; It might be necessary to eschew actually trying to study of law and instead try studying math instead.

  22. When this "technology" screws someone over and they decide to reciprocate after the ensuing lawsuit we'll see how great their idea is. As typical, some fat fuck thinking they are smarter than they really are. Common sense seems to have waived bye-bye to so many because, whether you agree or not, the fact remains no coding is going to be better than a human.

  23. If you are still considering law school, take a look at how well the industry pigs protect the “profession.” Here is the link to something called Utah Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice Rule 14-802, i.e. authorization to practice law.


    Rule 14-802. Authorization to practice law.

    Now scroll down to 14-802(c)

    “(c) Whether or not it constitutes the practice of law, the following activity by a non-lawyer, who is not otherwise claiming to be a lawyer or to be able to practice law, is permitted:

    (c)(1) Making legal forms available to the general public, whether by sale or otherwise, or publishing legal self-help information by print or electronic media.

    (c)(2) Providing general legal information, opinions or recommendations about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, procedures, options or strategies, but not specific advice related to another person’s facts or circumstances.

    (c)(3) Providing clerical assistance to another to complete a form provided by a municipal, state, or federal court located in the State of Utah when no fee is charged to do so.

    (c)(4) When expressly permitted by the court after having found it clearly to be in the best interests of the child or ward, assisting one’s minor child or ward in a juvenile court proceeding.

    (c)(5) Representing a party in small claims court as permitted by Rule of Small Claims Procedure 13.

    (c)(6) Representing without compensation a natural person or representing a legal entity as an employee representative of that entity in an arbitration proceeding, where the amount in controversy does not exceed the jurisdictional limit of the small claims court set by the Utah Legislature.

    (c)(7) Representing a party in any mediation proceeding.

    (c)(8) Acting as a representative before administrative tribunals or agencies as authorized by tribunal or agency rule or practice.

    (c)(9) Serving in a neutral capacity as a mediator, arbitrator or conciliator.

    (c)(10) Participating in labor negotiations, arbitrations or conciliations arising under collective bargaining rights or agreements or as otherwise allowed by law.

    (c)(11) Lobbying governmental bodies as an agent or representative of others.”

    The extensive list continues, and includes advising or preparing documents for others in certain situations. Now, who wants to go out and incur an additional $130K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a chance to enter this magnificent "profession"?!?!

  24. Nando, you have correctly identified the hidden and ugly truth about the practice of law by non-attorneys. In NJ for example, I know a Brazilian woman who operates as a "notario." She claims she is an attorney in Brazil but she did not complete an LLM here and she is not admitted as an attorney anywhere in the United States. She owns a Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG, which is worth nearly $200K. I see her park her car when I go to the Federal Building in Newark, NJ. I have been told she lives in an exclusive community and owns a mansion valued at $2M. This woman has been operating as a "notario" for the past 15 years. The authorities (ICE) know she operates and gives legal advice but she has never been prosecuted. She has been "investigated" but she always survives the investigation and goes back to engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The authorities don't care that these non-attorneys are taking away business from heavily indebted attorneys. I can tell you one thing, this Brazilian lady did not take out student loans and she is living the life of the 1%. About 6 years ago, I was in the waiting room with her and I struck up a conversation with her. I asked her why she didn't get her LLM to sit for the NY bar and she replied "I don't have to go through that trouble." To make matters worse, the ICE officers love this woman. If I had known that I could get away with the unauthorized practice of law, I would have saved 3 years of my life and followed this lady's path.

    1. You know, she might be part of some sort of long-running federal sting operation. Or willing to give head easily.

      I thank God everyday I have nothing to do with the practice law, because you can't win in it.

  25. Notarios are everywhere. Cutting immigration lawyers out of the action. What a shitty time to enter law school.

  26. Nando, great job reporting this. Here are a few more articles.


  27. Apparently, the bitches and hags at the American Bar Association are aware of the growing notario field.


    "Fight Notario Fraud

    Para español, oprima aquí.

    Unscrupulous “notarios” or “immigration consultants” have become an increasingly serious problem in immigrant communities throughout the United States. Often using false advertising and fraudulent contracts, notarios hold themselves out as qualified to help immigrants obtain lawful status, or perform legal functions such as drafting wills or other legal documents. Unethical notarios may charge a lot of money for help that they never provide. Often, victims permanently lose opportunities to pursue immigration relief because a notario has damaged their case. The Commission is working to provide immigrant communities with information about this dangerous practice, and to support advocates who represent victims.

    Unfortunately, notario fraud is usually identified after the fact, when an immigrant has already suffered an adverse event as the result of a consultant's services (e.g., a denial of temporary protective status, or a removal order), and seeks the assistance of a licensed immigration attorney. Although there are specific procedures for reopening removal proceedings based on deficient performance of authorized counsel, many attorneys are unaware of what actions can be taken against consultants to hold them accountable and deter future abuses."

    Of course, the weasels don't do anything to actually fight this problem. Then again, you can contact some ABA ass-hat about the situation.

    "Fight Notario Fraud
    ABA Commission on Immigration
    202/638-3844 (fax)

    Yes, I’m sure this bulletin is going to scare off these men and women from preying on immigrants. The ABA pigs are clearly cognizant of the problem, but they just don’t have the balls, the backbone or the brain to actively look for a solution.

  28. Interesting question that I'm having is why don't law professors study such things as Computerized Legal Discovery or even the Rise of the Notario? They seem like fascinating topics from an academic standpoint; and a professor could even have academic tie ins like Law and Chicano Studies or Law and Computer Science. Is it because such topics are less prestigious than Frederik Nietzsche? Is it because law professors do not realize where the actual practice of law is heading?


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