With more than 45 lawyers and offices in the heart of the San Juan business district, Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLC (PMA) is one of Puerto Rico’s leading commercial law firms. Among the firm’s core practices is litigation, representing clients in all areas of civil and commercial litigation before the Puerto Rico Court of General Justice, the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Back in 2004, we took on a large financial fraud case and we were asked to provide both legal and technology support to our client as they cooperated with regulators,” recalled Oreste Ramos, a capital member and chair of litigation at PMA. “This case involved a huge amount of eDiscovery and we wanted to bring in some high-caliber outside help.”
PMA was already working with Finanxial IT, a highly regarded IT consulting firm in San Juan, to assist them with various IT support needs. They approached the principals of the firm to explore a possible collaboration.
“We already knew the firm’s culture and partners, but in addition we were already working with some of the leading litigation support software tools on the market that would be needed in large-scale eDiscovery projects,” said Gabriel Rodriguez, Finanxial IT’s litigation technology consultant. “So it was a very natural extension of our existing relationship and our industry expertise for us to get involved with providing eDiscovery support to PMA.”
From that initial case in 2004, a unique collaboration emerged between one of Puerto Rico’s top law firms and one of its top IT consulting firms. PMA now partners with Finanxial IT as essentially its own eDiscovery support team. One of the primary things the Finanxial IT litigation support professionals has done is to deploy the LexisNexis suite of early-stage eDiscovery software tools in order to help the firm reduce costs, manage risks and better shape litigation strategy.
The litigators at PMA now use three specific LexisNexis litigation software products:
1. The Early Data Analyzer software: [EDA is] “our most recent purchase, already seeing enormous potential for helping us to map out the data universe in a case,” according to Sara Lydia Vélez. She is one of the leaders of the eDiscovery core team at PMA, with over seven years of experience in eDiscovery projects.
2. The LAW PreDiscovery™ software: This is “a great tool for filtering out irrelevant data,” according to Mr. Rodriguez.
3. The Concordance® software: Is “a stable discovery management platform,” according to Mr. Vélez.
“The LexisNexis software tools allow us to get an early look at the data involved in a case so we can provide our clients with strategic counsel regarding whether to litigate or settle, how to budget for the case, and to assess potential risks involved in the case and in regulatory investigations,” said Mr. Vélez.
The result of this collaboration – the pre-eminent lawyers at PMA, the technology experts at Finanxial IT and the LexisNexis software tools – has been improved legal counsel to clients and reduced costs associated with eDiscovery.
“There is great pressure on corporate legal departments to reduce outside legal fees and litigation expenses,” said Mr. Ramos. “The LexisNexis software tools help us to obtain deep insights into a case at the very earliest stages, which enables us to provide legal counsel that helps our clients reduce unpredictable costs and be more strategic about how they manage litigation.”
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