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Exploring Novel Uses for Exterro Review Technology

May 4, 2023

Exterro client twobytwo Solutions provides computer forensic, electronic discovery, and expert consulting services to a wide range of clients ranging from public sector agencies to well-known law firms and businesses, but they’re far from a traditional legal services provider. They’re a boutique firm that prides themselves on tackling technically challenging cases and solving them using unconventional means. In fact, their name is a nod to the two-by-two tables used in epidemiologic study design, a discipline in which founder and principal Dennis Cheng earned a graduate degree. He explains, “Our cases tend to be technically trickier—maybe not in terms of computer technology, but in terms of the quality of information, the type of litigation, or other unique constraints. We’re solution finders.”

One day he might be working a high-profile case that’s earned media headlines, while the next he’s taking on a pro bono project on behalf of a rural public defender. As a small, nimble service provider with a reputation for innovation, twobytwo has the luxury of taking on clients only when they can find a strong alignment of values, goals, and vision.

Experience with the Exterro FTK® Family of Solutions

As a long-time user of the FTK® Forensic Toolkit, Dennis had used Summation, the document review solution from that family of products. Its integrations with the other digital forensic software made it a powerful tool in intellectual property investigations. But with the sunsetting of that tech stack, it was time for twobytwo to investigate other options for document review. They needed a flexible, powerful solution that could be used for litigation projects, but also for the deeper, unconventional document review cases he might receive from his clientele.

“I think you’d be a fool if you didn’t look at Relativity,” Dennis recalled, “but they required me to sign an NDA before they would even talk about pricing, and one of the first questions they asked was, ‘What’s your annual spend?’ rather than ‘What kind of work do you do for your clients?’”

Since Exterro had acquired the FTK® software suite, he decided to investigate Exterro Review. “When I met with Exterro, I got the sense that we had potential for a partnership. I liked what I saw and thought [Exterro Review] was promising, and [the rep] was open to an ongoing conversation about the product and its direction.”

twobytwo decided to give Exterro Review a trial run.

Putting Exterro Review to the Test

twobytwo had an engagement that made perfect sense using Exterro Review. They had a sizable amount of data—essentially an entire school district’s email system—that ran to about a terabyte of data. If twobytwo were to use another review solution, their clients, a law firm representing victims in a child sexual abuse case, would never have been able to afford the cost of document review. “It wouldn’t have been financially viable,” he said, “despite the fact that this was a case worthy of being litigated. But with Exterro, we were able to help our litigation partners get through the material, successfully litigate the case, and get relief for the victims.”

twobytwo has used Exterro Review for other types of cases, too. In a recent data breach investigation, they were able to identify compromised personal data by looking for Social Security number strings in the data pool.

Dennis found that one of the biggest benefits of Exterro Review was its usability, which translates directly into cost savings. He explains, “The overhead of getting reviewers up to speed can paralyze a review project, but it’s very usable for most reviewers, and power users can deal with a lot of data without having to jump through weird hoops. As an example, I brought on a veteran attorney for an emergency review project. He had never used Exterro, but it only takes about 20 minutes of instruction to get working on Exterro. He jumped in and was able to get the work of four reviewers!”

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