Over the past few years, I’ve had occasion to use many different review tools. There are constantly new entrants, however, and one of the more interesting ideas I’ve seen is Nextpoint Discovery Cloud. As I understand it, their tool takes an upload of data to be processed and – in a self-serve, automated way – handles the basics of processing and loading the documents into their tool.  Attorneys can then quickly review and tag documents, perform redactions and finally create their own productions.

For small cases, it seems like an excellent solution.  They also promote themselves as a very good solution for solo and small firm practitioners, which makes sense.  In many matters, it doesn’t make sense to engage a large team or even fire up a complicated database.

This weekend, I was hit with such a case.  What initially looked to be a small, easy to create production for a pro bono matter turned into a 4GB monster with embedded attachments.  Instead of turning to my traditional processing and production resources, I reached out to Nextpoint, wanting to give their tool a try on what seems like the sort of project their product is designed to handle.

First, though, I needed an account and a database.  I thought I could use their $25/gb on demand service, but the system doesn’t generate accounts online. Instead, you have to talk to a sales person.  I filled out the form and waited.  Then, I gave up waiting and called, only to be connected with someone who managed to talk me out of giving it a try, since the processing runs in batches and could take a while and I wasn’t trained in the tool. With a short deadline and no way for them to judge the level of skill I might have using the tool, there was significant risk in letting a first-timer jump in with a same-day matter. It was perhaps a better solution than handing me the keys and letting me fail on my first try,  but I remain disappointed.

I hope to give this tool a try when I’ve got a bit more lead time for one of my personal cases, but wonder if others have experiences on this platform they can share.