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Legal Budget Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Budget

Legal Budget Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Budget

How much budget is enough? How much is too much?

You’re the Lead Counsel or Head of Litigation Prep for an important case. You have a massive quantity of foreign language documents to translate in a limited time.

To feel confident about the quality of your information and your ability to meet Court-imposed deadlines, budget is a huge factor.

How much will it cost your client to achieve the translation objectives and, more importantly, to win their case? How much is enough? How much is too much?

Linguistic Systems’ offers 9 solutions to address Budget Uncertainty, and we can help you feel confident in your translation spending. Here’s a quick look at those challenges and our solutions.

Overall Challenge: Budget Uncertainty

Translating everything via human translation can cost a small fortune. Machine translation can help you save. But if machine translations are unintelligible (which is often the case) or wrong, it can cost your client much more. Where do you cut?

We see 3 related concerns for this challenge: Budget Uncertainty, Resource Uncertainty, and Value Uncertainty. Here are our solution steps.

LSI Steps to Overcome Budget Uncertainty

— How much budget is needed to successfully achieve your case objectives? Will spending match your client’s expectations?

  • Pre-Project Cost Estimate — Quick analysis of likely process paths and timelines can provide a pre-project cost estimate and facilitate initial client signoff.
  • Approved Process Cost Estimate — Finalization of the cost estimate is achieved once the agreed process is determined and initial eDiscovery content streams are analyzed.
  • Contingencies Cost Estimate — Provides updates to agreed budget as case dynamics change or additional work becomes necessary and approved.

LSI Steps to Overcome Resource Uncertainty

— How many internal and external resources are needed to achieve case objectives? Do internal legal and LSI teams have the right quantity and skills mix?

  • Pre-Project Resource Audit — Analysis of internal legal team reviewer resources (both quantity and expertise) and available LSI team resources to determine if ‘project start’ resources are sufficient.
  • Project Resource Plan — Assignment of resources (sources and roles) to accomplish project at each stage of plan. Includes internal and LSI teams.
  • Resource Contingencies Plan — Provide recommendations for resource adjustments in reaction to changing case dynamics or translation results.

LSI Steps to Overcome Value Uncertainty

— Will the budget produce the desired translation results and achieve case objectives? Could the money be spent in better ways, for better results?

  • Pre-Project Value Assessment — Estimation of ROI of successful case outcome versus anticipated investment.
  • Mid-Project Optimization — Analysis of existing processes, costs, value and ROI during project execution to consider alternatives to improve outcomes.
  • Project Post-Mortem — Analysis of pre-case estimates and ROI versus actual results. Includes refinements for future projects.

LSI Translation Consulting Services can help you with all phases of foreign language legal translation. We know that winning your high-profile case is your only option. And we’ll help you overcome any uncertainty over your information, timelines, or budget. Just click below, and we’ll help you get started.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. With 50 years and billions of words of experience serving 25,000 clients, including many Fortune 100 and AmLaw100 firms, you can trust us with your must-win foreign language translation projects.

Legal Timeline Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Schedule

Legal Timeline Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Schedule

Part 2 of 3: Intelligent Translation Services Consulting

As an attorney, particularly the Lead Counsel on an important case, you’ve achieved much in your career by mitigating risk. But when aspects of the case aren’t in your control, it’s much harder.

An area where you sometimes have the least control is Court- or DOJ-imposed deadlines. If you’re required to produce thousands of foreign language documents in English within 3 weeks, that’s a hard-stop on your translation time. If you’re not lucky enough to secure an extension, you can still rest easy. Here’s why.

Linguistic Systems’ offers 9 solutions to address Timeline Uncertainty, and we can help you produce on time. Here’s a quick look at those challenges and our solutions.

Overall Challenge: Timeline Uncertainty

— Court-imposed deadlines may be unmovable. Do you have the right processes and resources to comply on time? We see 3 related concerns for this challenge: Deadline, Process, and Contingencies. Here are our solution steps.

LSI Steps to Overcome Deadline Uncertainty

— Are all case deadlines known? Are all project deadlines understood? Will any flexibility be granted in moving case deadlines?

  • Legal Deadlines Audit — Identification and consolidation of all court-related deadlines and delivery expectations.
  • Project Milestones Audit — Identification and consolidation of project milestones, associated deadlines, and assigned owners to achieve objectives.
  • Timeline Mitigation Recommendations — Identify deadlines most at risk and support a request to grant a document production continuance.

LSI Steps to Overcome Process Uncertainty

— Will the right process be chosen to enable your team to meet imposed deadlines? What are the tradeoffs for each process decision?

  • Process Tradeoff Discussion — Examination of pros and cons of each process option and how they might affect case strength, timelines, cost.
  • Process Recommendations — Development of multi-modal process strategy to achieve optimal results within agreed timelines and budget.
  • Project Burn Rate Analysis — Tracking and projection of delivery dates for each component of translation process, and likelihood of meeting deadlines.

LSI Steps to Overcome Future Uncertainty

— What additional, unforeseen deadlines may be imposed? Can the translation process and team support changing dynamics?

  • Timeline Flexibility Analysis — Where are the potential flex periods and logjams in the timeline?
  • Resource Flexibility Analysis — Which resources are potentially stretched, and which can provide additional capacity?
  • Project Scale Analysis — If new requirements and work efforts are added to the project, will the timeline be at risk? Where are the vulnerabilities?

At first glance, this may feel complex. But we’ve been executing complex translation projects for more than 50 years. We’re here to assist you.

In fact, we offer LSI Translation Consulting Services which address all phases of foreign language legal translation. We know that winning your high-profile case is your only option. We’re here to help in that regard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. With 50 years and billions of words of experience serving 25,000 clients, including many Fortune 100 and AmLaw100 firms, you can trust us with your must-win foreign language translation projects.

9 Steps to Mitigate Legal Info Uncertainty

9 Steps to Mitigate Legal Info Uncertainty

Part 1 of 3: Intelligent Translation Services Consulting

If, like many of our clients, you’re leading a high-profile international legal case, these 3 challenges probably keep you up at night. They are Information Uncertainty, Timeline Uncertainty, and Budget Uncertainty.

Information Uncertainty is when a mountain emerges of foreign language documents that are central to your case. But they’re not in English. You’re not sure what’s in them. You don’t know the full extent of your client’s risk. And you’re going to have to rely on others — internal translators or external partners — to inform you.

Will they be right? And how much risk are you and your client facing?

The second major challenge is Timeline Uncertainty. The Court has imposed deadlines for you to produce thousands of documents — maybe tens or hundreds of thousands — in translated form. What combination of machine and human translation processes are needed to produce these on time? Is that enough time? What if an extension request isn’t granted?

The third major challenge is Budget Uncertainty. Translating hundreds of thousands of documents via human translators would cost your client a small fortune. It would also seriously strain your relationship to charge them that much.

Deploying machine translation technologies saves considerably, but sacrifices quality. True meaning can remain buried in hundreds of thousands of incomprehensible or imprecise partial sentences. How much should you spend for higher quality? How much is too much? How much is not enough?

The good news: We’ve thought long and hard about these issues during our 50+ years of serving major corporate and legal clients  — including most of the Fortune 100 and AmLaw 100. And we’ve developed solutions and processes that address each concern.

In fact, we’ve taken it farther. For each of the 3 previously mentioned challenges, we’ve identified 3 contributing concerns. And for each of these sub-concerns, we’ve developed 3 solutions to help alleviate your fears.

What’s the math on that? It translates to 27 LSI solutions (critical process steps) to address 9 contributing concerns related to your 3 major challenges.

In the first of this 3-part article, we’ve outlined the 9 solution steps below that can help you feel more confident about the relevance, accuracy, and expertise associated with your foreign document translations. Here are the first 9 solution steps.

Major Challenge: Information Uncertainty

Contributing Concern: Relevance Uncertainty

Will all relevant content be correctly identified and categorized?

LSI Solution Steps:

  • eDiscovery Audit — MT or Neural-based eDiscovery to enable preliminary evaluations and tagging of your client’s foreign-language content.
  • Outliers Audit — Development and refinement of custom glossaries to clarify untranslated words and expressions.
  • Post-Audit Validation — Human examination of MT results to validate, or modify, preliminary relevance and categorization decisions.

Contributing Concern: Expertise Uncertainty What additional industry, legal, or local/cultural expertise is needed? LSI Solution Steps:

  • Subject-Matter Audit of preliminary screened content to determine, collaboratively with you, what additional data or industry expertise is needed.
  • Localization Audit of high-value content to ensure that local meaning is correctly understood.
  • Internal Audit by your in-house legal review team to identify potential gaps in expertise to be augmented by LSI’s resources or network.

Contributing Concern: Accuracy Uncertainty Will all relevant content be accurately translated, verified, and understood? LSI Solution Steps:

  • Human Translation and Post-Editing of core segments of content that are of highest value and complexity — including for Court- or DOJ- mandated translation processes.
  • Content Risk Analysis — Determine collaboratively the value of translating (and potential risk of not translating) each content grouping.
  • Content Accuracy Analysis — Access the accuracy of content in high-value groupings using Blue Score or other means.

Finally, we don’t expect you to have 50 years of expertise in implementing these solution steps on your own. That’s why we’re here … to support you, to alleviate your concerns, and to ensure your success. To do that, we offer LSI Translation Services Consulting to assist you in all phases of foreign language legal translation. We know that winning your high-profile case is your only option. We’re here to help in that regard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. With 50 years and billions of words of experience serving 25,000 clients, including many Fortune 100 and AmLaw100 firms, you can trust us with your must-win foreign language translation projects.

When (and How) Do You Certify a Translation?

When (and How) Do You Certify a Translation?

When Your Documents May Need Extra Validation 

On occasion, you may be asked to provide written proof of the authenticity and quality of a translation. In these cases, you have the option to present either a certified copy, or a notarized certification.

As the client, you determine which one to use. Are you confident that you would choose the best type for your needs? Here’s how to decide.

A certified translation must have a signed document by the translation organization validating that the translation presented is true and accurate. In essence, it is a translated document with a signed letter by the translator or translating organization. They must attest to the accuracy of the translation.

A translator can be certified too. Organizations like the American Translator Association offer exams to translators to test and certify their language abilities. However, a certified translator does not always equal a certified translation. You must have the needed signed affidavit from the translator or translation service provider for it to qualify.

A notarized translation is the same as a certified translation, but with an extra step. To notarize a translation, an official government representative or notary of the public must be present to sign off on the document.

In situations involving some government documents, a notary may act  as a representative to authenticate a document’s translation. When an important document must be verified, like a contract or will, a notary stands in as an official witness commissioned by the government to attest to the validation of the translator’s work.

“Certification is needed for a variety of corporate situations including: mergers and acquisitions, translation of financial statements, and testimonies from corporate officers.”

It is important to know when you may need a certified translation or a notary. Legal and governmental situations require certified translations, and occasionally a notarized translation. Certification is needed for a variety of corporate situations including: mergers and acquisitions, translation of financial statements, and testimonies from corporate officers. Personal examples include: Court documents, birth certificates, university transcripts, wills, and documents pertaining to immigration. These translations will additionally need a notary. Chances are that the notary cannot translate the document at hand. Therefore, they are not validating the translation but standing as a witness to the completion of the translator’s work. Also, a notary’s authority is limited.  They cannot give legal advice, or make any edits or corrections to a translation.

It is important to beware of legal professionals who advertise as public notaries in the U.S. They may be trying to fraudulently attract business in immigration situations from people who knew “public notaries” to be lawyers in their home country.

If you would like to certify your translated document, here’s what to include:

  • a copy of the document in its original language,
  • a translated copy,
  • a signed affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the document and the competency of the translator or translating service.

Be sure to contact an official notary of the public to properly conduct the appropriate document process if you would like to have your document notarized.

With the right certifications and the right translator, you can be more confident that your translated documents will be accepted and understood. Work with your translation service provider to ensure you have all the right tools in place to verify the accuracy of your translation and to create tighter understanding between you and your intended audience.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems has delivered high-quality legal translations in 120+ languages for 50 years. We’ve served most of the AmLaw 100 and Fortune 100 legal teams. Trust us with your next translation project.

3 Tips for Navigating the World of Foreign Language Data

3 Tips for Navigating the World of Foreign Language Data

Leveraging Technology to Energize eDiscovery

This blog post was created by John Del Piero, Vice President of Global e-Discovery Solutions at Discovia, and it is presented with the permission of Relativity. We thank them for allowing us to share this content with you.

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Rarely does a review project shape up exactly the way we predict. Litigation support teams need agility and flexibility to be prepared for everything eDiscovery can and will throw their way.

Growing data volumes are an obvious contributor to this reality, but so is today’s international landscape. Globalization means more foreign language documents are finding their way into company data stores, and that results in added complications during eDiscovery for both litigation and investigations.

If you’re starting to see that foreign language data is becoming a bigger part of everyday eDiscovery, here’s how to get ahead of the complexity.

1) Think multilingually.

It is important to always be prepared for foreign language data that may appear in your collections. Odds are good that your business—or your client’s business—involves some dealings in another country, whether via product sales, outsourced services, or recruiting efforts. Modern business means foreign language documents are always a possibility, if not likely.

For example, our team recently kicked off a relatively small internal investigation involving five custodians. After initial strategizing with the client, we knew we might need to handle foreign language data. Even though we didn’t know what languages or volumes to expect, we were fortunate to have prepared the right technological workflows, including tapping a specialized translation plugin for our review workspace, in advance. It turned out that this small investigation became a big one, and more than 10 million documents involving English, Russian, and several Middle Eastern languages were collected when all was said and done.

Bonus Tip: You can also use early case assessment workflows to perform analytics on your case and identify which foreign languages are used in which documents.

2) Hone in on foreign language insights with the right technology.

The days of setting aside individual documents with foreign language content during a manual, linear review so they can be attended to separately by native speakers are more or less behind us. Case teams can now take advantage of text analytics to identify those documents at the very start of the review.

The benefit here is that, while still requiring a separate workflow, these documents can undergo a first-pass review simultaneously alongside the English documents—instead of being flagged and funneled into a separate process as reviewers churn through the entire data set manually.

Working with foreign languages in your e-discovery software also means identifying the right stop words—common terms that the system will ignore, such as “the” or “it”—for searching and analytics, so be sure to have a proper understanding of those dictionaries from the start.

You can also get creative during searching by looking into slang or other regional terms that could be present in your data set.

Creating a unique analytics index for each language is a good way to ensure you’re making the most of your system’s conceptual analysis of the data. Additionally, work closely with foreign language experts to identify any foreign names or terms that could but should not be translated, such as “Deutsche Telekom,” and dig into foreign keyword search criteria that may uncover the most important files by helping to create clusters—conceptually related groups of documents that can be automatically organized by the system.

Bonus Tip: Taking note of some special considerations for use on foreign languages, leverage email threading and other analytics features on this data for better organization with minimal human input.

3) Know you have options for translation.

All of those technology options mean that a slow linear review by native speakers is no longer necessary—at least not to the full extent it once was.

However, once you’ve identified potentially relevant materials via these workflows, you still need to get the data into the hands of the experts on your project. You can’t build a convincing case strategy based on second-hand reports of the stories the documents are telling—at some point you’ll need accurate document translation to provide evidence.

Fortunately, even translation is a different animal when you have the right technology and workflows in place. Machine translation is a very low cost option, but you must be careful. It can provide a gist meaning, but is unreliable for the true meaning of any sentence.

While convenient and fast, machine translation may produce misleading information—and some of it may be simply incomprehensible. For reliable accuracy, consider human revision of the machine’s results.

“In the end, it cost 65 percent less than we anticipated for a manual translation — and we gathered all the insight we needed, easily within the time allowed.”

For instance, on that same case of 10 million documents, our team ended up with more than 70,000 files that required translation—and the task seemed daunting.

Working closely with Linguistic Systems, a Relativity developer partner, we were able to identify a collaborative, hybrid workflow that utilized post-editing of the machine translation to split the difference between the cost-effectiveness of machine translation and the refined accuracy of human translation.

In the end, it cost 65 percent less than we anticipated for a manual translation—and we gathered all the insight we needed, easily within the time allowed.

Bonus Tip: Specialized tools that can be added directly to your review workspace support translation workflows in real time, so you don’t have to move data around. Discovia worked with the Relativity Developer Partner, Linguistic Systems, Inc., who does this translation work through their proprietary LSI Translation Plug-in, an application in the Relativity Ecosystem.

When it comes down to it, tackling foreign language data is yet another example of how modern e-discovery requires a healthy balance of technology, expertise, and collaboration. How do you ensure you’re sticking the landing on feats like these? Let us know in the comments.

John Del Piero is Vice President of Global eDiscovery solutions at Discovia, where he helps foster effective partnerships with law firms and corporations tackling complex litigation and investigations. He joined Discovia in 2010.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For 50 years, Linguistic Systems has served Fortune 100 corporate legal departments and AmLaw 100 firms. Trust us with your next translation project.