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Case Study

“David vs Goliath” – How Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney leveled the playing field against a BigLaw firm and won a big case for its client

Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney leverages IPRO’s solution suite to win big for its Managed IT services client, Impact Network, in Trade Secret Litigation lawsuit against a BigLaw firm.

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Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney (SMSM) is a civil litigation firm with over 100 attorneys across eleven locations in nine states. In May of last year, the firm took over several cases for a new client, including a breach of contract and trade secrets case in Federal Court in Texas, set for trial in January. The case involved key personnel leaving a copier company and starting a new venture with a Managed IT services company, Impact Network, in Texas. The litigation was contentious and demanded deliberate and exacting precision with each discovery decision. Despite the challenges which included extensive document review, tight deadlines, and a tenacious opposing counsel, the firm was confident that with the support of IPRO and its solutions, they could level the playing field and win the case.

Leveling the eDiscovery Landscape

We were able to go head-to-head with a very large firm with endless resources by leveraging IPRO’s advanced capability and outstanding customer success team who was with us every step of the way.

Henry Lopez, Litigation Support Project Manager

SMSM used the full array of IPRO SaaS solutions, existing templates, proven workflows, and assistance from the IPRO customer success team to ingest the myriad datasets and immediately start a document review. The review platform, OPEN Discovery, was instrumental in leveling the playing field and affording SMSM a quick response solution to each discovery request. The firm was able to make over 20 productions while simultaneously ingesting 20 productions from opposing counsel. Opposing counsel attempted to inundate SMSM with excessive discovery and motion practice in the months leading up to trial. However, SMSM was able to respond to and prepare discovery pleadings efficiently and effectively by utilizing the heat maps and visual search components available in the IPRO platform.

Going Head-to-Head on a Challenging Trial

The trial presented even more challenges, as it was remote, there were late-stage changes to the trial team, release of AEO designation of a large dataset, witness testimony challenges and normal trial logistics obstacles. SMSM opted to use TRIAL DIRECTOR, which provided ease of collaborative use and consistent excellent performance under very demanding circumstances. Having access to the full suite of services (TimeCoderPro and TD360) enabled SMSM to quickly sync, edit, and disseminate two video depositions the evening prior to playing before the jury. Additionally, while opposing counsel had the benefit of months of advanced preparatory work with a third-party hot seat operator, SMSM had the benefit of an internal hot seat operator who was familiar with the dataset and trial issues.

The Big Win

The client was extremely happy because they were successfully defended from a potential $20M verdict in the case.

SMSM prevailed in the trade secrets breach of contracts case for Impact Network, its Managed IT services client. The case involved claims that two sales executives left and started working for another company, taking a hard drive from their previous employers and using it at their new employers (specifically a client list and 200,000 emails). The jury found that while the defendant was in breach of the nondisclosure agreement, there was no damage because the defendant never used the trade secrets in a significant way. SMSM was able to successfully demonstrate this by searching through a significant amount of data under “personal stuff” on the hard drive and found that the largest portion was untouched or unused. The client was extremely happy not only because they were successfully defended from a potential $20M verdict, but also because its trade secret data was in very good hands and remained secure throughout the lifecycle of the trial.

An invaluable longstanding partnership proved to be the secret weapon.

Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney leveraged its partnership with IPRO to successfully navigate a contentious trade secrets breach of contract case for its Managed IT services client, Impact Network. Using a combination of IPRO’s solutions, including review and TRIAL DIRECTOR, SMSM was able to level the playing field against a larger firm with endless resources. The firm’s ability to quickly respond to discovery requests, efficiently prepare for trial, and provide highly technical cost-effective hot seat operations in complex litigation proves invaluable to SMSM and its clients.

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