UBIC CEO Morimoto Highlights Justice, Fairness of American Legal System

Masahiro Morimoto, Founder, CEO & Chairman of UBIC

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San Jose, CA – With the doyens of legal sector highlighting ever-increasing significance of e-discovery in global litigation matters, India America Today decided to speak with exceptional leaders of the industry.

In our fourth article of the series on e-discovery, editor Tejinder Singh spoke with Masahiro Morimoto, Founder, CEO & Chairman of UBIC about the strategy and success behind UBIC’s rapid growth from a relatively unknown company to enabling leading Asian corporations with their successful litigation strategies, to serving the needs of multi-national corporations involved in cross-border litigations globally through its innovative technology, experienced local support and infrastructure.

Technology is advancing rapidly in the legal industry field, making analysis of data easier, faster and more productive. What role is UBIC playing in this spectrum of change?

Legal work has become quite complicated by the evolution of information technology, especially as the volume of evidence has been increasing exponentially. UBIC is bridging the gap between corporations and law firms through our proprietary technology and services, by providing benefits in terms of cost savings, predictable results and reliable support. Most importantly, our electronic data discovery (e-discovery) solution separates the complicated and challenging work of handling electronically stored evidence from the attorney’s territory.

What is UBIC doing to develop a diversified skills base to assist the legal industry in collecting, indexing, processing and analyzing electronically stored information (ESI) in multiple languages and from multiple media, like voice, data, and video?

UBIC is a pioneer in cross-border litigation projects, especially involving Asian corporations and their international subsidiaries in Europe and the US. Based on our vision, we have established operational facilities and secure data centers in strategic locations globally, addressing the needs of our clients and their law firms and eliminating limitations due to cultural and geographic environments.

UBIC is unique, with its feet firmly planted in nations of diverse languages. With an increasing presence in the Western world, do you see UBIC having an edge over others in the field?

We have several advantages over the other providers in our industry.

First and foremost, we are one of the very few who can provide software (Lit i View) for entire EDRM{Electronic Data Reference Model}  life-cycle and services, contributing towards technology by providing cutting-edge features based on market trends.

Secondly, Asian IT systems are complicated to handle because they have been developed by corporations using proprietary software and hardware for internal usage. With our excellent and experienced R&D team, we can dynamically meet our customer needs by providing a flexible and customizable solution.

Additionally, these complicated systems can’t be handled solely by IT technology – our experienced, professional staff supports customer requests above and beyond the scope of regular support.

Another advantage is our local operational facilities and data centers that enable us to satisfy the recent trend in our customer requirement for supporting all of their e-discovery projects inside their country.

What are UBIC’s strengths and weaknesses and what would you highlight to an industry shopper looking to choose an e-discovery vendor?

Our strengths are technology (in-house developed proprietary platform, Lit i View for full-spectrum EDRM), global operational support & facilities, extensive experience and expertise in cross-border litigation, while we are working towards increasing our brand recognition in the US.

In my recent interviews with high profile legal authorities, it has become clear that they want cost efficient and more reliable e-discovery tools. Do you have special UBIC programs to offer in the US and other countries?

We are implementing unique programs such as our joint marketing with US attorneys in Asia to educate the regional corporations and law firms upon the latest trends in technology and the e-discovery process, which is still relatively unknown for many Asian corporations, along with best practices and the latest reforms in US and European laws.

With UBIC already present in many countries, what do you recommend to the legal systems in different nations to help them adapt and succeed on the world stage? How can the US contribute in streamlining or influencing other legal systems with an eye toward reducing international disputes? 

Each country or region has its own legal system based on their cultural, historical and economical environments. Most people are of the impression that the United States is the most litigious society, but still we see many corporations outside of the US that want to rely on the American judicial system due to its perceived fairness and justice principles, in addition to swiftness in resolving disputes.

For example, two large Chinese corporations were recently engaged in legal battles in Federal Circuit court in the Northern District of California. The US has the most advanced and evolved e-discovery processes, which are still in their infancy in Asia and in between in Europe. In the case of Christopher X, a French citizen was sentenced to imprisonment due to compliance with an e-discovery request from a US court, which was against the data protection and privacy rules of France, as it was beyond the scope of the Hague Convention. Most countries in Europe have their own privacy laws that are very stringent and have enacted blocking statutes against the US e-discovery process.

The trend is continuing with Asian countries adopting a similar approach of enacting privacy laws and blocking statutes for their regions. Even with these challenges and restrictions, there has been a spike in cross-border litigation and e-discovery projects in the US involving international corporations.

When companies execute their growth strategy, extending business abroad and developing new technologies or products, product liability, IP infringement, anti-trust issues, information theft or leakage, and financial fraud will all arise.

UBIC plays a pivotal role by bridging the technology, cultural and language gap between Western and Asian countries. In essence, we enable upholding the principle of e-discovery, namely “JUSTICE”& “FAIRNESS” especially for international corporations involved in US. litigations with our proprietary, in-house developed technology – Lit i View, which can accurately identify non-Unicode compliant encodings, native file systems and proprietary applications; experienced support staff and local presence with offices and secure data centers established in strategic locations (in lieu of the recent 9th circuit court decision, more corporations want the data to be processed in their own region/ country).

We believe that we are the first company in the world which has created an integrated solution for accurate handling of Asian-language e-discovery.

What do you see as the near term and long term future for technology assisted review (TAR) or predictive coding – does it help the process or are these just methods to reduce the cost of review?

Technology Assisted Review/ Predictive Coding/ Advanced Review Technology is a cheaper and faster alternative for reducing the cost of the review phase in e-discovery, which accounts for typically two thirds of the total litigation cost on average and even higher, depending upon the volume of data involved.

TAR/ PC/ ART doesn’t eliminate the need for human review completely, but rather enables a reduction in the time and cost of review. It is still in the early stage of adoption and is being carefully evaluated by advanced technology users, both on the clients’ side as well as the judiciary, but we believe UBIC’s review solution will bring a tremendous revolution to the legal industry.

Earlier articles in the series include interviews with Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, and California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal, who recently ruled in the Apple-Samsung case and who has been focused on the technology of litigation.

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