“Google” for subpoenaed emails: AWS CloudSearch for eDiscovery

  In the last post on AWS CloudSearch, I provided a tutorial on the creation of a simple CloudSearch domain for Supreme Court decisions.  This walkthrough described the steps of creating a domain, configuring access policies and indexing, populating the index, and using the search API.  We were left with a functioning case search database.

  From a technical perspective, one key difference between this example and many real-world applications is that we let the CloudSearch tools automatically decide what fields and content were available to search.  While this worked well in the previous example, I want to provide a concrete example of a context in which custom services and development are required.

  Imagine you’re a smaller law firm that specializes in HR disputes.  As part of a time-sensitive non-solicitation claim filed by your client, you’ve subpoenaed email from fifteen employees at a client’s competitor.   It’s Friday afternoon at 5PM, and you finally receive a hard drive with the emails.  However, in an effort to overwhelm your small team, the other party has dumped 10GB of data on your plate.  There’s no way you can search through this by hand.  You have a hearing on Wednesday, but need to prepare a strategy memo for your client by Monday morning.  Do you disappoint your client and motion to reschedule?  How could you possibly make the deadline?  If only you could just press a button and get something like Google for your data…

  Combined with the right service provider (like Bommarito Consulting!), AWS CloudSearch is a perfect solution for this problem.  Before CloudSearch, existing available on-site infrastructure constrained the provision of eDiscovery services.  eDiscovery service providers had to make large capital expenditures on servers and storage to meet peak customer needs, inflating the price paid by other customers.  Even if eDiscovery service providers were leveraging Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provisioners like AWS EC2, there was still a significant amount of operations overhead required to manage variable customer demand.

  CloudSearch makes these problems disappear.  In our example above, building a “Google” for your subpoenaed emails can be done in just hours.  The core components are an RFC822 parser to populate the search domain and a front-end user interface for searching and visualizing the results.  If this service sounds valuable to your business, today or just prospectively, please feel free to call or email regarding a demo or additional information.