5 Responses to The First Few Weeks of EDBP, the Shoulders of Giants, and the Great Debates of TAR v. CAR and Ball v. Jaar

  1. Dominic Daar says:


    That TAR vs CAR debate reminds me of a similar situation in Quebec where, back in 2001, the legislator enacted An Act to Establish a Legal Framework for Information Technology, which refers to “technology-based document”. That was (and still is) a departure from the use, elsewhere, of the notion of electronic document (e.g. the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act or any of the eCommerce Acts). IMHO, the idea behind the use of “technology” in this context is legitimate: the legislator does not intent to amend its laws with each new technology coming out or for the different types of technologies out there which are not “electronic”.

    However, in the context of CAR, I say, why not cross the bridge when we get there? For the moment, the only assisted review I’ve heard of is computer-assisted. When a new technology, not relying on computers, comes out, we will find a name that is applicable to it… Until then, I will only care for CAR and leave the TAR preachers standing in ataraxy at their altar!


  2. “When a new technology, not relying on computers, comes out, we will find a name that is applicable to it…” I use a technology that does not rely on computers – it’s this comfy chair that I sit in. Even paper review is TAR when sitting in this technological chair which facilitates hour after hour of review. In other words, TAR is too broad, it’s CAR.

  3. […] Maura and Gordon have done in the field of technology assisted review (“TAR”), which, as I have noted before I prefer to call CAR (computer assisted review). There is room for more than one term to signify […]

  4. Matthew Ahearn says:

    Why is it either? There is not room for more than one term if one is all that is needed for a term of art. If we can’t yet just call it “discovery” and “review” after over half a decade under new rules for “ESI” the profession is in profound trouble. New buzz words won’t help us help the dinosaurs among us catch up to the current tools of the trade; such terms cause more ears to close than ever a mind they opened in this business. I say it’s time we (the kind of folks who follow this blog) just drop the “e”-vendor hype language hangover from “Y2K” days and get back to plain old discovery again.

    The only new acronym that was ever needed was to have ESI discoverable as defined in the Rules. Lawyers should not let vendor technology marketing habits infect terms of art. It just confuses folks and causes arguments of the kind legal terms of art were invented to prevent. Which of course is what sales professionals do for a living; they confuse consumers over distinctions without differences to make a sale. I was taught that we lawyers were different than the three men in the tub. Why do we wish to participate in that vendor’s name game on any level?

    What magic modern tool(s) one uses for review (be it a photocopier technology to share a copy with counsel and file one too, latent sematic indexing based text retrieval, or some other concept search and clustering tools with or without human feedback loops, or one of the many threading algorythems to batch docs for review in that fasion for efficiency) should not impact the name of the task at hand. Let us just call it “document review” again, please!

    So long as the Supreme Court went through all the trouble to define “ESI” as a “document” in the Rules, that should be ’nuff said for any lawyer in the land! It’s just another document review, so long as you’ve read the definition of “document” in the rules.

    While I’m on the soap box here, can’t we just call Ralph’s new site his suggested “Discovery Best Practices” site and begin to fix a bad trend? There must be some level of Dante’s hell for those who create new acronyms where none were ever really needed.

  5. […] you guess the most popular topic? Yup, computer assisted review, which many have taken to calling TAR, including Georgetown. It seems that most advanced practitioners in the country are like me and […]

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